“If you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘No’ “— Iva Ursano
A few weeks ago, while on the phone with my Dad, I realized he had been paying attention to something I had mentioned many times in my writing. Something I thought had completely flown off his radar; how when I was younger, he and my mother were not particularly pleased with my career choices, and a specific conversation that scarred me.
To put it that way would be to simplify a lot about the context at the time
The conclusion we had from the phone call was that he meant something else, and I understood something else. Essentially, we were always on the same page and now, he’s as proud of me as I am proud of myself. He’s always been proud of me.
I worked hard to believe I could do this. Having a conversation with my father where I felt no guilt telling him I want to create for a living has been a huge milestone for me.
This is a life I can say I built with tears and blood. I will tell you about it all someday. But today…we celebrate.
I have a remote job that I love — I handle social media and communications for a non-profit that works to provide resources for people dealing with mental health, and for churches to work better to provide community needs.
Providing Hope for People with Bipolar and Depression - My Quiet Cave
We believe all people are valuable regardless of their mental health. We equip faith communities to engage mental…
We’re a non-profit — the hours are few and the pay covers only so much. My wife carries the weight of our lives right now. When I get a moment off, I work on ideas, drafts, editing episodes, recording, filming, etc.
You know the drill.
I would not be able to do what I do without my wife. Like with my parents in the past, I have had to grow and learn how to communicate and be accountable. It’s not easy — it’s totally worth it.
My first client is a friend who proposed to pay me for my editing services ( this tells you how much I still need to learn about selling).
These are the thoughts I had when I created my Patreon page:
1. What I have to offer is valuable. Skills, time, insight, etc.
2. People are willing to pay for what I have to offer.
3. To keep doing what I offer, within the context of a full life ( husband, partner, friend, son, etc), I need to sustain the costs of doing it.
In the past, Artists were funded by wealthy families ( e.g The Medici and Da Vinci) so they could dedicate their full attention to making Art. These artists called those who paid all their bills, Patrons. They received payment, lived under the protection of their patrons and essentially did nothing but work on what they were good at — Art.
Pater, Patr: Father (Latin) → Patronus: Protector of Clients, defender (Latin) → OLD FRENCH → Patron (Middle English)
Patreon is an online platform that allows people around the world to directly support their favorite creatives. There are many models creatives use, and for this first iteration, I chose to go with two main models:
You just want to support me with an amount of money that is sustainable for you to give monthly, and all you care about is that I keep doing this — working on offering value.
You want to support me AND receive something in return.
If I have ever brought you any value and you’d like to return the love or work with me, you can do that now through Patreon.
You can start supporting me from $1 (approximately CFA500). You can pledge (give) whatever amount you can sustain on a monthly basis or you can give a one time pledge. You can also stop whenever you want or modify your pledge. Each tier (package you subscribe to) is a variation of those two models I mentioned earlier.
I made a ‘funny’ video to explain why/how this would work, and there’s a piece explaining in detail what I am working on and how your money would be used.
You can watch the video on Patreon as well.
I already have 6 Patreons — friends and family — to who I am extremely grateful. When I made the page, I just needed ONE person for me to know that what I do matters.
No matter how many Patreons I get, I will keep creating, learning and looking for avenues to sustain this creative life and also share what I learn for others to improve upon. The more Patreons I get, the more I get to provide value for you.
Here’s what some people have said about the podcast:
I believe if you’ve read up to this point, you’d want to see how far this Cameroonian boy who did science is willing to go to prove that it’s possible to live from dedicated Art.
Thank you for sticking with me.
P.S: If you’d rather buy my first digital product from Bandcamp, you can do that by clicking here. It’s from $7 and you make a custom price point.