Tag Archives: Patreon for artists

Live painting during A(RT)ffair at Ludwig Berlin!

Suzanne Forbes painting Natasha Enquist at Ludwig on Aug 19 2017 photo by Xushaw

Suzanne Forbes painting Miss Natasha Enquist at Ludwig on Aug 19 2017. photo by Xushaw

SO much appreciation to Suzanne Wegh and Natascha Artworx for creating our wonderful art event at Ludwig Berlin this past weekend.

We had new works from all three of us, live painting (me) and drawing (by lots of cool women), modelling by Miss Natasha Enquist, live body-painting by Natascha Artworx on Alfred Ladylike as human canvas, a gorgeous performance by Leo Gold, and music by NanseaBerlin.

Artffair at Ludwig Aug 19 2017

Clockwise from left, curator Suzanne Wegh, Natascha Artworx in front of works from her “Selfie” series, me painting Miss Natasha Enquist, my husband studies my portrait of Rah Hell.

It was so much fun! I was so happy to be able to book electro-accordion chanteuse Miss Natasha Enquist as our model; she is an extraordinary performer and one of the best life models I’ve ever known. This outfit was inspired by her rad look when she rode on a float at Christopher Street Day Berlin! She kicked it up a notch with the creepy white latex gloves!

Miss Natasha Enquist seated at Ludwig Aug 23 2017 by Suzanne ForbesMy colleague and fellow art instructor at ESDIP Berlin Omar Jaramillo came and made art!

He is a remarkable watercolorist and painting teacher; I had never seen his tonal work before and was dazzled by these lovely wash drawings. Check his Insta for more beauty!

Omar Jaramillo and his drawings of Natasha Enquist at Ludwig Aug 19 2017Omar Jaramillo and his drawings of Natasha Enquist at Ludwig Aug 19 2017

Omar Jaramillo and his drawings of Natasha Enquist at Ludwig Aug 19 2017

My beloved genius Daria Rhein came and made jaw-dropping drawings of Miss Enquist, on her new ipad Pro thing- I had no idea work like this could be created digitally.

Click over to Daria’s Instagram to see more!

Miss Natasha Enquist and Alfred Ladylike drawn by Daria Rhein Aug 19 2017

Miss Natasha Enquist and Alfred Ladylike drawn by Daria Rhein Aug 19 2017

I taught a quick lesson on how to do a gesture drawing, and made vegan treats! We raised 90 euros in our donation jar, not bad!

The house was packed, a wonderful representation of queer Berlin, and several of my former drawing students came and drew, how lovely! Photo of me and new drawer Ursula by artist Xushaw who I know from ESDIP’s monthly Life Drawing nights.

Artffair at Ludwig Berlin Aug 18 2017Alfred Ladylike posed for Natascha Artworx as her human canvas.

Natascha was wearing an amazing art dress she had customized and painted. The person who owned the dress was getting divorced and planned to burn it, and it got turned into art instead!

Natascha Artworx painting Alfred Ladylike at Ludwig Aug 22 2017 by Suzanne Forbes

Miss Natasha Enquist posing and Alfred Ladylike as human canvas for Natasha Artworx Aug 19 2017

Miss Natasha Enquist posing and Alfred Ladylike as human canvas for Natascha Artworx, Aug. 19 2017

30 minute portrait of Miss Natasha Enquist by Suzanne Forbes and Fluid Gallery at Ludwig Berlin Aug 10 2017

30 minute portrait of Miss Natasha Enquist by Suzanne Forbes and the Fluid Gallery at Ludwig Berlin, Aug. 19 2017

The finished 30 minute portrait of Miss Natasha Enquist, above.

We gave out free raffle tickets and raffled it off at the end of the night! Free art! And there was even a secret surprise performance by Alfred! Her Donut Heart bandmate Rah Hell was represented in portraiture by both myself and Natascha, and performed the raffle ticket drawing. What a heavenly evening.Miss Natasha Enquist and Alfred Ladylike drawn by Suzanne Forbes Aug 19 2017 Ludwig Berlin

My infinite thanks to Suzanne Wegh and Natascha Artworx for managing this event. If you’d like to help support their creative work, here’s Suzanne’s Patreon and Natascha’s Patreon. Visit Miss Natasha Enquist’s Spotify here and Donut Heart on bandcamp here.

