Hi and welcome back to my website.

Today I have a few important announcements that I’d like to share with you so without further ado, let’s get to it.

No More Patreon

I launched and announced the patronage program on my website earlier this year. Despite the fact it’s been only 6 months that I ran my Patreon page, I decided to close my Patreon account. There are several reasons for my decision:

  1. Patreon is a U. S. based company and as such, it is not as beneficial to use their services for creators outside the United States.
  2. Patreon uses two services for collecting money, one of which is Paypal and their processing fees are taking around 40% of my current pledges.
  3. I noticed a very slow growth pattern of my Patreon base. I would gladly wait, I am patient like that, if it wasn’t for the other two reasons.

I would be okay with any one of these issues by themselves but when they add up like this I don’t think this makes a lot of sense long term. As you can see, when Patreon fees, EU tax and Paypal fees add up, the majority of pledges are divided among Patreon, the government and Paypal. I am happy to pay for services I use but I am afraid it doesn’t make sense to do so in this case.

And so, effective immediately, I’m disabling my Patreon account, accepting no more pledges from the month of November 2017 onwards.

Once again, I thank you, my current Patrons for helping out. I very much appreciate it and hope you’ll keep enjoying what I have to offer in the future and perhaps use a different way to help out.

No More Ads

Despite having several thousands of visitors monthly, my website ads generate so little money that I cannot even pay for my hosting services. Ads are not my cup of tea but I introduced them on my blog to find out if they can help me cover at least the premium features such as SSL security or expanded hosting space for media. They can absolutely not, and so there are not going to be any more ads on my website. I’ll gradually phase them out so for some time you may see one or two here and there still.

You are still going to see ads on my YouTube videos though. Ads on YouTube are different. They produce just as low of an income in my case but they function in the YouTube environment, that is outside my website, therefore there is no clutter and distraction when you view my website and I decided to keep them in at this time.

I researched this issue and found out that channels similar to mine but with even lower views generate much higher revenue and this again, similarly to Patreon, is a location issue. Were I located in the U. S. my revenue would comfortably cover my basic hosting expenses. This is an interesting phenomenon that I noticed. That’s why I am looking for a different way to monetize my content.

Introducing Premium Content

Now we come to the final piece of news: premium content. I have been running my website for some years now. The first serious iteration of my website was registered under the name DanielNovotnyArt.com which was substituted nearly one year ago by the current domain name AtelierNovotny.com. The change clearly suggests my intentions of turning my website into an educational platform, hence the name “Atelier”. I have focused on building a very responsive and accessible portal with a strong base content that is provided freely to anyone. I have failed to foresee, however, how far will this experience take me and how much will the website grow in a mere year. Growth brings more expenses and the time has come to compensate for them in order to keep myself balanced.

In order to keep my efforts sustainable, I hoped to fund my website from the sales of my artwork. I soon realized that the majority of people visiting my website are not collectors. Since my website is dedicated to education of beginning painters, enthusiasts and art students, it is them who are the base community of Atelier Novotny. They don’t necessarily need to collect artwork just yet. They work hard on their own. And I can relate – I was there myself. The jump from admiring art for the purpose of learning from it and improving one’s own work, to looking at art from the perspective of a collector is quite substantial. I do not expect to sell my work to you, my students. Throughout the years there have been those who did appreciate my work to the extent of becoming collectors as well as students and to them I am very grateful. But those occasional sales don’t provide enough to balance the expenses that this effort generates.

As you now know, utilizing advertisements on my website turned out the be a futile venture. The amount of money generated through advertisement (both web and YouTube) is ridiculously minute and since I can’t even control the ads you see, there’s even more reasons to disregard this as an option. Patreon didn’t pan out either. I was excited about the prospect and was 100% on board with the concept, but the practice turned out to be quite different.

