It was an astute advice columnist who once said 'find that one thing you love...and then pursue it on night and weekends for the rest of your life, (thank you The Onion).
For many well-known faces on the internet (where most, if not all, content is free and ad revenue can be sparse) this means working the random 40-hour paycheck job and spending any other waking moments on that said One Thing because you just love it that much.
For Florida resident and Vegan Black Metal creator, Brian Manowitz, his 'thing' is donning evil, King Diamond-esque face paint, strapping on spiked metal armbands and black rubber body armor and creating easy and delicious vegan recipes, sung step-by-step in a terrifying but hilarious guttural howl.
Since 2011, Manowitz's garishly demonic cooking videos have garnered the attention of everyone from ABC's Nightline and Anthony Bourdain to countless vegan blogs and metal music sites.
He is able to do this mostly by cobbling together an income from a guitar shop retail gig, an online audio engineering instruction site, live appearances and an approximate $200 a-month ad revenue from his YouTube channel.
But this month, Manowitz did something kind of terrifying himself when he put in his two weeks notice at Sam Ash music store and began a new campaign on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/veganblackmetalchef) where for one dollar a month, fans get behind-the-scenes action, recipe extras, quick meal inspirations, black metal make-up tips and more.
The money raised would allow Manowitz to focus mainly on Vegan Black Metal Chef endeavors, including a cookbook already in the works. Not to panic - the Youtube channel (where Brian films, edits and writes the music) will continue to operate for free to viewers.
"I can't exactly say I'm a starving artist because my art involves food," Brian says with a laugh, "And I live pretty cheaply."
Patreon works like an on-going kickstarter campaign where instead of paying a large one-time donation, you can give a dollar or two a month for an ongoing project.
"I didn't really want Vegan Black Metal Chef to ever be a 'donate here' or charity thing. I always wanted it to be a business because I think veganism has value and I think that information and entertainment has value. But when I really looked at it and saw that the logistics of it could be a low cost membership site, it worked."
After only a few days, the campaign already had over a hundred patrons signed on.
"There are already two recipe videos up. It will be something new each week. There will be other tips and tricks videos, farmers market, specialty shop and supermarket store trips to see what to buy. There will be fast inspiration meal ideas....things that don't necessarily fit into the cooking videos but still give people inspiration on fast meals that are really good and vegan."
The Patreon channel will also be a space for testing out recipes for Vegan Black Metal Chef's upcoming cookbook. Viewers will get to see many of the book's recipes crafted form start to finish. Once the cookbook is out, Manowitz plans on touring and covering the on the road food adventures for the campaign site.
"It's taken some time to establish myself as the Vegan Black Metal Chef brand as a credible source of cooking instruction in general and not just kind of one off entertainment. People that have been to the live shows or seen the videos that just want more and I think their dollar is well placed."
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