Self portrait. Red Dress Series. Eyoalha Baker. Quilcene, WA 2018.
I started a fundraising campaign to help cover costs of rescuing my life’s work in photography (2005-2019) from 2 crashing corrupted hard drives.
I received quotes from 3 different computer tech places, told it would be super expensive ($1200-$2500!), at least 2 weeks at a recovery lab clean room with no guarantees that I’d even get my work back.
I’m generally an extremely optimistic person but this (and a leg injury in the same week!) had me feeling quite disheartened.
I made a social media post sharing what had happened, and considering a fundraiser to cover tech retrieval fees, but I was not feeling very confident about it.
The instant outpouring of support was heartwarming and super encouraging!
I literally created and posted a GoFundMe fundraiser, posted it in less than 5 minutes and support, donations and words of encouragement started to roll in right away!
The initial GoFundMe PAGE was just to cover the costs of hiring a tech pro to retrieve my photography work, but I’d been working on an art show and a couple of books with a selection of 1000s of Jump for Joy photos, creative photos and portraits. before the had drive crashing.
The incredible outpouring of support got me thinking…
I had a rough draft of a long awaited Jump for Joy Photo Project book in the works.
I’d also started an art book of photos from road trips through the USA in 2018 and wanted to do an art show with those photos as well.
As many of you are aware, I don’t live a very conventional lifestyle.
I’m homeless. I live out of 2 suitcases. I couchsurf, house sit and jump around from place to place as opportunities and adventures present themselves. So, I often don’t know where I’ll be from one week to the next.
I love my life and create art every day. I also live with little to no regular income.
I’m not a consumer. I don’t usually buy things unless I really need them, they break or wear out. Most of my clothes are hand me downs, gifts or recycled clothing found for a couple of $’s in thrift stores. I do a lot of photo trades or help people out in exchange for food and a place to stay.
I’ve relied heavily on the incredible generosity and kindness I receive from friends, family and even random stagers for nearly 10 years now!
Occasionally I make money from my photography work, but I often just gift my photos to people in gratitude for sharing their time, energy, food and or homes with me.
It’s been an AMAZING experience!
But, I’m ready for a change in lifestyle. I’d like more options and choices for my life adventures and creative expression (aka money).
An interesting pattern has emerged over the years: self sabotaging my success … Every time I’d put a little money aside to create and sell my art and Jump for Joy Photo Project murals or produce my creative passion projects, other more pressing survival mode priorities would urgently present themselves and my creative work would get set aside again and again.
So I decided to continue my GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to also create my first solo art show with a selection of whatever photography work could be saved from my damaged crashing hard drives!
Meanwhile, someone had seen my fundraising post and suggested a “geek” friend who had rescued all her work from a crashed hard drive for a fraction of time and money that I had been quoted. I contacted her immediately.
Elaine (the computer genius) was amazing! She used to work in IT and had hobby collecting leather. In 2011 she reversed that, and now has a store full of leather East Side Re-Rides, and just does IT on the side. Elaine worked diligently over several days and sent the most encouraging and entertaining updates throughout the process. I highly recommend her if you’re ever in need of tech support and leather alike!
To make a really long story a little shorter…
Elaine managed to rescue most of my work from both damaged hard drives for way less money and time than I had originally been quoted! 🙂
My GoFundMe page is still up to collect contributions towards the cost of creating my first solo art show!
My goal is to print and frame a selection of images and show them along with a projected Show and Tell art show and share stories of my images (in Los Angeles, CA by mid December 2019).
Money fundraised money moving forward will go towards the following (in kind offers also welcome!):
- A location that holds 50+ people (Im open – can be a gallery, wearhouse, home, large studio etc.).
- To print and frame between 10-20 images.
- A table and projector (a tech helper).
- Things for people to sit on while they enjoy my slideshow (chairs, benches, pillows etc.).
- Cards or prints on hand to sell or gift to my guests.
- I’d love a dj or live music to create a beautiful / fun ambiance.
- Lighting (and help setting it up).
- I’d like to offer some delicious food and drinks to my guests.
- I’d love help with marketing, PR and invites.
- Materials and costs I haven’t thought of yet.
The show will be an eclectic mix created from a selection of whatever artwork got saved. The money I make from my art show, will then go towards creating my books.
If you live or will be visiting LA, stay posted and consider this your invite!
Please help me make this art show a reality, share this link with people who might like to participate and stay tuned for updates!
Much love and gratitude, Eyoalha
My art is my life. My life is my art.