What does independence mean to you as a creator?

Hi everyone!

This is my first time posting in the community, so thanks for having me! My name is Matt and I help write and edit the blog on Patreon. Hopefully I get the chance to meet all of you in the future :slight_smile:

I’m posting to ask your opinion about a blog article we’re posting next month. As many of you know, the celebration of America’s Independence day is right around the corner.

We want to write about Independence day, but with a Patreon twist — we want to write about what independence means to creators, no matter where they are in the world.

So, my question is — as a creator, what does independence mean to you? How does independence fit into your life as a creator? Do you have creative goals around independence, for example having creative freedom over your works? Also, we’re curious if Patreon has impacted your creativity in a way that makes you more independent as a creator?

If that question strikes a chord with ya, please leave a comment below! I’m going to forward these comments to one of our writers, who will try to use some of them in a blog post, either as general inspiration or attributed to your name.

Thanks for reading and for welcoming me to this space!

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Excited to see the responses to this this, following along! :slight_smile:

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Hi, Matt, great to emeet you :wink:.

To me, independence means being able to live and speak my truth, without having to compromise or answer to a potentially domineering interest whose goals would differ to mine (record label, etc).

My songs, stories and podcast are deep and sincere explorations of what it means to be human. Independence means being able to go as deep -and sometimes dark- as I need and, on some days, fly so high that I see the whole picture (and occasionally burst into flame :sunflower:).

It means to show up fully raw, real and vulnerable.

My art asks this of me, and I feel that Patreon (and, most importantly, my precious Nateive Patrons) support me so that I can stay close to the heart, my hearth, true to the golden threads I weave into the cracks we all carry, making us whole again and even more beautiful than before we were broken (kintsugi is the term).

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in”
-Leonard Cohen

Ah man, it’s so hard to put this into words, but independence is being able to wake up and say ‘yes’ to my life every day, to offer my gifts to the world with open arms, without fear or desperation. It’s a practice, something I have to choose with each new morning (or not. Having explored the depths of depression, I’ve lived many a ‘no’ to my life too).

I could go on, but that’s enough for now :innocent:.

Thank you for the opportunity to share, much love to all the creators who give voice to the indescribable.

With love
Nate (Nathan) Maingard

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Independence means to be able to act without (serious) restrictions on creativity.

My content is very sex-positive and gender-flexible. Unfortunately this means that a lot of companies/countries make a big deal out of it even though they are no more than audio files describing things. I’m lucky to live in the Netherlands, where people a lot more accepting.

And while we are never truly independent, it is good to strive towards an open and positive community where the strange is given a place. Thank you Patreon for being part of that too.

With a smile,
Nimja

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Hi Nate, nice to emeet ya too!

Thanks for sharing the ‘indescribable’ with us :). I feel ya on independence meaning being able to “wake up and say ‘yes’ to my life every day, to offer my gifts to the world with open arms.” That has been a challenge in my past, as well — waking up and really wanting to paint or write, or whatever, but instead having to go to work to pay the bills! I’m glad you’ve been able to find solutions to getting some of that creative independence back.

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HI Nimja,

Thanks for sharing! I’m glad that you live in a country that is accepting of your art and that Patreon has been a supportive place for you creatively :slight_smile:

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Precisely :grin:

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I’m a writer, and independence means that I have the freedom to follow my own curiosity – not someone else’s demands or whims. Because I can choose what I work on from day to day, it’s easy for me stay excited about my work, and this definitely boosts my overall happiness.

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Feel that! I’m a writer too. Since I write for my job, sometimes it can be difficult to find time after work to pull out that note pad and work on a short story (or whatever else). Glad you’ve been able to find the freedom to follow your curiosity and write about the topics that you are passionate about! :slight_smile:

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I’ve been doing illustrated storytelling on youtube for about 6 years now, telling condensed Tales from my Dungeons and Dragons Campaign (TDDC). The production quality when I started was terrible, because like most first time video makers, I had poor equipment and no idea what I’m doing.

But it’s all a continuing story, making it hard to gain viewers through youtube’s discovery algorithm, even if the newer videos look and sound much better. It’s hard to get new viewers to stick through those first dozen ugly videos, that you need to get the story. And with a full time job, new videos come out so slowly that it’s hard to retain audience.

Yet over the years, despite these challenges, I’ve built up a bit of a following, people who love the series so much that they already supported me disproportionately on patreon, which I hadn’t been pushing very hard, because I had a decent job, so I was pretty happy just to make a little more than the cost of my hardware and software licenses.
Then a few months ago, when I started #OperationAwesomeUnemployment - my push to make enough through Patreon to scrape by, so I can quit my job and create content full time - my small, dedicated, generous audience came through in such a big way that I’ve had to restructure my latest episode’s credits to fit in all the cartoon avatars of my many top-tier patrons (the members of The Organization).

And thanks to them and many others, a month from now I’m going to work my last day at that job, then come home and start a new period of my life working for them - for the people who wanted more TDDC, and who are giving me the opportunity to devote myself to telling those and other stories. To do full-time what I’ve been unknowingly working towards since I was around ten years old.

And maybe I’ll get a little better at the whole ‘art’ side of the videos.

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Wow, that’s such a cool story! Thank you for sharing. Also took a look at your videos — they’re hilarious! Keep it up :slight_smile:

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Thanks everyone for your responses, we got to use a few of them in our article on creator independence!

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