As I’ve already shared, the studio has had many changes over the past six months. There have been many different threads underneath the upheaval, but an important one for the studio has been the desire to work without contending with so many business considerations.
Over the past five years, to keep the studio financially viable (and thus provide for my family), my painting-to-business time ratio has been about 50/50. The move has allowed us to now live in a less expensive house, in a province where good education for my children doesn’t come with a steep price tag, and in a town where I don’t need to drive anywhere regularly. All these things mean that our family’s needs have been reduced significantly, making it much easier for the studio to provide what is needed by selling its icons.
However, one ongoing expense remains—running the studio itself. Averaged out over a year, it costs about $1500 each month for the heat and electricity needed, paying taxes, hosting the studio’s website, buying the necessary pencils, brushes and supplies and replacing the odd thing that breaks through wear and tear. How to best find the money to deal with this monthly expense has been something I’ve been wondering about for some time.
In talking with some friends and fellow artists, I’ve been encouraged to seek out patrons to provide for these needs. Many artists are now doing so, and they’re finding that a group of supporters often enjoy the chance to be more fully a part of their artistic practice. With this in mind, I’ve created a Support page on the studio’s website, where anyone who wishes to can commit to providing a fixed amount of money towards the studio’s expenses on a monthly bases for as long as they want or are able.
I’ve also created a special Patron’s page along with this Support page. It’s here that I’m excited to give something back to those supporting the studio. Once someone becomes a patron through their support of the studio, they’re given an account to access the Studio’s Library (which is found on that Patron’s page.) Here I’m uploading high-quality digital files of new and old icons from the studio, free for personal and church use. Patron’s can expect a new icon image about once a month, and I hope these will be a blessing to them and their homes.
I hope that over the next month, enough people will sign up to be studio patrons so that for the year ahead, I can commit myself full-time to painting the icons I believe offer something necessary and good to the church and the world. If you believe the studio’s work is essential, please consider whether you can become a patron this year.