These sources helped me learn more about related products that already exist and how well they’re working.

The New Art Economy Is Here, And Artists Are Reaping The Benefits

July 2018

Article describes potential possibilities and opportunities for artists using blockchain technology: 

“Using blockchain technology, it’s now possible to create a link between a piece of physical art and a matching identity on blockchain, also known as a “digital twin”… A tiny chip is affixed to a painting or sculpture with a tamper-proof seal. To take it off would destroy the seal and the chip itself. When the chip is scanned with an app, it links to the digital identity of the artwork on blockchain.”

If developed and implemented, artists would be able to earn money on an artwork’s growing popularity by embedding royalty payments into future sales, offering fractional ownership, authenticating artworks to prevent forgeries. This solution offers a way for artists to continue getting compensated for an artwork after it’s initial sale.

The Business of Patreon 

February 2019

Article outlines Patreons business models, including valuable metrics about the Creators (artists) and the Patrons (fans). Patrons pay creators through the platform for access to exclusive content, and creators receive 90% of their contributions. Patrons name the monthly dollar amount they want to give to creators they subscribe. Because it is an open platform, most users earn $0/month and have 0 fans. Also there aren’t many ‘superstar’ artists earning +$50k/month (less than 1% of total patrons), presumably because those creators would find another service that takes less than 10%. The Patreon business model depends on the retention of their creators earning between $1k and $50k/month.

Patreon CEO says the company’s generous business model is not sustainable as it sees rapid growth 

January 2019

News article shows the rapid growth and popularity of Patreon: “There are more than 3 million patrons supporting more than 100,000 creators on Patreon” as of last year

PayPal suspended a writer’s account after she tried to pay artists who lost gigs over coronavirus (updated) 

March 2020

A woman wanted to support struggling NYC theater actors who can’t work during the Coronavirus pandemic by sending them money through Paypal. Blog post shows difficulties people run into when trying to give money to people through a service like Paypal.

Copyright Infringement, Reproduction Rights, and Artists’ Careers

Article reviews different reasons why visual artists should or shouldn’t obtain copyright for their work, or take legal action when work is being used without permission. Arguments for copyright include monetary gain and legal ownership; arguments against include exposure and publicity, as well as the time, effort, and cost of obtaining copyrights. 

Artists Making a Living With Patreon

October 2018

Author interviewed multiple Patreon users to see how they use the platform, focusing on how successful they are at gaining fans and establishing a reliable source of income. Admits that only a certain type of artist is successful on Patreon, namely those who have accrued thousands of followers on other platforms and those who can offer monthly products/services for paying subscribers. 

No One Makes a Living on Patreon

December 2017

Author shares different struggles he’s had with the platform as an artist and how hard it is to earn a living wage. “Only 1,393 — 2 percent — make the equivalent of federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or $1,160 a month, in October 2017.” He explains how it is hard for artists to transfer their existing fan base to Patreon; social media followers weren’t interested in joining another platform and becoming patrons. General problems with a membership-based business model. 

RI Musician’s Virtual Tip Jar: Help Support Local Artists

April 2020

News article tells Rhode Islanders to tip their favorite musicians who are unable to perform during the Coronavirus pandemic. “Virtual Tip Jar” is a Google Sheet where local musicians have added their Venmo/Paypal information. Shows a possible method of directly connecting fans with artists.

Categories: Arts Raiser