Like all artists, I hate asking people for money - unless it is in exchange for an album, a ticket.... a tangible benefit in other words.
However I can't live off albums and tickets alone (even if I am getting the occaisional life modelling gig on top of it)... and I've decided that funding is also not possible to rely on (given the current climate in arts funding for individuals and the small to medium sector). It is also difficult to rely on individual commissions because many of them are only supported by very unreliable government funding, or by private patrons (and private patrons who can afford a large commission are very rare).
So I'm giving Patreon a go. They have two models, one is a monthly payment (which I've opted for) or a "per content" created basis...
So I'm 31 now, and friends around my age generally prefer to have smaller amounts taken out of their accounts to support their culture, rather than fork out a $5k donation per year (which would be a more traditional cultural support model I reckon). Given a lot of them also don't like buying physical media, and stream music, selling albums is out too. I also hate to say it, but I often find myself also undervaluing tickets in order to ensure there will be an audience (to break even on a concert, I'd have to charge over $100 a ticket, and I'm afraid audiences just won't pay that at this stage in my career), so a subscription support model seems to make sense to me. Check out FBi Radio's support program, they've had this idea for yonks. New Matilda also offer a monthly membership vs a yearly membership.
I think it is smart to apply this model to supporting artists - if it works for publishers and broadcasters (content providers), why not content creators?
One thing that is a little iffy about Patreon is the fact they take 10%. The thing is, I could do something using paypal, but a lot of people don't trust paypal, AND there's a lot of manual entry/admin work to do with it... using Patreon, you're able to start or stop support without any issues, and they've got a lot of very helpful tools for artists to get messages and rewards. It also takes a lot of admin work out for me.
If you're reading this and you know my work, and believe in what I'm doing (artistically, or in media or as a not for profit director etc) then I'd ask you to consider making a contribution... something sustainable and manageable for you, whether that be the equivalent of a coffee a month, or something more substantial....
My agent has also joined Patreon, if you wanted to support a bunch of artists (Mary, Michael and I at this stage, but we are growing in the next month to include at least another two composers), check out the Chronology Arts Patreon page.
If you're a student, academic or artist interested in looking into the shifting business models of artists, I'd recommend giving Patreon a go yourselves! Check it out!