Artists beautify our world for free, and sometimes people want to show their appreciation by giving them money. Even if an artwork is paid for and an artist is remunerated, the life of an artwork extends far past that initial transaction. First, artworks are copied and redistributed in many ways, usually without any more monetary gain for the artist. Second, artworks on public display are consumed for free. Rather than trying to come up with new products or services for artists to sell to their fans, I want artists to be able to easily receive money from people who appreciate their work and desire to support them financially. If there was a way for artists to receive monetary gifts from fans, I believe they would not only be encouraged to, but also be financially able to create more art for everyone to enjoy.

Objective of Research:

Research different ways that artists connect with their fans directly or attempt to capitalize on the general popularity or reach of their art. 

Core Questions:

How can artists get paid by fans of their work? 

Research Methods:

Secondary Research and Interviews

I mostly want to research creative ways artists have connected with fans to earn money to gauge the scope of possibilities. There’s a lot of platforms and services where money is exchanged, so I want to find as much about these examples as I can.

I believe it makes sense to analyze Patreon because it can offer insight on the success of a membership-based business model. With Patreon, fans decide how much money they want to pay a creator on a monthly basis. Usually, creators give exclusive content to their patrons in exchange for their monthly pledges. However, the platform can be used by creators without content (gifts, rather than sales). 

I may also benefit from researching blockchain technology and art. Developers are looking for ways to monitor when digital images are reproduced and distributed online. Although the intent is to prevent copyright infringement, I could learn from how they’re approaching the problem of art’s circulation online.  

Participant Characteristics:

Ideal interviewees are visual artists who have publicly accessible artworks and are willing to receive unsolicited money. I would also prefer the artists to have a history of trying to earn money from their art as a way of filtering the working artists from the hobby artists. I expect working artists to be more familiar with the general problems around artist compensation.


Facebook groups for artists, and LinkedIn members employed as ‘Artist’


Tuesday, April 14Thursday, April 16Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 26Monday, April 27
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Categories: Arts Raiser