Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How Artists Make Money From Patreon

If you're interested in using Patreon to fund your webcomic, your art commissions, your art tutorials, or the resources you're creating, this survey should answer a few of your questions by giving you an inside look at how other artists are handling their campaigns!

The Patreon Survey results are now live!  About a month ago, I polled artists who used Patreon as a source of income on a variety of Patreon related topics- how long they've been sharing their work online, what type of work they create, how they advertise and more!  My own Patrons have access to screenshots of the graphs- so if you find that easier to parse than a spreadsheet, you should join the Artnerd community and check those out!


To view or download the spreadsheet, click here.  Please do not redistribute the link or the spreadsheet- distribute the link to this post instead.

IN GENERAL:

  • of the creators polled, most Patreons were used to support a single comic, followed by Patreons that sell commissions, and then support multiple comics.
  • Most Patreon promotion occurs on Twitter, followed by Tumblr, then Facebook and on the comic the campaign supports.
  • Most Patreon campaigns make $25-$100 per month.
  • Patreon campaigns provide all sorts of incentives, but popular options are early updates, bonus art, and process art, as well as commission tiers.
  • The volunteer services question seemed to cause confusion.  I meant 'what sort of community based services do you provide free of charge to benefit the art or comics community as a whole', and should have asked it that way.  Most artists provide a webcomic free to the public, followed by Art Instagrams and art at conventions.
  • The AVERAGE artist answering this poll has provided this service for approximately 6.5 years, based on the  45 responses to this question
  • Most artist engages their audience via Twitter, chatting (Discord?  Skype?  Livestream?  Many responding to this poll didn't actually specify), Tumblr, and at conventions.  A very popular response seems to be 'responding to every single question on every social media'.
  • Most artists saw the most support from casual online acquaintances, closely followed by online friends, and then mainly strangers.  This may sound surprising to some of you who haven't done online work and sales before, but probably doesn't come as a surprise from those of us who have run online campaigns of some variety for awhile. 
  • Backer incentives varied greatly, so I recommend checking out the spreadsheet, or the screencaps provided to my Patrons.
  • Most creators spend 1-3 hours per week creating additional incentives, followed by 3-6 hours per week. 
  • Follower counts varied pretty wildly as well, IN GENERAL artists with more services tended to have viewer subs per service, but more overall subs, but that is an estimate.  I recommend you check out the spreadsheet or my screenshots to get a better idea.
  • Pageviews or daily hits also vary pretty wildly, again I recommend you check out the spreadsheet.
  • Most responding creators listed Freelance as their dayjob, followed by Yes.
  • The highest ranking sources of online revenue were Project Wonderful Ads, followed shortly by Youtube ads.
  • And most responding artists do indeed have online shops.
By Income:
  • Of the artists polled, only two described their Patreon income as $500-$1000 per month.  One has one comic listed, the other has multiple comics listed.  Between the two artists, they provide early access to comic pages, sketch commissions, access to livestreams, access to gallery of WIP art, exclusive participation in a monthly request event, Patron exclusive physical rewards, and early or exclusive access to information about sales and future products.  Both artists are webcomic vets, listing 10+ years experience.  Both artists work freelance, and both artists have online shops.
  • Right below that is $100-$500 per month from Patreon.  The majority of these artists are using Patreon for their webcomic, although a few also use it for commissions, or artwork and merchandise.  Popular rewards include early page access and access to extra sketches, downloadable wallpapers, access to livestreams and a private Discord, as well as some physical rewards.
  • The next bracket, $25-$100, has the most creators in it.  Many of the creators in this bracket use Patreon to fund multiple things- comics, Youtube channels, commissions, ect.  Early updates and early access are popular reward choices, as are sketch requests.

Thank you to all of the artists who participated in this survey!

And if you're looking for an in depth post on an artist's experiences with Patreon, check out this post!  It covers everything you'll need to launch your own campaign and suggestions on how to promote.

This post was sponsored by Ink Drop Cafe, the creator's collective.  Nattosoup Studio Art and Process blog is an affiliate of Ink Drop Cafe.  For more wonderful art resources, please visit our Affiliate section!