Yes, yes, yes!!! MyPaint should accept donations!
I’d be happy to contribute, because this is probably my most favorite drawing software- and I’m glad to say that this program’s helped with my own artistic and financial improvement. I’ve done so many quick commissions with it, the least I can do as a long-time user is repay your hard work.
Aside from the costs of web hosting and such, I think that donations should be accepted so that the devs can have access to more testing devices to troubleshoot with. Wacom or not, drawing hardware can get pretty expensive, and I think you all need it. And if you’re uncomfortable with accepting money, the community could always get you the hardware itself, taking out the “middleman” in development.
If anything, I would say that the devs/contributors should come up with a “universal” list of devices that everyone should have so you all can diagnose the same issues with the same hardware, maybe? There’s also an increasing variety of affordable Wacom alternatives (non-screen and screen tablet devices) that MyPaint should probably increase its compatibility for. (Artisul, Parblo, XP-Pen, just to name a few)
And I know that, for example, Monoprice has bulk pricing: so the more devices you buy, the less the tablets cost overall. So maybe some other tablet manufacturers do the same. You might even get in touch with some tablet manufacturers so that they can give you models to test? (Worth a shot, right?)
Also with the increase of Penabled Tablet PCs of varying technologies (Wacom EMR/AES, and N-Trig) you’d probably need those devices to test as well. Which cost money.
So basically, maybe every dev needs a spare PC with a specific amount of RAM; a Wacom tablet; a Wacom Alternative; and a Tablet PC? (I probably sound really silly saying this, sorry)
Now as far as financial support:
Just sounding off my unpopular opinion, but I think Patreon, as lovely as it is, might not be the right avenue for supporting MyPaint? From the point of view of becoming a supporter on there, I feel like it’s annoying: You have to set up an account AND your financial info and all that.
Plus, I feel like Patreon has a certain degree of “audience engagement” that might be hard to maintain, but it honestly depends. The easy solution for engagement is to share community posts of art, challenges, and how libmypaint is used in other softwares (OpenToonz, Pencil2D, Krita, etc.) in addition to the actual development progress of MyPaint.
I’m not entirely sure though. There’s other software devs that use it though, and @Igor_Costa_de_Faria just mentioned how Krita did well with it: so who am I to say it won’t work? (shrug) Patreon is a good candidate for a support option, even if I have some reservations. In I believe Paypal and Credit/Debit cards are payment options open to supporters with Patreon accounts.
Paypal was also mentioned, and of course: I have my personal gripes with it (mainly on the User Agreement side of things), but it’s popular and widely accepted. You don’t even need to have a Paypal account to pay someone with it: Paypal has tools so that people can pay you with a card, so you don’t have to sign up for the site- which is the counterpoint to what I feel like is the problem with Patreon support.
Gumroad may be another option: another site where people can pay for your posts/products to support you, but don’t need to make an account to make those purchases. I know the Morevna Project uses it to host downloads of their fork of OpenToonz, which uses libmypaint. It’s “Pay What You Want” style, so people aren’t required to pay for the download, but if they do,it helps the devs out. I feel like the downside is that’d be yet another website where uploading the software for people to download might be a chore to do. It’d also be a potential option for selling digital “merch” like community contributed tutorials, videos, or artbooks that feature the usage of MyPaint.
There’s also Square as an option: you can do online business with it, and do things like payroll for contractors, or evenly dole out funds from one person. But I guess that’s the whole problem with this debacle is that one person would be holding the money.
I’ve never heard of OpenCollective until today. It looks like Kickstarter, but with actual accountability with the funds It looks like a really cool option to me, but I’m trying to figure out how signing up as a contributor works (Chrome keeps glitching when I try to view the site, so I have to wait a bit before I can test it out)
In the meantime: Maybe revitalize some activity on the MyPaint’s social channels: especially art social sites like DeviantART and the tumblr page, and see what feedback the followers on there may have to say in terms of supporting MyPaint financially?
In terms of FOSS groups, I know that Krita has a popular and active dA group, especially when they post journal updates on how the development is going, people actually seem to respond.
Ramon Miranda (TheShock on dA) is a co-founder of the dA MyPaint group, and [Kaerhon] is a contributor. Those are just the names I recognize, but there’s others who contribute, and can basically make journals and let members know that the group is active. So if you’d like to get in touch with someone, maybe they’re a good place to start.
I might just have a limited POV, but it feels like the Free/Open Source software communities are pretty tight-knit: I’m sure there’s some crossover between Krita, GIMP, Drawpile, etc., and MyPaint’s user bases. So I’m sure that with the right campaigning, you’ll get the support you need from those communities as well, if needed.
TL;DR: Check social feedback first: do polls, make sure people know MyPaint’s still alive and kicking, garner old and new peoples’ interest. And if money’s not a viable support option, you could always just request the hardware to test with, and the community can see what they can do for you.
Good luck, and thanks as always for your hard work.
EDIT: WOW, did not realize how long this reply was @_@