Christina Tran

is creating slowingly
Select a membership level
"Keep Becoming"
$1
per month

You have my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for fueling me to just keep on trucking! Consider this a monthly tip jar for continuing to make work that resonates with you. I won’t be sending you much email — and by selecting this tier, you’re letting me know that that’s a-okay!

"Show Your Work"
$3
per month

You don’t mind my blogposts and rambles. So expect blogposts and rambles! You’ll have access to patron-only posts, which may include but aren’t limited to: work-in-progress artwork, what I’m currently reading, rants about systemic injustices, etc. Thanks for helping me think-out-loud about summa these things.

"Make Art"
$10
per month

You're reminding me to get stuff outta my head and heart and to put things into the world. Making things tangible makes them feel more real, makes them feel more like Art-with-a-capital-A. This support gives me motivation to gather the bits and pieces -- a comic here, some writing there -- and package them into sharable things like zines. If you join this tier, I might send you some digital and physical things along the way -- probably bundled into one package during zine fest season.

42

patrons

$198

per month

About Christina Tran

Hello and welcome! If you are here because you like my work and want to support it, and you’re already familiar with Patreon and you’re comfortable with the whole deal, feel free to skip or skim the below. In updating my page and rethinking my tiers, I ended up writing a mini-essay about my currently relationship to patronage! Thanks for being here regardless. <3 Christina, April 2019


WHY PATREON

“…a patron is anyone who supports another in the authentic unfolding of self...Patronage, in its truest form is always symbiotic. When we encourage another in their authenticity, we cannot help but affirm the importance of our own.” ~Wendy Ice

In our brave new world of late-stage-hyper-capitalism, each artist must decide for themselves how to spend their time, energy, and resources — and how much (if any) of those things should also make money. Each artist’s answers will look different, and each artist’s answers will change over time as their life evolves.

One of the streams of income I am choosing to open in my own art life is direct patronage because I believe in the radical potential of community-supported art. When you directly support an artist whose work you love, you are giving them a gift. And your gift has the ripple effect of helping them create the work they feel compelled to create — regardless of its marketability or utility within the capitalistic system. We know art has its own value and impact in the world; its work is to question and to push and to humanize and to confront and to ease and to heal and to connect. How we support the arts and the artists who make it and the artistic veins inside all of us…how we support all of that in ways that serve humanity instead of capital, well, that is the question these days. Patreon isn’t perfect because it’s ALL weird, but practicing patronage is one small experiment in challenging the existing defaults. (If you want to dive deeper into these topics: The Gift by Lewis Hyde, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, Debt by David Graeber, Making Your Life as an Artist from ArtistsU...)

Whereas Kickstarter or Indiegogo are structured around one-time project goals, Patreon gives people the opportunity to support creators directly in an on-going way. When you pledge to support me, Patreon will charge you at the beginning of each month, and you will get periodic updates from me sent straight to your inbox.



WHAT I DO
Below are some of the categories of stuff I currently feel compelled to make. These are the kinds of things that supporting me on Patreon would allow me to do more of in the world…

1) Writing + Comics + Art
I make tender, autobio comics and essays that pull us toward a more complex and compassionate world. I’ve been self-publishing zines since 2015, making webcomics since 2014, and writing ever since I was a young girl carrying piles of books home from the local library every week (not much has changed). Most of my comics can be found online at sodelightful.com/comics.

I often write about the places where systemic weirdnesses rub up against our personal values. In telling stories about my day-to-day life, I can ask questions about our roles and responsibilities within larger contexts. "On Beauty" questions the complexity of beauty standards. “Neighbors” navigates the emotional kaleidoscope that home and homelessness can bring up in us as citizens and as community members. The personal is political, if we are able to be honest about our interdependence (and collective power) amongst systemic forces.

If you care about this kind of stuff, “On Beauty” won the 2016 Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize and was Eisner-nominated that same year. If you care about this kind of stuff, people often say that my work makes them cry. If you care about this kind of stuff, I have no idea how many people read my “Dear Beloved” letters, but writing them kept me grounded and sane.

2) Community + Mt Caz
I am a caretaker, temporary steward, and permanent artist-in-residence at Mt Caz, a renegade community art space that is also our home. We produce events, hold co-working days, host artists-in-residence from out of town, and experiment with open doors and open hearts.

I am also a part of the emergent Nuns & Nones community, where we are asking questions about what non-institutional spirituality, spiritual formation, and radical communities of service look like in our current times.

