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Making Brush Ninja Sustainable

29 March 2019

I made Brush Ninja mostly because I thought it was a fun thing to do, but it’s grown a lot bigger than I had imagined. The app is more complex, and has more features than I could have imagined when I started. I always new it had potential but I didn’t expect it to take off to the degree it has.

I built the first version of Brush Ninja in the evenings, and weekends, around paid work. I put it online and then it took on a life of it’s own.

I would really like to devote more time to the project. There are all sorts of things I would like to do to make it better, but I am one man and I don’t have the time or knowledge to fulfill it’s potential.

If I was able to devote more time to the project then I could make the project I have always dreamed of. For example a small handful of the things I would like to work on include:

  • The option to upload custom backgrounds
  • Pressure sensitive brushes (eg apple pen)
  • The ability to select areas (then move, rotate, or scale them)
  • A paint bucket tool
  • Support for Google Drive, and Google Classroom
  • Allow loading and saving of animations on the web app

My wishlist is a lot longer than this, but a lot of these are things that people have asked me about.


Currently my biggest cost is time. Any time I spend on Brush Ninja is time not spent earning money to pay my bills, and look after my wife and son. But there’s also web hosting, software licenses, hardware costs etc.

I have worked for myself for years, so I am quite good at keeping costs low, but they are still expenses.

In terms of actual monetary expenses (hosting, licenses etc) Brush Ninja is just about breaking even purely through the Mac App sales.


So, I have setup a Patreon page. If everyone who used Brush Ninja gave me a dollar a month, then I could stop my normal work and focus on Brush Ninja entirely. Of course, that’s not realistic, and I don’t expect it to happen. But any additional income I can get will mean I can spend more time making Brush Ninja better - and makee me happy, and hopefully contribute to the happiness of others.

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