Well, this is a helluva new year present.

In June of 2018, after months of considerations, brainstorming, writing, revisions, feedback-seeking, and video recordings, I launched my Patreon page. Patreon is, simply put, a subscription-based platform that gets artists and content creations paid.

After years of taking my craft as a professional hobby rather than truly owning it as a service provider and small business owner, and years of providing free or way-too-cheaply-compensated gigs (which I don't regret, just a fact), this is one of the steps in which I am intentionally taking to shift my scarcity mindset towards money and bringing in abundance in multiple forms in my life.

I realized while in New Zealand this mental conditioning that has perpetuated for much of my life is partially the reason I almost feel allergic to money, and that I consciously and subconsciously have been molded to believe that money IS the root of many evils, and somehow if I were to become financially successful, that status would somehow negatively alter my being and bend my moral values. I think it's safe to say most if not all of us have seen examples in the media pointing to how money taints politics, businesses and personal decisions, and that someone "changes" when they become "rich and famous." There is something extraordinary about these messages and their underlying tone about and/or subliminal jab at being well-off.

So without deviating too far from the point of this post, in my opinion and perhaps still far too simply put - there's a deeply rooted connection in the psychology of capital(ism) to our instinctive, primal selves, along with the commodification of basic needs as well as desires in modern economic systems that have brought us here. Money has become our ledger, backed by our mutual trust of value for one another, and we've forgotten that in the end it's made for one simple action: exchange.

OK, what I am getting at is this: I wanna radically transform the way in which I perceive, utilize, and leverage money. I (we) can't fully be immune to it, and it certainly isn't going away anytime soon. I wrote this on my Patreon page and touched on it in the video, but the past 6 months have made it more clear than ever - the abundant life I wish to attract and uphold requires capital - social, environmental, AND economic capital - and this tripod isn't gonna stand very well with just 2 strong legs. In recent years I've strengthened the social and environmental pillars quite well, and now it's time to put more conscious effort into that 3rd leg.

It's gonna take some time. Undoing 32+ years of mental conditioning and perception is difficult, and thank you Pachamama I've had some solid mentors and resources to help me out recently.

And really it starts with this. This Patreon page has been instrumental. I've had 45 people hop onboard to co-create with me a more beautiful perspective, a more beautiful window to the world world we know deep inside is possible through stories, art, and media through my eyes and mind as well as those I collaborate with. I've had these people put enough trust in me to willingly put their hard-earned capital and say, 'yes Jonathan, take this value to recreate more value out of it.' They've made me feel like a bloody alchemist!

Sometimes I don't know if gratitude is even enough.

But truly, I am utterly grateful, and wish to take this moment as I continue to take time to evaluate what 2018 has added to my life, and what 2019 will bring (and has already brought) to express gratitude to the following humans for making this time of transition - with much resting on the condition of my mother's health - significantly less financially-stressful while allowing me to eat and live well as I continue to work on content for Conscious Impact and for myself: 
Kelly Pi
Rieki Cordon
Luke Fernandez
Emily Barnes
Otis Skipper
Kweku Secundus
Evan Speckles
Orion Haas
Mikey Leung
Peter Dowson
Ryan Lue
Nai de Gracia
Steph Bird Parker
Steven Moe
Michael Chung
Jacky Cheung
Dora Lee
Renée Dyke
Michelle Cara Kizner
Peter Wells
Ally Carlton-Smith
Kristine Schiman
Lindsay Claverie
Kelsea Lynn
Dana S Wilson
Urška Čebron
Christine Taylor
Carina Fourmyle
Anna Else Pasternak
Aiyana Bailin
Steve Tracy
Nils Folger
Lisa Colligan
Ramona Gastl
Clare McInerney
Kelsey Yates
John Arvin Española
Reynette Busby Rhodes
Eleanor Smith
Guthrie Straw
Obakhan Jones
Tiange Zhang
Candice Young
Maggie Tan
Julie Trieu


PS: I haven't forgotten my promise to pick up garbage for y'all who are pitching in $2/month or higher. I've been doing it everywhere - India, Vietnam, British Columbia, Nepal, Washington, Oregon, California - at the beaches, on the mountains, in the forest, along the rivers, and right off the sidewalks. I've either forgotten to take pics or I keep forgetting to upload them as part of my recent posts! 🙃

PPS: www.patreon.com/subtledream to learn/see/hear more ✌🏽


Patreon: Impact storytelling, crowdfunded

Friends, sisters, brothers, family, 

As an artist and fellow human who has chosen to walk an unconventional path of life, I've infused creativity into balancing the bills (responsibilities) and the hills (challenges, adventure). Yeah, that's about all the rhythm you'll get out of me. 😉

As a number of you know, I have traveled and taken work and play with me beyond the geopolitical boundaries that separate us. Some of you have also followed the journey via social media and/or kept a line of contact, both of which I appreciate and cherish immensely. If I could attempt to condense these years of travel, learning, and photography, it's this: We humans absolutely have the capacity, and much more in common than we currently believe to co-create a more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible. That food and stories bring people together. And everyone is a student, and everyone is a teacher. 

