After some deliberation and planning, I have decided to create my own Patreon page for Sleevehead. The timing seems right to join a popular platform connecting creators and their supporters. Patreon is also one of the most effective platforms to directly support creators like myself.
Conceptually, Patreon is quite similar to what I am doing for Sicilian tailors and artisans on Sleevehead for years. Both Sleevehead and Patreon adhere to the principle of “paying it forward” and making it easier for creators to connect to their audience.
In other words, think of Sleevehead and Sicilian Reserve as related and overlapping activities – an artisanal Venn diagram. Patreon is simply adding another overlapping circle to this Venn diagram and offers an way for you to support my core activities which in turn support the people (i.e. artisans) I support.
My core set of activities is twofold. First, I develop, write and publish both print and digital content under the Sleevehead brand. However, as a content creator for Sleevehead, my approach is radically different from my peers. I would describe my content as “organic content”. The analogy with “farm-to-table” is deliberate. I try to keep my content as free and untainted as possible from advertising and algorithmic additives when I move from subject matter to your screen.
Moreover, I keep it free from conflicts of interest. This means I do not accept any display advertising on my website or related media. Nor do I accept paid sponsorships or collaborations. I also write 100 percent of Sleevehead content. The reason for all of this? I wish to preserve the integrity of every word and image published under my name.
On a commercial level, I strive to be treated as a normal, paying customer and never ask for special discounts or freebies. I do this to preserve my freedom and independence. Of equal importance, I do this to support the artisans.
Second, I also develop projects and platforms to connect artisans and their supporters such as my Sicilian Reserve and Sleevehead Forum projects. At this stage, my goal is to protect the artisans’ margin as I encourage them to connect to new markets and customers. This means I have thus far borne the bulk of costs (nearly 100 percent) in organizing and sponsoring visiting tailors from Sicily. Moreover, if there are any unanticipated costs, these come out of my pocket not the artisans’.
In sum, my approach and methods have little in common with today’s influencers and bloggers. This is why I am on Patreon.
If you support me on my new Patreon page, you will support my efforts to encourage and develop Sicilian tailors and other emerging artisans. For me this means proceeding with integrity, preserving independence of voice and supporting the development of artisans.
Last but not least, the most direct means of artisanal support is of course becoming a patron of the artisans themselves. That also happens to be the ultimate destination I’ve always had in mind after completing my own Sicilian journey back in 2011. My thought then still holds true today – these tailors deserve more patrons.
Many thanks, Juhn