Cartoon North is on Patreon

By Mike Valiquette

Well, we did it. We launched our Patreon. It’s a big leap for us, and as much as we try our best to help out in similar situations, it’s always a tricky thing to actually reach out and ask for help. I’m not good at it. But we did it, and you guys are responding. For that, I’m super grateful, and more than a little humbled.

There’s a lot to consider with this new direction, and challenges that will present themselves along the way. We’ll take them a step at at time, like we do with everything else. The nice thing about a Patreon campaign versus Kickstarter or Indiegogo, is that Patreon is ongoing. We don’t have to launch with every single little thing figured out. We can tweak it an add to it along the way.

For those of you who aren’t aware of Patreon, let me fill you in a little bit.

Years ago, I discovered a band online, Pomplamoose. I love them. It’s two people, Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. They built their entire following online, doing really cool covers of really cool songs, accompanied by really cool videos. The covers of songs like Beyonce’s Single Ladies would draw in viewers, who would then be exposed to the bands original tracks as well, which are also really cool. They started doing live updates on camera, and really figured out how to interact directly with their audience.

It worked.

And it worked so well that Jack ended up trying to figure out how to connect fans and creators in a very real way. He created a mechanism whereby fans could actively support the work they love and the creators they love on an ongoing basis. Patreon.

So now people like me keep an eye out for cool stuff on Patreon that I want to support. There are amazing artists on there making amazing comics and cartoons. Other projects have more in common with Cartoon North, for instance, the Canadaland podcast supports itself largely via Patreon. (If you’re not aware of Canadaland, you should be. Check it out here.) We had it suggested to us a few times, and finally took the plunge last week. Since then, I’ve been inundated with helpful tips, and we’re going to do our best to be fairly active over there.

Here’s where you guys come in. If you want to help us do our thing, which I’ll talk more about in a minute, that’s where you can go to do so. You can contribute as much, or as little, as you’d like. I’ve set up a few suggested levels, but it’s all customizable, so if you want to do a dollar a month, you totally can.

We don’t have specific rewards set up yet.  We’re testing the waters and figuring out what’s important, what’s relevant, what makes the most sense for us there. But we’re already earning! We’ve got 10 patrons! It’s amazing!

There are things we want to do. The first 2000 bucks we raise will go towards the redesign of the site. That’s hugely important. We haven’t ever updated this rickety old thing thew whole time it’s been running. Time for a reno.

The next goal will put money directly into the hands of creators. We’d love to be able to create a massive Indie Fund that would pay for all kinds of interesting productions, but we’re going to start small. Micro-grants. Basically, every time we raise another 2500 dollars, we’ll give it away. We’ll give it to an independent creator who is working on something of their own. We know 2500 bucks only goes so far, but we want to support as many creators as we can, give them something to incentivize them, let them know they’re not alone, and that their work is noticed and valued. We’ll elaborate more and the actual mechanisms of that as we get closer to launching it.

We’ve got some strategic partners we’ll be announcing soon. There really seems to be a recognized need for this. I’ve talked about doing this kind of thing for a long time, but honestly, I’ve never seen people react to it this way. There’s a clear gap in this community and this is it. And if we can’t find funders to help us fill it, we’ll do it ourselves.

You’ll see more of these updates soon. There’s lots to talk about. We’ll be having that conversation here, and on twitter, and instagram, and very much on the Patreon page as well. There’s even more juicy stuff that I’ll be sharing only with patrons! That’s how Patreon works see? Extras for the cool kids club. I hope it’s worth the price of admission.

Ummm, if you like us then you better put a ring on us? Take it away guys.

 

 

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