Hello, it's finally that time! I've wanted to start a membership program for a couple of years and have danced around the idea. All the memberships I've joined in the past were either too big, had far too much content or were really expensive. There has to be some level of financial consideration to both hosting a membership and offering one. So, I hunted around for something I could work with, yet it wasn’t until I visited an Illustration fair in Norwich last month, and met artist Frances Ives that I had a lightbulb moment of my own. I returned home and joined her Patreon, although I'd had no experience with this platform, I knew lots of artists and illustrators used it. It feels a little basic at first glance but I think it’s this quality that actually appeals. Patreon’s format is like a blog, chronological posts, with collections. It doesn’t automatically flood you with an overwhelming number of posts that you feel you must watch, or read, in order to get your monies worth. Returning to that light bulb moment I suddenly saw myself here offering an extension of what I’d been doing each month with my Creative Publications. I’d found my membership platform.
I'll be honest, I'm not a photographer with endless tricks up my sleeve or a brain full of technical knowledge. What I do confess to being is someone that is always looking for the next inspiring moment, that flash of inspiration that motivates me to work and create. Those moments in the seasons that grab my attention and speak to me. I guess I'd describe myself as only part photographer, all artist, and an overloaded creative thinker! And because I’m being honest, I’d also have to confess to having a sprinkling of uncanny witchery about me too. The way things align and come together out of nowhere, coincidences that seem beyond the random. These are occurrences that make me realise I'm not on this journey alone, there are natural forces at play in some way or another (oh, goose bumps).
So, what can you expect from my Patreon membership? I can tell you what I won't be including, there definitely won't be any tech reviews or product placements or sponsorships. There might be the odd 'watch me process' video but generally I see this membership as a place of gathering and exploring ideas. I have a lot going on in my head (possibly undiagnosed ADHD), generally most of its complete nonsense, then on the other hand some of its pretty insightful! (I surprise myself).
The plan is to start with where I get my inspiration from and use the months Creative Publication as a stepping stone to new ideas. I'll post a talk-through video each month along with a new creative brief from which you can work (if you wish). I welcome anything, including other forms of visual media, like painting, sketching, design work, textiles, embroidery, 3D and anything that comes from the source of inspiration.
I’ve not met a photographer who only takes photos! I’ve not met an artist who only paints. As creatives we move between disciplines, from one outlet to another. Sometimes I forage on walks, collecting small stones, feathers, seed pods, cones and twigs, in fact all kinds of natural things. I take them home and arrange them on the kitchen dresser or the garden table. This too is an art form! I'm creating a small installation that's a reflection of my experience on my walk. It pays homage to the things I've selected and those I've chosen to leave behind. We're all creative in small ways that all too often go unnoticed. Connecting to even our basic creativity is therapeutic for the soul, and it’s important to our mental wellbeing. I also connect to colour work and palettes, and in the winter months I’m drawn to textile art, embroidery and sewing projects.
I can’t offer you a glimpse into who I am as a visual artist without including all the aspects of what drives me.
As a Patron I want to connect to you, not so that you go off and copy what I do, but so that you can leave inspire to connect with your own creativity. Patreon offers a space away from the distractions of other social media posts, adverts and sponsorships. They have an App so you can still access your membership via your phone or other devices. It’s also easy to cancel at any time. You don’t have to get in touch with me to do it. I can also do the same, I can pause for a month if I need a break and you won’t get charged for that month. Isn’t it great that they’ve thought about things like this, it seriously takes the pressure off. Also, every time I post you can choose (in your settings) to be notified by email so you can be sure not to miss anything.
However much I'd like to invite you into my garden studio for a chat about seasonal creativity, it’s not really possible. But I can invite you to join me here on my Patreon. I really hope you’ll join me. Just remember you’re joining me at the start so there isn’t a massive library of posts to explore, they’ll come as we work through the seasons together.