Hey there, looks like I get the first post here.
Back around 10 years ago, I used to see a lot of my friends taking commissions on DA. It was the one way we knew to make money through art on the Internet since this was before print on demand was a thing and we were all bad fits for commercial art.
The most popular artists were able to fill commission slots at light speed, but they could never charge enough to make the time investing in filling those commissions worth while. Fans wanted to support them, but the standard means of support was often a net negative. I would see their output diminish in both quality and quantity as they were saddled with commission prompts that pulled them away from their interests.
The solution seemed to be a system where by fans could pay an artist to simply make the personal work they adored. I knew there was a list of artists I would pay in an effort to help them refuse commissions and I hoped I had fans that would do the same. But back then, there was no mechanism for making this a reality.
Now, we’ve got Patreon and people are trying to figure out how to make it work for them. Personally, I still think about it as a system of paying artists to create personal work. As someone who is currently the beneficiary of as well as a contributing patron in this model, I want to spread that message as far and wide as possible. I think it’s important for us to band together under a common narrative about why people should support visual artists. If you are looking for such a narrative, please feel free to borrow this one.
Pay artists you love, to keep them making the art you love.