Some of you may be wondering why I ask for (and so greatly appreciate!!) monthly pledges through Patreon. Paint can't be that expensive... can it?
What if I told you that paint is the least of my expenses? There are countless costs, big and small, involved with running a ministry that make your support so crucial for tiSpark moving forward.
Besides my time, here is a list of the things I need to keep tiSpark running month after month (plus a few of the things that would be great to have someday):
Like I mentioned before, this may be one of my smallest expenses, but I still need to regularly buy paint, artboards, gesso, varnish, and brushes. Especially brushes. I am really hard on brushes.
Wishlist: An adjustable stool so that painting isn't so hard on my back. Most of the time I'm hunched over like an old goblin.
Licenses & Fees
These are probably the biggest expenses in maintaining this ministry—hosting, virus protection, email, and domain fees to keep my website up and running every year (and recently I was forced to upgrade to a bigger plan or else get shut down)... plugins for my online shop... video and photo editing licenses and applications (including the full Adobe Suite)... credit card fees that take a percentage of every transaction—it's freaking endless. It seems like every other week I have to pay for yet another annual subscription for some service that will keep everything running smoothly.
Wishlist: I would like to have a subscription to a music licensing service to avoid copyright claims and like... getting sued and stuff like that.
I recently ran into some technical issues with my old Nikon and had to invest in a new camera system. Besides the camera itself, I've also had to buy a lens, four batteries, two memory cards, an intervalometer app, and multiple accessories just to keep doing what I'm doing.
Wishlist: Battery grip/external battery so I don't have to replace the battery halfway through a shot when recording time-lapse videos.
Computer & Software
I was able to upgrade to a more powerful computer a few years ago and so far it has served me well! Unfortunately, since I've entered the world of video editing, I've run into issues as my computer struggles to handle the much larger load. Soooo sloooowwww. Exporting a 3-minute time-lapse video can take upwards of 5 hours.
Wishlist: More RAM. Pleeeeeaaaaasse.
Very rarely do I pay for advertising, relying mostly on my followers to interact and share my posts. *hint hint nudge nudge* However, algorithms are becoming increasingly brutal, forcing creators to pay up or fade away. The whole system is rigged, man.
Upcoming: Christmas ad campaign.
And lastly, there are the expenses that come with carrying and selling products: printing, packaging, shipping, display, etc. Fortunately, I've been able to make do with a very small operation thus far, printing locally and packaging the prints myself at home. That said, dreams of expanding my product line are often put on hold due to the massive up-front cost of ordering in bulk.
Wishlist: Hardcover journal line.
This list is only a glimpse into what goes into making a ministry like this possible. It does not even come close to capturing the hours, prayers, tears, and hard work that go into every single painting and post and video. But so long as I feel God calling me to do this (or it is physically and/or financially impossible for me to continue), I will persevere in doing this work that I love so much, trusting that all the expense and heartache and effort is worth it if this ministry is reaching the souls that it needs to... even if that number were only one.
Be a part of this story...
Before anything else: please pray for me. Pray that God will give me the clarity to discern his will and the strength to live it out. Pray that I will be able to find the balance between work and family. Pray that these paintings and writings will reach the hearts that they need to so that those souls can encounter God in the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. Pray, pray, pray.
Second, if you are able to support tiSpark financially, please consider making a monthly contribution on my Patreon page. Pledges as small as $1/month receive FREE stuff, including bookmarks, prints, journals, and even a custom painting. You will also have access to exclusive content, such as promo codes, sneak peeks, early access to tutorial videos, and more! These monthly pledges help cover basic operating expenses and give me a budget for how much time I can invest each month into new paintings/videos.
Lastly, SPREAD THE WORD! If a painting or post has touched you, please share on social media or by email. Leave comments and tag your friends! Your involvement is directly effective in building a new culture of Beauty in a society that desperately needs it. Because that is ultimately why I am doing this: I believe that art is a powerful way to communicate the love of our Creator. It can speak where words are not allowed, can penetrate the hardest of hearts. Please join me in this mission!
Thank you to my Patrons
I just want to give a HUGE shoutout to my amazing patrons who have been so wonderfully generous! Your love and support have been a blessing to me in more ways than I can find words for. ❤️
GOD BLESS all of you!!!