Rober Rollin: Making Money with Open Source Content
Rober started coming to Basislager around 2 months ago. For too long a time I didn't think to ask him what he was doing for a living, until I peaked over his shoulder two weeks ago. That's when I found out that Rober is an artist. He designs figurines using Blender, prints them with his Dremel 3D printer and paints them.
Why he is an impressive Guy
First of all, 3D printing is a fickle thing, you need to have an understanding of the printing process as well as the possibilities and limitations of your particular printer in order to make designs that can actually be printed.
Secondly, Rober isn't only able to make printable designs, he can actually create very detailed and intricate figurines.
Last but not least, he is really good at what he does - right now Rober is one of the top 10 designers at myminifactory, the platform he uses to showcase his creations.
However, what makes Rober's occupation even more interesting is the way he is marketing and monetising it. He is actually uploading his designs to myminifactory for free, making them open source material. The money he earns comes from ads which are put on his site.
He also recently expanded to Patreon - making some of his content exclusively available on this platform. His patrons can vote which project he should take on next and watch sculpting and behind-the-scenes videos.
With these platforms Rober's income depends on his community. If he can create content which will attract a lot of people and keep them coming back for more, the income he derives from ads will rise and if those people value his content enough to support him, his patreon income will rise as well.
In that sense his work is quite community-focused. A fact which is also reflected in the channels he chooses to promote his work with: Instagram and YouTube.
Social Media is a common choice among artist nowadays when it comes to promoting their work. It allows the audience to actively shape the media landscape because they have the freedom to support the artists and entertainers they like. What is more, social media makes it easier to get in touch with these people - allowing them to have an influence on the content and providing a sense of community through discussions in the comment section.
"It's exciting to become a pioneer and advance this business niche with your own content."
Another fact that makes Rober's work so inspiring is that he did a one-eighty career-wise to end up where he is now. He studied media culture and media management and worked in the game industry for a while before he got his PhD in economics.
Quite the impressive vita - and a background which wouldn't let you guess his current occupation. But Rober has always enjoyed art and became interested in 3D modelling when he saw "Toy Story". Since 3D printing technology has become affordable he gave himself one year to see what he could accomplish. If his community keeps growing at this rate, he has a very good chance of making a living off his models.
Where to go from here
Right now, Rober enjoys seeing the progress he has made as a designer in becoming faster, more accurate and skilled at designing delicate details. He plans on growing his multiple channels so he isn't dependent on just one platform.
Anyway, we are very happy he felt that working from home is not his thing and decided to come to us. Like many people here at Basislager, he wants to have people around him and enjoys the new experiences and perspectives the community has to offer. And we enjoy having him in our corner!