We live in a bizarrely inspirational yet despairing time in human and earth history. It's perhaps easier than ever to spiral downwards with the myriad of attention-grabbing and tragic headlines in the mainstream channels, and forget the prevailing forces of good, resilience, and beauty that surround us even more often. In recent years, photography to me has evolved to not simply be about immortalizing moments in time, but a medium and channel through which beauty and humanizing, vital stories can be told and reshared. 

In 2013, my organic farm and bicycle journey brought me into a mind-expanding, hands-on look at our local and global food systems, and also into the presence of the Shishalh First Nations in coastal British Columbia, where I witnessed reconciliation and healing through confessions and drumming. The words and songs shared forever echo in my mind and heart. 

2014 took me across the Pacific to SE Asia, where I crossed paths while hitchhiking in Northern Thailand with several indigenous hill tribe young women who quickly became friends and later revealed the traumatizing history of physical and/or sexual abuse in their lives as well as many they know. This led to my first video piece telling the story of my friend Faa and the children she has helped nurture through the organization co-founded with her sister. 

Through the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle from 2015-2016, I took part in and documented this urban regeneration community project that has propagated seeds in the earth as well as in the minds of people of all backgrounds and ages. Many of you also know that from mid-2015, Conscious Impact, Nepal, and the Himalayas entered into my life, and haven't exactly left. 

An invitation from my friend Peter Wells to New Zealand brought me for the past 8 months to live and work down under to further develop my craft as a photo/videographer while further tap into the global mycelial network of earth stewards and do-gooders who don't see economics, business, communities, and nature to be mutually exclusive, but intrinsically interwoven and co-dependent. Shoutouts to the Otakaro Orchard/Food Resilience Network, Ministry of Awesome, Erica Austin, the XCHC team, the Enspiral network, and so many more to have added such deep, invaluable knowledge and connections to my world. 

Travel, service, and photography have helped me discover my purpose, and that purpose at this moment is to not only engage and take active part in seed-planting, light-reflecting, earth and mind-healing projects and initiatives, but also fill the role of storytelling alongside countless others who have been upholding this craft for generations upon generations. I will continue to capture, write up, and create content on stories passed onto me or of personal experiences gathered from wherever life brings me (back) to next. 

Here's my dilemma: all the content I've posted and published have been free, but the creation process of this content isn't free. The gear, the travel, planning, accommodation, food, phone plans, work spaces/internet, writing, editing, hiring talents and services cost money, time, and more. I have countless individuals to thank for their shared resources to have accomplished what I have, especially in recent years. I am wealthy in connections, friendships, have an abundance in joy, quality food, and opportunities. The only major bottleneck is in the finances. I want to remove this bottleneck because that will allow me to make less compromises, and focus more on content creation and collaborations with those who share this vision. 

I value my time and contributions to others and to the world in a monetized society that marginalizes independent artists like myself, and I am determined to be innovative in creating a residual income. I also wish to revisit projects such as Conscious Impact in Nepal, rebuilding, sharing, and documenting our progress and the stories of the incredible people who take part. Along the same note, I want to continue to offer discounted or pro-bono work for individuals and organizations that may not have a budget, yet their stories are equally important, if not more so. 

That's where Patreon comes in. Instead of a one-time contribution on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Patreon is set up for reoccurring contributions to sustain my livelihood and creations - and a small trickle from you, and dozens, or even hundreds of supporters to keep the stream flowing and allowing me to keep doing what I am good at and love. In order for me to continue to be of service for others, I need to take care of myself first.

If my work and time has added value to your life, past, recent, present, whether through photos that you've enjoyed, through resonating words, camera and shooting advice, please consider pitching in and ride this train of life with me and many people I'll be sharing this journey with. There are also various rewards that may captivate your interest, so be sure to check out what you'd get in exchange for your monthly contributions. 

Yes, even $1/month. Seriously. Because $1 is able to feed this belly in several parts of the world that I tend to spend time in. And many of you know I like to eat. 😉

I've made a special video for this.
Watch and read more of my vision + what you would get in return at: www.patreon.com/subtledream

With love and gratitude, 

PS: I shared bits of my journey in a PechaKucha talk in New Zealand (thanks again, Erica!), and inspirations from my earlier years and more of my perspectives in this podcast called Seeds: Talking Purpose with Steven Moe (cheers to you Steven!). 

PPS: The idea of an online "tip-jar" has been on my mind for about a year now, but it wasn't until my friend Steve Tracy informed me about Patreon last year that all of this clicked - big thanks, Steve!