One of my ultimate goals is to use my art for good. Eventually I want to be able to donate a portion of my sales to environment protection agencies. I can only do this if I am not living paycheck to paycheck. I want people to enjoy my art, but I especially want to use it to preserve this amazing natural world.
What are Freedom Trees?
Freedom Trees is a campaign I’ve started in order to empower myself and my buyers to feel the sense of community that the artist-patron relationship creates. When you buy something from an artist, you receive something of beauty, but do you ever wonder how much of an impact you’ve made on their lives or artistic journey?
Each sale from my Freedom Tree collection goes directly towards paying off my student loans. You are essentially buying my freedom. Each sticker, each print, each original that sells helps me chip away at the seemingly impossible goal. If you’ve ever wondered whether you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, in this case you can be absolutely certain you have! It might take years, in fact I fully expect it to. But I want each person who supports me to know exactly how much of an impact it makes.
Your support will set me free.
Goal at Campaign Start: £50,000
Current remaining balance: £43,171
Updated March 26, 2019
My goal sometimes feels like the equivelant of climbing Mt. Everest. I’ve been diligently paying off my student loans since I graduated in 2010. I’ve never been late on a payment, despite paying over £500 each month on a meager artist’s salary. I’m proud of this and I take it very seriously. Sadly, the principle balance on one of my biggest loans has barely gone down since 2010 (due to refinancing fees and interest). These kinds of hurdles are frustrating (and infuriating).
Paying my student loans each month is my biggest financial hurdle as an independent artist. Despite sharing living expenses with my husband, this giant payment is my sole responsibility and almost every penny I make through streaming, Patreon, and sales goes towards it. It really does make one feel like they are trapped.
I’ve already paid off more than £15,000, but there’s still a long ways to go. It’s the reality of my existence, which is why I’m sharing it.
How You Can Help
All of my Patreons are already contributing to my goal each month! Every penny I’ve made through Patreon since joining in 2015 has gone directly towards my student loan payment.
If you aren’t into Patreon, you can also buy something from my Freedom Tree Collection or donate any amount directly to me.
If you wish to give a larger sum via direct bank transfer, please send me a message to work out the details.
What it means to me…
Time is the most valuable resource for artists, as we can only improve with diligent hours spent at the canvas. As of now, I have to put nearly all of my time into chasing commissions and sales to make enough each month. But with your help, as I reduce my overall student loan debt, my monthly payment will go down. This will allow me to pour more time and energy into providing valuable content through my stream and website, like paintalongs, tutorials, and more.
But more seriously, one of my ultimate goals is to use my art for good. Eventually I want to be able to donate a portion of my sales to environment protection agencies. I can only do this if I am not living paycheck to paycheck. I want people to enjoy my art, but I especially want to use it to preserve this amazing natural world.
2019 is the fourth year that I’ve been a self-employed artist and Twitch streamer, and I am constantly humbled by the endless generosity and friendship that my community offers. Time and again, my stream has helped me through hardships, not only financially but emotionally as well.
Some people might think I’m crazy for talking about this goal publicly, but over the years I’ve learned that if you don’t ask for help, no one will help. If you don’t make a plan, how can you expect to achieve a goal?
So to anyone who is considering helping, or has already helped, you have my heartfelt thanks. I am forever grateful to those who support my artistic journey.
Almost anyone who spends time with me knows that I have a great passion for forests. I am a practitioner of Shinrin Yoku, and have spent hundreds of hours wandering in, painting, and sketching forests. Tree drawings and paintings are my prefered subject matter, so I love the idea of combining my passion with this campaign. You can be assured that each piece of art I make for this project was created with intense joy.
One day while walking through my local forest, I was overcome by a sense of peace. This isn’t uncommon in the forest, but this time it happened to be a particularly difficult day. That morning I had received a notice that my student loan interest rate was going up again. Among other financial strains, this was like a punch in the gut. But as I stared up at the giant pines, I felt assured that I will someday overcome the seemingly impossible task of paying my student loans. That’s when I came up with Freedom Trees.
Freedom Tree Sponsor Wall
Every person who gives towards this campaign will be listed here unless they choose to remain anonymous.
As of April 2019
54 Patreons are currently contributing
£650 donation - Anonymous
£10 donation - Tonie
£145 art purchase - Anonymous
Campaign Launced February 2019