Christina Tran

Christina Tran

Creating slowingly

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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, written April 2019, updated Feb 2022


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. Pledging to my Patreon is a gift that supports the running of my artmaking endeavors, aka the So Delightful Studio.



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 they cry when they read my work. 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) Communities + Collectives + Cooperatives
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 (and I wrote this sentence before a global pandemic...). There is a lot I want to share and think through together, using art as one vector for those conversations. I am interested in the solidarity economy and planting seeds of prefigurative revolution via experiments in micro-solidarity food coops, housing coops, and mutual aid.

For many years, I was a caretaker, temporary steward, and permanent artist-in-residence at Mt Caz, a renegade community art space that was also our home. We produced events, held co-working days, hosted artists-in-residence from out of town, and experimented with open doors and open hearts.

Other communities I am a part of and tend to are an emergent Nuns & Nones community of interspiritual weirdos, and the Heatsink Comics Collective of cartoonist weirdos.


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 SEASONALITY
Some seasons the Studio is open, and I'm more outward-facing with my art and welcoming-in of visitors to my process. Those months and seasons, I will charge patrons "per month". Your sliding scale gifts here will help keep the studio lights on, so to speak. The Studio budget includes expenses such as: website hosting, Adobe Creative Suite (since my educator license finally ran out), printing costs, and distributor fees.

Some seasons the Studio will be closed. Options for those times will include: putting the Patreon on pause, switching it to "per thing", or giving you all the choice of whether to continue giving during off-seasons. Think of it like the times your favorite Etsy shop is closed for a break to restock their wares. Or think of it like the time your favorite beadshop puts up a handwritten sign on their front door saying they've joined the circus for a spell and will be back shortly.


ABOUT THE TIERS

I have created sliding scale tiers to support the Studio. You can choose which amount you wish to contribute monthly, and all patrons will get the same access to studio updates.

During the seasons when the So Delightful Studio is open, I will do quarterly-ish studio updates for patrons (likely April / July / November). This might include reflections on the previous quarter, sharing stories, looking at biz numbers, or a sneak peek at what's percolating in the planning stages. This may take the form of blog posts, zines, or video calls...depending on the season.

There may also be irregular behind the scenes and studio journal posts for patrons only.

In most cases, the art/writing/content produced will be shared more widely, publicly available, and announced via forums like my newsletter.

A Note About Sliding Scale: I created a flowchart about sliding scale in the past. Consult and use liberally. Here is an example of how Worts + Cunning presents their sliding scale, if you'd like to reflect more on your personal and financial experiences and how much you can afford to pay.

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
$123.61 of $134 per month
This covers the base costs of the software & hosting fees required for making art and self-publishing comics month-to-month. This keeps the So Delightful Studio lights on!
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 67 exclusive posts
2
Audio releases
73
Images
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Livestream
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Polls
31
Writings
5
Videos
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 67 exclusive posts
2
Audio releases
73
Images
1
Livestream
2
Polls
31
Writings
5
Videos

Recent posts by Christina Tran

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