In recent years, I have focussed more on licensing - though I have still taken commissions - and have seen my work released on t-shirts (Darkside & the Mountain (Link 1 | Link 2), giftware (Nemesis Now), bedding (Wild Star Hearts), cross-stitch kits (GeckoRouge), and even dice bags & CCG playmats (Inked Playmats), amongst others. However, last year my career took a hit when my health took a turn.
Since April 2015, doctors have been running tests and have still failed to find a diagnosis for my worsening health issues that are debilitating not just my everyday life, but also my ability to work. As such, I'm unable to take on lots of commissions with solid, short deadlines as I often cannot guarantee that my health will not get in the way. The pace of my work ground to a near standstill when all of this first hit and while new symptoms continued to present, which has had a dramatic impact on my ability to provide for my family.
As I'm adapting my work habits to my unpredictable health and medications, I want to take the opportunity this year to focus on getting back to creating work for licensing with some designs that I've been particularly wanting to do. Until I have a diagnosis, I have no idea how my condition will effect my ability to work, so I want to create a lasting body of work I can feel proud of to provide for my family; a body of work that is close to my heart.
For my first collection, I want to get back to my roots with my first love by painting dragons. For this first collection of dragons, I want to create a series (probably of 12 images) based around the concept of flower dragons.
I have created a lot of dragons through my career and they remain popular amongst fans, often being the most requested subject for future projects, but one that I seem to rarely get the opportunity to create when I need to focus on commissions and sales trends.
This collection is a series of pictures that I really want to do, regardless of whether or not a particular company decides they want to use all of them.
Frequency of Design
As much as I would love to run a monthly campaign, since I cannot guarantee my health (or other commitments, such as to my family) won't get in the way, I've opted for a "per creation" campaign. I will still aim to for about one design a month, but some designs may be quicker to complete, others may take longer either due to complexity of time/health constraints. I doubt I will create more than two a month, so you can be assured I won't be bleeding your bank dry by cranking out the designs once a week - that's just not possible for me any more. If in doubt, you can put a cap on your monthly spending in your Patreon account.
What Your Support Means
With your support, I can continue to create the art I'm most passionate about that I can then make available for licensing, so that these images may continue to support my family. Licensing takes a lot of time, not just in the creation of the art, and it can sometimes be several months before I am likely to see any return for my work. This is where I would often take quick commissions to fill the gap, but as I am unable to always make ironclad promises with commissions at present, this is much trickier. Your donations will help in relieving some of the stress from the absence of commissions I am forced to refuse, allowing me to concentrate on my own projects and finally giving me the chance to focus on what I'm passionate about.
How It Works
If you're new to Patreon, you might not know how it all works. So here's a quick summary:
- Go ahead and click Become a patron and make yourself an account.
- Choose which Reward level you want and select it.
- When I have completed a design, your payment method of choice will be charged and I'll be able to collect the money (minus Patreon & exchange rate fees). NB: If you select to have a canvas, you are likely to be charged immediately as per Patreon's policies; I have no control over this.
- Your pledge remains at the tier you have chosen until you change or cancel it. Each time I complete a design, you will be charged the amount you pledged. It is unlikely that you will ever get charged more than twice a month, as it will probably be once a month or so at best.
Rewards & Goals
Pledge at $3 or more and you gain access to my patron-only posts.
At $5, $10 and $25 or more, I'll give you an exclusive digital wallpaper version of the final design for your computer as a thank you for your support. Obviously, there may be some cropping involved if the design is portrait, but I'll ensure it looks pretty! Also, you get a discount (varies by how much you pledge) on a signed A4 print of my final design. Purchase is optional, but you get the discount code all the same to redeem at my website.
At $50 or more, you get the same as the $25 tier, but you also get an original dragon-head mini-sketch!
At $120, you get the same as the $50 tier, but you also get a 40cm x 30cm canvas print of the final design that I'll personally sign to make your wall look amazing. :-)
As Goals are reached, I'll add more reward tiers that you can upgrade and switch to so you can access more fun perks.
- $50 - Sketches, Preview and Process! - If we hit $50, my patron-only posts will include added insight into the design process. You'll get to see the initial sketches as well as previews of some of the detail work. I'll also add some (written) commentary into the design process.
- $100 - Postcard prints! - If we hit $100, I'll send out a postcard (A6) sized print for all my $10+ patrons. It will be double-sided - so not really suitable for use as a normal postcard - with text relating to the image on the back (more on that at a later date!).
The Dragons' Destiny
As I complete each design, I'll be approaching companies I license with to see if they are interested in taking them. If so, I'll let you know what products the designs are available on and keep you up to date with releases, etc.
Once the collection is complete, I like the idea of doing something with all of them. I'm not expecting every company to pick up the entire collection, so it will be nice to do something (a book, calendar, or whatever) that puts them all together.
And then I'll move on to the next collection! :-)