A Question of Money


As time goes on, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep progress on the website and handle my own day to day, so the blogging has diminished and even time to research and start work on the process of education and material access — which leads into research and oddly money — fades. To that end I am looking at two forms of outreach and resource gathering:

My skimmer skull in skimming style, from the Redbubble capture of how it looks on a shirt.

Redbubble has been my go-to guide for trying to make money, but it’s not been very good at it. People seem unwilling to spend as such. I’ve been trying to push myself on my art to produce more quality work that’s worth putting on phones, walls, or even pillows and clothes, and this has included color work that is harder for me to produce but ultimately — I hope — worth it to you.

Leaellynsaura smGlobidens sm

The other avenue has been … Patreon. I haven’t started anything, because I’m not sure it’s ultimately worth it. I want to support the site, and give me the ability to start helping relieve my own external pressures, which shall soon become more complicated.

Patreon is a flexible site that will allow me two things: a casual revenue stream that will go towards upkeep in a way, providing me a means to shunt aside costs I incur on the site by spending time writing posts, producing art exclusively for it, and producing work worthy of seeds of research.

Secondly, it allows me to present products and fund them that I might not normally be able to, such as a book. As an artist with some “radical” ideas on reconstructing animals, as well as an overt and over-the-top fondness for some groups–

*cough*OVIRAPTOROSAURS*cough*

— whether this would help promote that, whether you’d pay into that to see the research done and the book made, is up to you.

Oviraptorosauria_Snouts_by_Qilong

Eventually, funding through Patreon can be used as a source for technology to improve my products. Currently, everything is hand drawn, scanned, and then rendered digitally and cleaned up there. My mouse-fu is pretty weak and the hand shakes a bit, so it’s harder for me to control the digital brush (but I manage). Getting a tablet self-funded would allow better work — even if the dream is for a Cintiq monitor….

Whether my work is marketable, or my research worthwhile — mind you, all research will be aimed at OA, I shouldn’t want to try to make money off it, just my pretty pictures — is a matter of what the consumer or people interested in my ideas think it’s worth. Writing educational or artistic guide material one the side, as a resource, would be a great way for me to do this, and this can be done through sites such as Lulu without too much fuss.

So …

What do you think?

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4 Responses to A Question of Money

  1. “Hit and miss” doesn’t begin to describe my experiences with Redbubble. I’ve had my account for well over a year, and all of my seven sales came in the same fortnight, around Christmas. If I’m honest, I expected a little more from it! I’ve used Lulu on one occasion, and I found it very straightforward.

  2. owenhoyanli says:

    Good luck, Jaime. Have you looked into Etsy? I know it’s probably more suited to people who produce jewelry etc., but perhaps there’s an avenue there? Sorry to hear about the difficult financial situation. I for one definitely appreciate this blog, and what you offer here in terms of information and interpretation. In my limited experience as an illustrator, I’d say a tablet should definitely be high on your priority list – particularly if you’re accustomed to doing art/illustrating the traditional way. You’ll find outputs to be faster, changeability greater, and the end products much easier to ‘move around’ and customise for your own purposes (i.e. different T-shirts etc.). Also, I was wondering if you’d approached anyone who works with the taxa we don’t see in your blog? i.e. insects, bryozoans, corals etc.? If the funding for science where you are is anywhere near as dismal as it is in Australia at the moment, then that suggestion is unlikely to be very helpful, but it is a thought. Working in fisheries and marine sciences, I know of a few people who’ve been describing new species lately. You’re obviously very capable and (I assume) have an enormous portfolio by now, which can’t hurt when making a pitch. Again, good luck!

  3. Chase says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! :D

    • Chase says:

      By the way, have you shown these to any major institutions? I am sure some colleges and/or museums would love to get prints from you to use for shirt designs!

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