Who are Painting Buddha? and why do they need US?

For the first question I am going to shamelessly pinch Michael Bartels’ own description of Painting Buddha and what they are trying to achieve:

“It is fair to say that Painting Buddha is different from other companies. Our main objective is to grow the miniature painting and gaming community – in a way that benefits everyone involved. And that does not only include miniature gamers and painters, but for example also manufacturers and in particular independent retailers. Our motto is ‘SHARE & ENJOY’ – and we mean it.

If you follow us closely, you will find out how different we really are. Some might even call some of our ideas crazy. I prefer calling them ‘infinitely improbable’. So they are virtually possible ;)”

A big part of what they do is produce possibly the best miniature painting tutorial videos on the market with a really unique business model… all of the videos they create are available for FREE (yes, FREE!) on YouTube, but they have a ‘members’ mechanism where you can buy into getting higher resolution videos on a private Vimeo channel and get all sorts of perks like PDF downloads and paint recipes etc. They also create boxed sets of video tutorials and the miniature in the video which is a brilliant way of learning along with some of the biggest names in the industry such as Ben Komets (who along with Michael Bartels make up ‘Painting Buddha’), Kirill Kanaev and Fernando Ruiz.

If you have never seen a Painting Buddha video tutorial, you are missing out. Here is a link to the Painting Buddha YouTube channel, so pop over there and take a look at the high quality production that these guys are putting out and prepare to be amazed. I am pretty sure it wont be your last visit 😉

But what about my second question – why do the need us? As you can imagine ‘free’ can be a rather difficult business model to maintain and to continue their awesome work they need to bring in some more money to keep making videos. In order to do this they have turned to an interesting platform that is something I hadn’t heard of until now – ‘Patreon’. Patreon appears to be a different way of crowd funding where rather than pledging a potentially large amount of  money towards a huge project you actually pledge smaller amounts on a regular basis based on content released.

For example, you pledge $3 per video posted by Painting Buddha to their Patreon page, so if they release 5 videos in that month you pay 5 x $3 in support of the content they have produced. The pledges have various rewards involved, but the really clever bit is the capped monthly payment part. You may pledge $x per video, but you also set a maximum you are able to pay per month. So to continue with the example above, we are paying $3 per video, but what happens if there are 15 videos produced one month? Without setting a maximum you would pay $45 but if you set the maximum at $18 then that is the most you will pay in any one month – so you would pay for the first 6 videos but no more. You would still, however, get access to all the content as before.

Back to Michael Bartels for another quote:

“While we have a lot of supporters and friends from all over the world, for which we are eternally thankful, the actual sales we do on www.paintingbuddha.com are not enough to sustain us.

So we needed to find an alternative way of ‘making money’ (evil words) and the fairest way of doing so is Patreon.

Patreon basically is an honor based system – like Shareware – the videos on YouTube are free for everyone. And for as little as 1$ you can just say ‘thanks, make more videos, please!’.

We basically put the future of Painting Buddha in the hands of the community. All we need are enough people that are willing to sponsor us for a few bucks a month and we can continue to make the best miniature painting instruction videos out there.” 

It would really be a sad moment for miniature painting and the miniature painting community if these guys had to close their doors or completely change their ethos of helping EVERYONE become better painters so please support them in their continued endeavours over on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/paintingbuddha

Share, and enjoy!