Looking for someone to "patronage" (feature idea)


I have been playing around with this idea for a couple of years, should I build my own platform, can I find something that offers the context …

Quite often I would like to find someone who could teach me / introduce me into a topic I am currently interested in. In a way, mentoring me for a few hours, days, weeks - whatever. Online courses with pre-recorded videos on whatever streaming platform often don’t really do it, for once you never know what you actually will get (if the teaching style works for you, if you can get the information out that you are looking for) - plus you pay for a fixed, premade material that may well be outdated even on the teacher’s side.

I would love to be able to browse Patreon “by category” (say: create visual arts, play an instrument, compose music, write texts, research a historic epoche / area, learn about black smithery, understand quantum physics, talk to dinosaurs etc) and then click on a button “show patrons who are available for mentorships”. Then I could “apply” for, say, 3 months of “mentoring” and have access to “inner circles of whisdom and pizza”.
Sure, there are ways to get this - to some degree - by using a search engine, I know. But a centralized, organized, moderated and curated place is … in my experience: better. More convenient. More reliable. If there is some fundamental QA (which certain “online teaching services” lack, so that it’s basically playing lottery to invest in education on such platforms), this might be both a welcome service to people who want to learn - and Patreon as a service provider.

Thoughts? Feedback? Critics? Tear it up, it’s just an idea :slight_smile:


1 Like

A while back, I set up an application for private mentoring on my site. People could fill out a form, and tell me what they were interested in. I got a lot of people wanting me to tell them specific things—like, “show me how you do this thing you teach in one of your classes that I don’t want to pay for” or “show me, step by step, how to be a painter that gets paid lots of money”. I didn’t get people who were interested in the give and take of being mentored.

One of the art groups I’ve belonged to forever used to have a private mentoring program. Artists who were very experienced would sign up to be mentors, new people would sign up to be mentored, and the moderators would match them up. Out of probably a dozen matches over the years, I only had one true mentoring experience. Most people would just email once, saying “tell me everything I need to know” and that was it. I mentioned this in a chat session with other mentors, and their experience was the same.

I don’t think most people understand mentoring is a two-way street, and that it requires work on their part. Most seem to just want to be handed the keys to some magical kingdom of art.


Hi, Lisa,

thanks for the feedback - I fully agree and I do think that “mentoring” is too strong a word for what I have in mind. Although finding a “real mentor” this way would be wonderful, it is, like you say, a two-way-thing. Every good mentor always learns from the partnership, just like the student, alas in quite a different way.

If I can come up with a better word, I’ll post that one here.

Luckily I have had some experiences with … well, call it “something like teaching”, but where I was more on the “hold the student’s hand and let him/her find the right path safely” side … where both feedback and will to compensate were agreeable. In fact, I’d say that half of the people I help with software problems have asked about how to compensate me (pay or otherwise give back). Maybe it depends a lot on topic, since “my thing” isn’t the art, but actually solving problems, so the understanding “I need help” is there …


I like the basic idea, though it might need hammering into shape. Mentorship is in demand, and could be an attraction of the site, but I wonder:
a) how to implement it site-wide in a way that would work for all those interested;
b) how to make it work without it taking up too much space
c) whether within the patreon ecosystemt here would be enough demand for it to make it worth implementing site-wide (as opposed to, say, have a tier dedicated to mentorship).
Maybe leave it to us to offer it in our tiers, but have an opt-in checkbox in our account settings so we can show up in those search results if we want to? That wouldn’t be too difficult to implement. Just ideas, thinking out loud :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi, Joumana,

thanks for thinking out loud!

Your questions are worth thinking about - I am not even 100% sure if Patreon, as the system it is, would be the perfect match for this. Yet, thinking out loud is exactly what this thread is about! :slight_smile:


Some of my rewards include mentoring. As far as finding mentors…If anyone is creating something that you want to create, approach them and ask…

Not necessarily a Patreon issue or query, but anyway…

Hi, Ryan,

thanks for the thought … unfortunately that is not how things work in the real world :slight_smile: Else it would be “a walk in the park” to find someone to help you out with learning new tricks.
Besides … I am definitely not just talking about “creating things”, but about understanding. People with whom I work, if they “really know their shit” (forgive the phrasing), usually just don’t have the time to help you out - in that specific industry 24/7 work is a common thing. Therefor a “blurb” that tells you that this specific pro has got some time to spare would be really helpful.

Like I said above, “mentoring” probably isn’t a good term for what I am suggesting here. If, for example, I want to learn more about Germanic history (and Norse history), I can try to get a discussion rolling with some professor that says “feel free to send me an email”. If that professor doesn’t respond to that email (logically being in line with what he said, he never claimed to respond), I am no better off than before. I would like to know if someone really wants to be communicative about her/his skills or is just looking for admiration …