“I never embarked in any one thing to which I have so entirely devoted myself, and to which I have devoted so much time, thought, and labour, and on the success of which I have staked so much reputation, and to which I have so largely committed myself and those who were disposed to place faith in me.” — Isambard Kingdom Brunel
There have been many pivotal moments on this journey. The most important of all was launched a year ago today — my Patreon page.
There’s one simple fact to know about that turning point: I wouldn’t have been able to continue making The Lifeboat Station Project if it wasn’t for the followers who rallied to help me in those moments.
After years of hard graft and a rollercoaster of ups and downs, this was a thrilling moment. I’d finally found a way that allowed my followers to support me and for them to be rewarded in return for their kindness.
Throughout this post, you’ll find a short video and a handful of photographs— all things that happened in 2018 and wouldn’t have existed without the ongoing support of my Patrons.
Read on to find how you can become a Patron too, as well as other ways to support the journey…look out for the ‘With Courage’ Keyring offer too!
A short film by the RNLI to celebrate reaching halfway
THE STORY SO FAR
I couldn’t have summed up my approach and commitment to The Lifeboat Station Project more succinctly than Mr. Brunel at the top of this post.
If you’re not familiar with the story that lead to the launch of my Patreon page, here’s a synopsis:
September 2014: After lots of thinking planning, I set about putting the plan into place. It was time for the flying suit;
12th January 2015: I hit the coast for the first time and photographed my first lifeboat station;
30th September 2017: After three years and 100 lifeboat stations, I was exhausted and on the edge of a breakdown;
28th October 2017: It was time to publicly own up to the difficulties and to rub away at the glossy façade by writing Mission Fatigue;
6th November 2017: My friend Richard got in touch to suggest Patreon as a way forward. It was a lightbulb moment;
9th November 2017: For the rest of that week, I burned the midnight oil in my usual obsessive way and launched my Patreon page;
10th November onwards: Followers immediately rallied, pledging their monthly support from £3 per month;
1st March 2018: With the recovery underway, I wrote Turning The Tide To Keep Art Alive, another pivotal moment;
31st May 2018: I was finally able to restart my journey by making new work in Scotland, the first Patron-supported mission;
31st August 2018: The LSP continued to go from strength-to-strength as I headed for the south coast on Mission 16;
28th September 2018: After 119 lifeboat stations and nearly four years, I reached the halfway point at Dover;
31st October 2018: Awarded a Certificate of Merit at the Maritime Media Awards for the Best Use of Digital Media;
9th November 2018: The first anniversary of being supported by my Patrons!
“I am normally a reserved person but for this I feel I need to speak out loud. The work Jack does is amazing. I am so proud to be part of this movement and for that I simply say thank you Jack, you have reminded me who I am and why I give.” — Ivan, Patron of The Lifeboat Station Project
A WORK IN PROGRESS
The first year of Patreon has been incredible but this is not job done — this is a work in progress!
Over the last year, around 140 followers have become Patrons.
That’s approximately 0.4% of my online following who’ve kindly converted their likes, shares and retweets into a monthly payment.
It’s the beginning of the regular support I need to make this epic project succeed.
It’s an incredible start but I reckon I’ll be really getting to the point I need to reach financially if around 1.4% of my following become Patrons — that’s about 500 people out of the 35,000 or so who follow the journey across my social media channels.
OVER TO YOU — THREE WAYS TO OFFER YOUR SUPPORT
If you like this body of work and enjoy the story I’m telling, I would love your help in making the second half of the project easier than the first half!
Ultimately, I’m aiming to make my income predictable, to smooth out the frightening peaks and troughs. So, I would love you to become a Patron too.
It may not be as expensive as you imagined. For example, over half my Patrons pledge £3 per month.
I believe this entry level reward tier will be the key to The LSP’s success. After all, many people pledging small amounts of money is the very essence of crowdfunding.
In return, your name will be printed on a special thank you page in the back of the final book. You will also unlock my Patron-only posts which include special video updates from the coast.
Other rewards include a signed copy of the final book, a personal postcard from the coast and even a day helping to make photographs on the Project!
THE FAMOUS KEYRING FOR NEW PATRONS
To celebrate the first anniversary of launching my Patreon page, I’ll send one of the famous With Courage Keyrings to each new Patron who pledges their monthly support on Tier 3 (or higher) before the end of 2018:
If you’d like to learn about other ways you can support my work, here’s the page you need:
RESERVE YOUR 2019 CALENDAR
I understand that Patronage isn’t for everyone, so how about buying the new 2019 calendar?
Full details here:
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
Thank you for reading and to all those who’ve helped me on the journey so far.
This post is a special thank you to the people who’ve enabled me to reach halfway on the journey about the lifeboat volunteers, for the lifeboat volunteers.
You know who you are:
The brave and selfless lifeboat volunteers; my loved ones; my Patrons; all the people who’ve bought prints and merchandise; the kind folk who’ve provided food and accommodation; the clever people who’ve supplied the Project with the things it needs and, of course, to anyone who’s put up with my dreams and expectations.
It’s also a thank you to those of you who decide to support the journey in the second half after reading this post.
My work would be impossible without you.
Wishing you fair winds and following seas,
Jack Lowe, Creator of The Lifeboat Station Project