A lot of my questioning and writing these days circles the topic of ‘how to community’ during a time when the systemic forces are further isolating, separating, and distancing us from each other and from ourselves. There is a lot I want to share and think through together, using art as one vector for those conversations.

3) Workshops + Teaching + Holding Space
During an Empty House retreat I co-facilitated, we handed out five nametags to each person and asked them to tell us who they were. One of my nametags was “holder of blank space”. It is the way I like to teach. I am still finding my way to my most authentic teacher self. I keep getting drawn, like a moth to a flame, to different iterations of teaching (within and outside of institutions, for money and pro bono, explicitly as a teacher and accidentally as a guide). I’ve hosted writing circles. I’ve hosted workshops. I’ve taught in after-school programs. I’ve taught at the graduate level. We're brainstorming popular education models for Mt Caz.
The ways I like to learn+teach are usually not lucrative because I don’t believe in expertise, and I don’t want to recreate the ‘banking system’ (see Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed).

Whatever we want to call this category, it is how I want to spend at least some of my time here on earth.

ABOUT THE TIERS

Pledging to my Patreon is not a one-to-one exchange transaction. For transparency’s sake, you probably won’t get “rewards” with any regularity because my art percolates slowingly and seasonally. You are supporting me as an artist more than you are pledging to get any specific art-objects. In choosing a tier, you are sending me a message of support, and you are opting into a general level of communication, and the world gets more of my art in general which you will get to also read and see and experience, and sometimes you'll get writing or art from me that isn't shared widely publicly. And we'll revisit all of this again the next time I level up my radical thinking around existing on this planet as a responsible human co-arising with everything else on this planet!

“Keep Becoming”
$1+ per month
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: We run into each other near the river cloudbank. You give me a high five, and remind me that I’m doing great. Buoyed as we part ways, you turn around and yell, “You do you!” with a huge grin on your face.

You have my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for fueling me to just keep on trucking! Consider this a monthly tip jar for continuing to make work that resonates with you. I won’t be sending you much email — and by selecting this tier, you’re letting me know that that’s a-okay!

“Show Your Work”
$3+ per month
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: You sometimes come over for sunshine tea and I show you what I’ve been working on…watch your step around the piles and piles of papers and books. Backstage is a messy place, but here is where we get to have interesting conversations around process and sticky questions and what's been on our minds.

You don’t mind my blogposts and rambles. So expect blogposts and rambles! You’ll have access to patron-only posts, which may include but aren’t limited to: work-in-progress artwork, what I’m currently reading, rants about systemic injustices, etc. Thanks for helping me think-out-loud about summa these things.

“Make Art”
$10+ per month
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: I see you at a Zine Fest on Mars, and I excitedly show you a bundle of little books I've made. You know that without your encouragement, these might not exist.

You're reminding me to get stuff outta my head and heart and to put things into the world. Making things tangible makes them feel more real, makes them feel more like Art-with-a-capital-A. This support gives me motivation to gather the bits and pieces -- a comic here, some writing there -- and package them into sharable things like zines. If you join this tier, I might send you some digital and physical things along the way -- probably bundled into one package during zine fest season.

“Give It Away”
$25+ per month
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: You hand the artist a pair of wings and watch them fly. No strings attached.

This is your blessing for me to give it all away: to create classes for free, to make books that will never be marketable, to chase the ideas that give me joy, to experiment with new materials, to contribute to my community, and to ask the tough questions that the worlds needs us artists to be asking. Your support fuels my fire to play with different modalities and to shape more free offerings for the world.

A Note About Sliding Scale: Notice that all Patreon tiers have that little "or more" next to the dollar amount. In effect, that means that all the tiers are sliding scale. Which means you can mix-n-match your pledge $ amount and the tier level. Ideally, I'd want all of them to be $1+ and you could decide, but since I can't do that on Patreon, I'm leaving the initial tiers for now. Wanna say "Keep Going" with a $5 a month tip-jar pledge? You can! Wanna pledge $60 to encourage me to "Make It Real"? Do it. I created a flowchart about sliding scale in the past. Consult and use liberally.

THANK YOU
Thank you so much for your trust and for your patience and for your time. I am looking forward to sharing this space with you.

Lovingly and slowingly yours,
Christina
Goals
$198 of $350 per month
This covers all expected annual business expenses -- including supplies, software, fees, base postage and printing costs, some professional development, and travel to local+regional zine fests. Patronage would be supporting the business of the art, which is pretty cool.
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