I really did win a major award, but because of the season, all I can think of is the scene from "A Christmas Story" when the dad receives his leg lamp. My major award is the Victor Thomas Jacoby Award, and this year it was available to all artists and craftspeople of Humboldt County, California. Victor Thomas Jacoby set up a fund before his death in 1997 so that artists in Humboldt County could create their art without having the stress and worry of paying their bills. The grant is given annually on a 5 year rotation: 3 out of the 5 years it is given to artists of any medium in Humboldt County, the fourth year it is given only to artists living in Eureka, California, and the fifth year it is given only to textile artists in Humboldt County. This year, there were about 30 applicants and 3 winners: animator and rubber stamp creator Steven Vander Meer (http://meerimage.com), Karuk basket weaver Deanna Dobbs, and myself. Here's the amazing part: we each won $10,000.00. It takes my breath away every time I think about it.
There are no strings attached to the money other than it can't be spent on previous purchases. I'm going to use it to buy time, essentially. Because of it, I won't need to take on any more small jobs in 2015. I'll be able to concentrate on creating big works with many colors — projects that take more time. I had planned on doing more of those kinds of works in 2014 after acquiring my big press, but found that I just didn't have the time. Instead, I was using my time doing smaller commercial jobs just to keep my budding business afloat, not to mention contribute a little money to my family's income.
I am so excited, anxious, proud, validated, scared and thrilled by winning this grant. I can't wait for 2015!