And so I’ve realized that the time has come to figure out a way how both me and you can continue our journey. Through my articles I grow as much as you do. The articles in fact record my journey. I, however, take extra care to be very articulate so not only I benefit but you, the public, can benefit too. I do not do this as my business. I have a 9-5 job and consider my website to be my second job. I am very much at peace with that. The only reason I explain this is not that I feel sorry for myself, nor do I feel guilty, but because I want you to understand the action I take.

The question is, therefore, how do I ask for money? I have built my website with a singular vision: to share the best and most profound advice I can give and help anyone interested to gain a no-nonsense understanding of art and painting, thus becoming a better artist, a better man – consequently creating a better world. My mission and hope has been, since the very beginning, to provide high quality, high value content, unrestricted and uncensored. You know I am all about the bigger picture. I genuinely want you to become a better artist. I don’t hold back. Many of the topics I discuss go so in-depth that they’re seldom discussed in such lengths by other instructors. And I know many of you recognize and appreciate the fact. And that is still how I want my website to be in the future. I am not going to limit the content that is already available on my website for free. What’s more I am going to continue in my efforts to provide the best possible content for free. However, my plan is to occasionally release a “premium” article that is going to be available after purchase.

Right now, to test the waters, I’m going to release a special video demonstration once a month. The video will be free to view as they are now but the comprehensive lesson is going to be available for purchase and not available free. I don’t have my pricing figured out yet but I’m not going to go overboard, that I promise. I believe, however, that these lessons will be of great value to those of you serious about painting, wanting to improve and learn.

What it all boils down to is providing you with an incentive for your support towards me. Thus far you could support me financially if you decided to do so through patronage or donation but I understand that there was little since the content was offered to you free of charge anyway. And so, hopefully, this will be more of an equalized proposition, sort of a trade if you will.

I have this all worked out to the best of my ability, but I realize that the most important thing is your opinion. Please speak up, I really want to know what you think. Would you be interested in supporting me this way? Would you like to see any specific topics? Share your thoughts down below, let me know if this rubs you the wrong way or if you can’t wait to get your hands on the premium content. Ultimately, my website is as much about you as it is about me and your opinion is of paramount importance to the direction I want my site to take.

-Daniel

4 Comments

  1. David Kreinberg November 6, 2017 at 07:14

    Hi Daniel,
    I’ve been following (and very much enjoying) your site for several months now. My immediate attraction to your working method is that it is very much in line with the Frank Webb/Robert Wood style of watercolor painting. My favorite teacher and author is Mr. Webb, and I can see a big influence he may have had in your style of shape making and other aspects of your art.

    I would certainly be will to contribute funds to help you continue to give your excellent instruction and step-by-step method that you’ve shown over the years. Please continue your efforts, and I will certainly do my part in supporting you.

    Keep up your great work!!

    Reply
    1. Daniel Novotny Daniel Novotny November 6, 2017 at 11:47

      Hi David,

      You are correct in that Frank Webb’s work and teaching had a huge impact on my artistic development. His teaching really opened my eyes to things I didn’t know existed. So nice to hear you too consider him your favorite author and teacher!

      I’m happy to hear you’d be willing to support my efforts – I very much appreciate it!

      -Daniel

      Reply
  2. Sharon November 3, 2017 at 15:41

    Hello, From my perspective, your plan is a good one. I love to watch you paint and can learn a bit by doing so. However, your explanations and thoughts would definitely make the experience more useful to me as a learning painter.

    I would pay a small amount for the explanations and thoughts, but I could not afford expensive lessons, even if they are valuable to me.

    What is expensive? I don’t know. What I can afford may not be what you need to charge. Perhaps you have a scale in mind or perhaps you could do a trial of charges to see how your viewers respond.

    I wish you all the best and hope your plan is successful for you and for us!
    Thank you,
    Sharon

    Reply
    1. Daniel Novotny Daniel Novotny November 5, 2017 at 18:59

      Hi Sharon,

      I appreciate your sharing your thoughts. This is just a test run. I’ll make sure to keep providing great content outside the premium articles just as I’ve always done. I’m not a business. This is really just to help support the run of the website with an occasional “premium” lesson.

      -Daniel

      Reply

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