There’s nothing new about crowdsourcing. People in the arts have relied on patrons to support their creativity since the first caveman drew a deer outline on a rock wall with a piece of soapstone.
In the world of the Internet being a patron has taken a leap forward and on several occasions I’ve found myself pledging a small amount to help out a project in which I’m interested. I’m contributed to DVD video projects, several new CD projects by independent musicians I like, a visual art project, and a couple of music education projects. It’s all been legit, only cost what I could afford, and doing so has made me feel good.
My son, Mike Chapman, has literally been an artist since he was physically able to hold a crayon. When he was about three a family friend gave him a box of scrap computer paper and over the course of a few months it disappeared. Mike drew on it or with masking tape turned it into three-dimensional creations. A crayon, a pair of scissors, a roll of tape, and a stack of green computer was all it took to keep the kid happy.
(Note: After reading this Mike told me he drew his first multi-page comic book when he was three years old. He thinks in hiding somewhere in our house.)
Unlike most children Mike’s landscapes never had a white horizontal strip. From the beginning he realized that the blue of the sky came all the way down and touched the green of the grass. From early on he also displayed an understanding of perspective. His drawings weren’t the flat two-dimensional creations of a Grandma Moses.
Recently Mike has gotten serious about honing his artistic skills and earning his living with his natural talent. He has founded an online crowdsourcing site to show off and offer his creativity to those who would hopefully become patrons. The cost of patronizing him can be as little as $1 a month or more, whatever you can afford. His site is built using a crowdsourcing service called Patreon and his studio is called TrippyRobots. Everyone is welcome to checkout what he’s been up to and if you think you’d like to support his efforts just look to the right of his page to see the various levels of support and what rewards come with each.