I’m currently working with Patreon support to get the “Adult Content” warning label removed from the page where I share my comics.
This is important for two reasons:
Accounts labeled “Adult Content” do not show up in searches on Patreon. If you go and search on “cute comics about sheep, and vampires” or even “Syne Mitchell” my page won’t show up. Which means that people who might enjoy my comics, can’t find them.
Even if they run into a friend or fellow guild member who says, “Oh, you like comics about sheep, and vampires? Syne Mitchell is working on those, here’s a direct link to her Patreon page. They will see: “Adult Content: You must be 18 years or older to view this content.” Which probably gives people wrong ideas about what goes on in my comics about sheep…
… I’ve noticed that several people to I’ve sent my Patreon page address to and said, “I’m so excited about making comics! Here, go take a look!” Have never mentioned my comics again, if they spoke to me again at all…
Hmm, OK, maybe it’s not just the content warning that gives them the wrong idea…
So let’s go back a step and talk about how my content got flagged in the first place.
When I was setting up my Patreon account, one of the items I needed to fill out was whether my material contained Adult content, which includes any amount of nudity.
My goal with the Patreon site was to share both my comics and artistic journey. I was doing the audacious thing of learning to draw at age 49, and thought it would be fun for folks to watch my skills progress and read about the steps I took to get there.
A big part of my early learning was figure-drawing classes. I want to make comics about people, and want those people to look properly proportioned. The thing about community-college figure-drawing classes is that the models are nude, and for good reason; it’s hard to see bone placement and muscle anatomy if the model is wearing clothes.
I dithered ever whether to toggle the “18+ content” selector. Figure-drawing class exercises are not provocative; it’s a person in a comfortable pose they can hold for 20-40 minutes, who just happens to be nude, similar to what you see in public museums, though (in my case) more inexpertly drawn.
Being a literalist, I could not avoid the fact that the models were naked, and there was no “yes, they’re nude, but it’s not a sexual nudity” option.
So I eventually chose “yes”, figuring that I could un-check the box later if I changed my mind (you can’t) and not realizing the impact that choice would have on the discoverability of, and engagement with, my comics. In other words, I read the Patreon Adult Content guidelines, and yet didn’t understand all the implications.
I also thought that I’d be able to mark individual pages as “Adult Content” and leave the others unmarked, like songs in iTunes. Also not the case.
After a year, I re-thought this decision. I wasn’t posting that much content with nudity, anyway. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020 (I’m in the Seattle area, where things started in the U.S.) all my figure drawing classes were suspended.
To get the “Adult Content” label removed, you have to contact Patreon Support and have an actual human go review your posts. It took about a day for a support person to get back to me and say that if I removed the posts with nudity, I could get reclassified.
I felt like a sell-out, and yet I deleted the content. It was only three or four posts, and tangential to the main purpose of sharing my adventures making comics.
Now I’m waiting to hear back whether my page has been re-classified as all-ages. I’m hoping it happens before I give my talk at the Whidbey Weaver’s Guild, because I want to mention my comics, and don’t want to scare folks away with the “Adult Content” label.
Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time checking whether it’s gone through. I’m not able to find the slider selector on the Settings page for my site (where did it go?). And because I’m the page’s creator, I can’t try to sign up as a patron for myself.
If you have a moment, and aren’t currently my patron on Patreon, would you mind doing me two small favors? It’ll take only 2-3 minutes and won’t cost anything.
1) Go to https://www.patreon.com/ and in the “Find a creator” search box, enter “Syne”. Do I appear in the listings? You might have to scroll down the page.
2) Go to https://www.patreon.com/synemitchell and select one of the orange “Join” buttons. (Note: You can cancel before entering payment info, so you won’t be charged.) Do you get a “Adult Content” warning? To back out of the sign-up process, hit the browser’s back button or close the page’s tab.
Note: If you do accidentally sign up to be my patron, you can easily cancel on the Patreon site, or contact me through the Contact page on this site and I’ll walk you through it.
If you do that quick test, please let me know how it went in the comments below or on Facebook. I’d appreciate it. 🙂
If you want to see the amabie photos created by other artists from around the world, go to Instagram and search on the following tag (amabie in Japanese) you can see pictures of amabie from all over the world: アマビエ
Maybe you want to make or share one?
Tip of the nib to David Lasky who introduced me to the concept of The Amabie and invited other makers and artists he knew to come up with their own versions.
Want more comics? Each month I post a free comic on the Comics page on this website.
For even more comics and behind-the-scenes information, follow me on Patreon. There’s a lot of free content there in addition to the patron-only posts. And of course, if you have the interest and the means, I’d appreciate your support.