Haidle, who creates lush figurative illustrations, sees Drip as a long game in terms of seeing returns. “I didn’t want the Drip page to detract from other projects I have going on, but I also realized that I had been wanting to offer tutorials and art education-type stuff,” she notes. “I thought a good compromise would be to post three items every Sunday, on a weekly schedule.”
She also keen to use it as a way to find out who her most engaged followers are. “Since I’m doing a lot of long-term projects, I thought it would be a good way to find out who really wants to hear about the release dates of graphic novels, comics, books,” Haidle says. “So this way I can send something straight to their inbox and they aren’t going to miss it.”
While Kickstarter is publicizing the launch of the platform, it’s up to the creatives themselves to get the word out and build up their subscription base—which is best suited to artists who already have an eager online following. (Soda has over 68,000 Instagram followers, for instance; Martin has around 151,000.)
Brooklyn-based artist Sean J Patrick Carney likewise turned to his existing community, through email and social media, when launching his Drip. He’s using the platform for his writing and podcast project Humor and the Abject
, which delves into the intersection of comedy and contemporary art; the podcast, which launched in June, features interviews with comedically minded artists like
He’s taken to plugging his Drip page on the podcast, encouraging listeners to subscribe and gain access to bonus episodes and other content, like drawings. “Instead of reading ads for mattresses, subscription food boxes, or fashionable underwear, I get to treat every podcast episode like its own sound sculpture,” he says, “and I create ridiculous satirical sponsorship spots and psychedelic radio theater.”
That’s not to say that there aren’t kinks to work out with the platform. Multiple artists note improvements that Kickstarter may want to implement. First and foremost, there’s currently no way for creatives and subscribers to engage in discussion, or for subscribers to share their feedback.
“Right now it feels a little bit like I’m shouting into an empty void,” Soda says. “I would really would like to see a comment or messaging feature so that I can actually talk to people.” That would allow for a space for critique or to test out content before it goes public.
“There’s a potential for artists and subscribers to be almost like collaborators on the site,” Martin adds.
Other possible improvements: an easier way for subscribers to choose how long they want to support an artist for (rather than the “indefinite” default that current exists), as well as the option for a “pay what you wish” sponsorship.
Marketos notes that new features and bug fixes are in the pipeline ahead of the 2018 public launch, which does not have a hard date yet. “When we go wide in the world, my goal isn’t in terms of how many people want to be on Drip, it’s just that it’s the right tool, and a good tool, for the people who do want to use it, and that we can continue to defend the integrity of the creators,” she explains.
At this early stage, where the majority of contemporary artists on Drip are currently making in the $100–$300 per month range, Drip seems to be poised to offer artists, at the very least, a small stream of extra cash, which can also be a source of encouragement. “Right now, it’s encouraging to see people signing up and to be getting a little bit of ‘walking around money’ each month,” Carney says.
“Overall, the more that we have these kinds of platforms, the better,” Martin offers. “You can give three dollars a month, or even one dollar, and that little bit really helps. You don’t have to be very wealthy—you don’t have to be in this art bubble—to go out and support artists.