Those of sharp eye may have noticed an unusual link in our menu at the top – “Our Patreon“. What the heck is Patreon, you ask? Patreon is essentially a private social club where fans, collectors, and trainees can interact with artists and creators of their choice, at the cost of a few dollars a month. It’s a new way of helping to support your favorite creative people by giving them a small stream of regular income each month while being rewarded for your support with a variety of benefits and goodies, as well as direct private interaction with the creators and other supporters.
In my case, I’m hoping it will provide a solution for an ongoing struggle I’ve had over the years, which is balancing the unpaid office work (forum chat, blog posts, How-To articles, web comics, critique of beginner work, etc) with the actual workshop work that pays my bills. I would like to post more articles and especially web comics, but anyone who’s followed us for a while knows that these things come only in very limited fits and spurts. I’ll have some time available one month and post a couple of comics or photo essays, then we’ll get very busy in the shop and the site will get no new non-catalog updates for the next six months. I’m hoping that if we can get a small number of regular subscriber/supporters, it will provide the financial backing to cover more of this “special interest” posting and transform it from an unpaid to a profitable expenditure of time.
In return, our Patreon supporters will have access to a regularly updated hoard of goodies, from desktop wallpapers to discount codes to new comics and posts to all sorts of design sketch work and How-To articles. Billing is monthly but subscribers can cancel at any time, as well as upgrade or downgrade their tier – This is not one of those “trap” things where you sign up and then get billed for the rest of your life, and we don’t share your personal info with anyone. Below is a summary of the membership tiers we are offering and what each one will get you.
Our most basic membership tier is the Talbert Pipes Fan. For your $5/month support, supporters will have access to our Patreon-only posts and messages, ongoing personal interaction, Talbert Pipes desktop wallpapers, early access to new web comics and Pipe Blog posts, and general private club fun. I also hope to do regular live chats with our Patreon folks, which should be a nice way to pass some time while we’re stuck indoors due to this virus lockdown.
Our next membership tier is the Talbert Pipes Fiend. $10/month support will give you all of the above plus monthly giveaway drawings for original sketches & designs, special offers on tier-exclusive pipes, site catalog discount codes when feasible, and the chance to vote on our Ligne Bretagne “Shape of the Month”. We’ll be making ten Ligne Bretagnes each month of the same shape and the Talbert Fiends will be able to vote on which shape of several contenders will be made that month.
Our next two membership tiers are more specialized. They’re available for the fans who want something extra, and for amateur carvers looking for help with their work.
First up is the Custom Webcomic tier. Three member slots will be available each month, and for $50 for that month, members can send in their own pipes to get a custom web comic made just for them. The characters of Giant Radioactive Lizards eloquently discuss Collectible Tobacco Pipes will give their own observations, comments, and jokes about your pipe and you will receive a glossy color print of your comic suitable for framing with the return of your pipe. You know you’ve always wanted to see what Bob and George think of your taste in pipes! When your comic is finished, you can easily drop down to a lower membership tier or cancel altogether if you choose. Your tier payment will help support the ongoing creation of more comic fun.
Finally, there is the Pipecarver Help tier. Your $50/month subscription will allow you access to my own How-To posts, personal workshop tips, and personalized critique and advice on your work. I get a lot of inquiries from new carvers wanting help, and while I’m not averse to giving useful advice, it does take a considerable amount of office time and just isn’t financially feasible to provide for free, so this will help compensate me for my working time and aid me in giving more quality help for new carvers. Like the web comic tier, this is limited to three pipecarver slots per month so I don’t get overloaded – I’d rather give good help to a few than middling quick tips for many.
And there we are. If you want to sign up and help support a couple of fulltime working pipecarvers, just head on over and –