My project What's Your Story? Waldo Canyon Fire Colorado is an amazing collection of my portraits and hand written accounts from the survivors and from those involved in the fire that burned 347 homes and took 2 lives. I have been collecting the stories and portraits for over one year. To date I have collected over 100 stories all funded by myself. I am at the point of releasing a 180-210 page coffee table book depending on costs and the number of stories I include. I plan to layout the book by September 15th. The funding of this project will allow me to secure a publishing company to assist with the layout of the book and to do the first run of the 11x14 coffee table book "What's Your Story? Waldo Canyon Fire Colorado."
To see samples of some of the stories and portraits please go to www.coloradospringstogether.org and click on "Gallery" on the top menu. Please take a look at this amazing gallery. My goal all along has been to produce a coffee table book of stories and portraits for the survivors and for those that helped the community in a time of extreme crisis. I will also provide the Historical Society and the Public Library with an electronic database of all the stories and portraits for future generations. One other note, as of the launching of this project another community of Colorado Springs just lost over 500 homes and two more lives. Any monies above and beyond what I require to finish the Waldo Canyon Fire book will be used to collect the stories and portraits of the survivors of the Black Forest Fire.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges that come with this project are many. I have been collecting stories for over a year now and have overcome many challenges.
With a project like this the top 10 challenges have been.
2. Finding the subjects to hand write their story, and that are willing to be photographed
3. The mental aspect of meeting and befriending residents of the community that have just lost everything they own to a blazing inferno.
4. Getting the story tellers to follow through after committing to being a part of the project.
5. Obtaining releases to share the stories with the public (Military, Police, Fire, Children, etc.)
6. Finding a publisher that will print an 11x14 hard bound books at a reasonable price.
7. Having to run a business while working on a project that produces no income until completed.
8. Communication (phone calls, e-mail, appointments etc.}
9. Time commitment, about 1000 hours to date.
10. Self doubt at the beginning of the project, wondering if the project is something of interest to the community and if I would be able to collect enough compelling stories to complete the book. No doubt now.
My biggest challenge has been financial. I committed to providing all story tellers with a copy of their story and an 11x14 print of their selected portrait. The cost of marketing materials, gas, pens, paper and boxes to protect the archival paper has been most of the expense. Ninety-five percent of this project has been the time commitment. I'm so excited to be a few months away from going to print.
The project has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. The biggest part of this has been the soul searching within myself, who I am as an artist. I have traveled to many third world countries with the Military and seen many gut wrenching things. When a disaster like the Waldo Canyon fire takes place in your community, you do what you can to help. This project is my way of helping. I have recorded a small collection of the accounts of only a relative few, but it's a powerful collection and it will become the center piece of many Colorado book collections.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)