Blog / 2019 / The 2 Kinds of Art Patron

July 1, 2019

There are two kinds of art patrons:

  1. Those who are buying art you’ve already made.
  2. Those who are supporting your future art.

They’re hard to tell apart if you only look at what they do, because both kinds tend to do the same thing: they give you money for your art. The difference is in their motive.

The first kind of patron is after an object, something to beautify their lives. They are wonderful people, and I adore them for loving art enough to buy it.

That said, the second kind is on a whole other level. They are after something more than a pretty thing. They want in on your creativity. They want to make it possible for you to make more art.

Both kinds are rainbow-filled unicorns pressed into human form, but the latter is the sort of patron that can stomp their glittery hoof and transform an artist’s life.

process images for a colorful crosshatched painting of a black woman

These special patrons might do something like what Smiley (pictured above and below) has done by commissioning me to paint eleven portraits for a book she is writing, they might buy art I have already made, or they might support my art with monthly microdonations on Patreon.

a colorful crosshatched painting of Smiley from Jobs with Justice
Gwenn Seemel
Smiley
2019
acrylic on panel
14 x 11 inches

The point is not about what they do, but how they do it. A patron becomes special when they imagine a future for your creativity.

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