30 minute painting of Miss Natasha Enquist painted by Suzanne Forbes at Ludwig Berlin Aug 19 2017

Patron Portrait Party!!!

So many beloved Friend-Muse-Patrons came to Berlin to celebrate my 50th birthday!

J by Suzanne Forbes Jan 8 2016I got to make portraits of lots of loved ones, it was glorious.Icka by Suzanne Forbes Dec 29 2016

For me making portraits of people I care about is a way of recording love, making it eternal.anandamayi and alexis by Suzanne Forbes Jan 6 2016

To have these wonderful people in our home and make art of them was the best birthday gift I could possibly have imagined.
neysa and ramon by suzanne forbes jan 7 2017

How Patreon has changed my life as an artist.

Suzanne Forbes is on PatreonYou might not think 400 bucks a month would make much of a difference. You’d be wrong.

Last summer there were some scary times. Moving to Berlin cost us much more than we imagined or planned for, despite my years of careful planning. There were unexpected disasters. In May I had to go on twitter and beg my community for help to pay for my meds, because we weren’t on German health insurance yet and were paying hundreds of euros out of pocket each month for asthma meds, antidepressants, and thyroid meds.

Several beloved friends (also artists) strongly suggested I get a Patreon set up so I’d have a reliable source of income, and pledged to support me.

Before that, I knew about Patreon and in fact already supported several friends on it, but I was like, but what if no-one cares about my work? What if it’s a humiliating failure? I couldn’t support myself as a freelance artist in the Bay Area; doesn’t that prove people don’t want the kind of work I do? WIth the encouragement of my friends and the crisis fresh in my mind, I went ahead and did it anyway. And people signed up! The feeling was incredible.

I felt like, these people think my life’s work has merit. They want me to be able to do it AND buy groceries.

And in Berlin, 400 bucks buys a LOT of groceries. I set my Patreon up as a per-piece of content subscription, so I can do as much or as little work as I want. I know how much money I’ll bring in based on how much I work. Each month, the money has been incredibly helpful, even as our situation has grown more secure and stable.

Each month, the money comes in at the same time- I can budget with it!

I have never had anything like that ever in my life as an artist, except when I worked for DC on Star Trek. When I was a courtroom artist, whether I would work on a given day was completely unpredictable. (It depended on witnesses, juror selection etc. ) As a portrait artist, getting commissions is completely, entirely random, and the timeline for finishing portraits includes complex scheduling. When I taught drawing on Capitol Hill, it was only a supplement to my day job at Dean&DeLuca, so the money didn’t impact my budget much.

SImply to know that there is money I can count on, I can measure, for my work, is so nurturing.

Original eyeball drawing by Suzanne Forbes 2015I can use Patreon flexibly, based on my (teeny) other income as an artist. Last month I was crazy busy with unpacking our stuff from the shipping container, so I didn’t post as much.

This month, I’m posting more because the class I’m teaching pays only about 50€ per session (it’s a small class).

I can go ahead and teach a small class, because I know that I can use Patreon posts to develop the course material and post it as tutorials.

Head construction by Suzanne Forbes 2016Like the “Let’s Talk about Skulls” post which is the foundation for the first class, which I’ll be teaching tonight. The trip to ESDIP, where I teach, is about 2.5 hours round-trip, so I can use the time on the U-Bahn to draw more course materials.

Knowing this makes me feel so supported, so safe, so valued. I can’t thank you enough for the way this has changed how I work.

Your support has made an incredible difference in my self-esteem and peace of mind.

Thank you, and I love you.

Sales Pitch: As my Patreon has grown, I’ve been able to post less if I need to take more time for each post. This is a big deal for an artist who is disabled and has issues with having enough spoons.

If my Patreon grows just a little more, I can start doing some video tutorials. That might mean I only post once or twice that particular month, but the content would be amazing and useful to so many people! And eventually, I might have a Youtube channel, which would also help me buy groceries!