Long days, ice-cream, and fresh fruit means that we’re welcoming summer with open arms and feeling excited about spending some time outside. However we know that for creators, taking time off or a summer vacation is not straightforward. Whether your art or content creation is your full time job or side hustle, how do you feel about taking time off? Are you able to fully switch off? What’s the longest you’ve taken off?
I took a week off for Christmas this year. It was awesome. My patrons were very supportive. This summer I am taking one day off each week from my regular video schedule. Any time I do take a break I make sure my Patreon obligations are met. I haven’t tried taking a break from everything for more than a week because my YouTube stats would start to suffer. Plus my reward tiers are tied to my videos (one bonus video a month and traceables and reference photos for the paintings I teach). So just taking one day off each week is cutting the patrons’ new resources in half but I am still doing one video each week and they have access to my full library of previous videos too. I also make sure they know of the change in schedule well ahead of time so they can cancel before the change starts if desired. Informing patrons of any changes cuts way down on confusion and complaints.
On the whole I have found that my patrons are all for giving me a rest from time to time. As long as you are keeping them happy with new content and not abusing their generosity I think they are happy to support you even in vacation months. I would be curious to see how others have handled it.
I’d taken a forced hiatus for a month 2 years ago when I injured my drawing arm and it needed to heal, and my patrons were more than understanding about it. They’d rather I heal than keep aggravating it just to provide content. I’m also taking a break from updating my comic in July so I can prepare for the next chapter, but I intend on keeping my Patreon content updating as normal. Patrons are usually here to support you as an artist and they’re totally fine with artists taking a few weeks off to recuperate!
As a webcomic creator, I do try to avoided extended hiatuses since a fair amount of my patreon exclusive content is generated from the comic itself. Things like higher res pages, early updates, PSDs of the comic pages, video process of making the pages, etc. etc. So taking time off means fewer rewards for my patrons and I always feel pretty bad about that. Some hiatuses are planned: At the end of every chapter I take a 4-8 week break (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer: Depends on life) to stop and plan the next chapter out with scripts and layouts. During this time I share the previous chapter’s script, layouts, etc. along with other goodies to help bridge the time but… I still feel bad.
Thankfully I am blessed with wonderful patrons who are understanding and kind beyond what I could have ever hoped for. When I need to take a break, they don’t ever complain or threaten to drop pledges. They usually say “Get some rest!” or “Take care of yourself first! We can wait!” and it’s always so heartwarming. It makes me feel that much more guilty over being on hiatus. That said: I think most patrons, or at least in my experience, pledge less for the rewards and more because they genuinely care about the creator and their wellbeing and pledge to show support. The rewards are just a bonus!
Love these responses! We’re thinking of writing a post for the Patreon blog about this topic. We want to give creators resources on how to set up their creator pages, so they can take a vacation when they need one. Would any of you — or anyone else — be interested in being featured in a blog post about vacation resources for creators?
@angelafineart @Nekomata and @asmodrawscomics would you be interested in us using your responses in a Patreon blog post about taking time off as a creator? If so, let me know! We’d love to share your Patreon pages and insights.
@ecampbell Sure, just let me know if there’s anything else you need from me!
Sorry for the delayed response but I don’t mind at all!
@Nekomata @angelafineart and @asmodrawscomics thanks for your help on this. The story is live! https://blog.patreon.com/how-creators-take-vacation