I work in the nonprofit community, where we love the support of monetary donations. I try to give back to causes that I care about every year. Then not too long ago, I realized there was another community that needed support: artists. How many of us have pursued our own art and thought “what if” it could be a profession, and maybe even gotten out the calculator to see if it’s feasible, only to realize that we couldn’t make rent or lease payments based on what we’d make through selling our work.
In comes the now-well-known Patreon and Kickstarter, which are both places where I can do my small part of backing artists who hopefully can worry a little less about the bottom line. In no particular order, here are a few that I support(ed):
A Canadian speculative fiction publication, Augur Magazine pushed for funding in 2020 to ensure future publication. I have truly enjoyed stories in this magazine, and I believe it’s essential to support online publications that publish science fiction and fantasy — and those that pay.
AFP is one of the original artists who dared to ask their fans for support, most famously raising a large sum to fund her solo album in 2012. She then took the Internet by storm via her viral Ted Talk, which she turned into a book, which I highly recommend. She still supports much of her work via Patreon, where donors such as myself drop a dollar or more into the virtual tip jar every time she creates a very cool “thing.”
Ironically, I don’t support Amanda because I adore her music (I do like it – I’m just no superfan). Instead, I support her because I think she is amazing and admire what she’s doing to speak up for art and artists.
Mary Robinette Kowal
The prolific science fiction author, puppeteer, and leader of the Science Fiction Writers of America Mary Robinette Kowal is also a natural instructor, and through her Patreon, she offers monthly Zoom courses on elements of story writing. I’ve learned so much about fiction by hearing her talk about plot structure, character, and much more.
St. Nell’s Humor Writing Residency
Support womxn humor artists? Yes, please. Check out the Kickstarter.