Patreon gets a bit of a bad rap in the furry fandom for various reasons - some of which even I would agree with - so in the interest of maintaining transparency with my audience and customers, here's my policy regarding this Patreon page and how it's maintained.
If you disagree with how I run things here, you are free to opt out entirely. You will still get to see just about anything that I draw, and even commission me for anything specific that you'd like.
A lot of work goes into the things that I make. Without my patrons' generous contributions, anything I do that's not a commission or made for merchandise is effectively unpaid work. I've found that this greatly discourages certain content that I love to create, and I know others would love to see more of.
This Patreon page is a platform upon which I have already built a lot of new skills and projects. It lets me explore ideas that I would otherwise have to set aside for more lucrative work. I currently practice my art full-time, and although I am fortunate that my job is something I genuinely enjoy, it isn't worth much if I cannot pay my bills and put food on my table.
In a perfect world, I don't think money should play such a major role in determining who does what with their own limited time. This isn't a perfect world, but Patreon gives me some leeway in this regard; it lets me stop thinking about that so much and focus on giving you all more and more high quality content. That is the only thing that should matter.
If you are looking for cheap custom made art, this isn't where you're going to get it. It is easy to see, and I won't hide the fact that pledging to my Patreon will give you less bang-for-buck if you just want commissioned work from me. This is my way of building some baseline salary to keep me sustained.
The extra rewards I give at a higher tier are there both as an incentive for avid fans to give a little (or a lot) more, while also offering something in return for the extraordinary generosity. It's only fair. Just like I need financial support to live well, everyone else does too - I don't take the exchange of currency lightly and I don't expect anyone else to do so either.
That having been said, I consistently try to offer good perks that are as sustainable as possible. When I first started the page I offered monthly sketches for everybody at a certain pledge tier. Needless to say, it got to a point where I could no longer keep up with the demand without sacrificing time out of other projects - which is counter-productive.
I disagree with raffles, and so do Patreon's Terms of Service. The queueing system I use (which is taken from arh's page - credit where it's due) is there to give the same "x out of all patrons" result that a raffle would, but in a more reliable and predictable way that's fairer for everybody. Higher tiers get a reward more frequently due to the shorter queues.
It might seem a little confusing at first, but it's quite straightforward. You can find (or will later find) an explanation of it on my rewards description page, linked here.
Like I said earlier, the money I earn from my Patreon page is meant to sustain me as an independent artist. I have loads of ideas that I would love to explore further, and there is already a decently sized body of my work that illustrates what sort of content I make on my own time. If you've enjoyed that sort of thing in the past then this is for you. Your contribution, however small, will let me make more of my art and get better at it too.
If you'd rather not, I don't mind. This is how I do my thing, and everyone is free to take it or leave it.
As long as I can manage to, I'm going to keep doing it.