Dear, lovely people who read this blog and hang out with me on Facebook and Twitter:
I need your help. I am the worst person at asking for help ever but there you go – I need it.
Operation Shine is what I’ve internally named my trip to France (background story here). This whole journey has not just been about my being accepted into an exclusive art program and heading off on some grand adventure.
This is about learning to shine my light again, after turning it off for so many years.
I leave for France in 32 days (zomg) and my head is spinning. I still need about $8,700. There are other expenses that will come later, but to be able to get on a plane, fly to France and go to school, I need about $8,700.
I’ve been trying to do this on my own, but as it turns out, I’m just one person. I’ve managed to wrangle up $9,320 so far, but that’s just about halfway there.
Why is this so important?
For those of you who don’t know me, or don’t know my story, then you won’t know why this is such a big deal for me. I mean, yes it’s a big deal – only 12 students accepted, master teachers, charming medieval French town – but it’s bigger than that for me. The following video pretty much sums it up. Caveat: I almost cry and talk about some pretty vulnerable things, so if that makes you uncomfortable, please don’t watch it.
(I made this video a while ago, when I was raising money to go to the Creative Spirit Art Centre in Toronto as well. The director won’t actually let me send them anymore money – she wants me to use all of the money I get to go to France.)
So I need your help.
As much as I adore my little biz, it’s not big enough to support me in my day-to-day costs AND make an extra several thousand on top of that. I’m still in the “building” stage of my career. Not quite in the, “Pffft, sure I’ve got an extra $18,000 kicking around” stage yet.
I still need to pay for my housing in France on April 25th, another tuition payment on May 10th and I need to pay part of my rent upfront before I leave because I don’t know how much money I’ll be making while I’m there. Oh, and of course my laptop is about to die, so I need a new one before I go.
It’s a lot of money. And I am feeling pretty damn overwhelmed by those numbers – $3200 here, $4000 there, $1000 here and another $2,100 there. I’m not really used to throwing these kinds of big numbers around yet.
I need your help spreading the word. Do you know someone who would love one of my paintings or prints? Pass this website on to them. Do you know someone who would just love to travel to France but can’t afford to? A donation gets you signed up to my “Sketches from the Road“, a private email list where every week I share the photos, stories and artwork from my studies in a rural medieval town in France. (I will be sharing 95% of my adventure exclusively with this list. I may post the occasional picture on Twitter, FB or my blog, but most of the awesome will be on this list.)
I know that I might have to borrow some of the money that I need, and my parents have offered to help fund me if I need it. But since they’re not exactly rolling in dough either (they’re already putting my little sister through college), I’m trying not to burden them with too much of my debt.
My hope is to be able to crowd source as much of the money as possible before I leave. If I could get 425 people to donate $20, that would help so much. Or even 170 people to send me $50! There are endless combinations. We could get 8,700 people to send me $1!
Would you like to help?
If you’d like to send money, here’s a donate button or you can send money through Paypal to email@example.com.
A donation of $20 will get you signed up for “Sketches from the Road” and any donation or purchase above $50 gets you a postcard from me, in France. :)
If you’re interested in buying a painting or print, click one of the buttons below!
And of course, tweeting, Facebook sharing, emailing to friends etc is all incredibly, incredibly appreciated.