Vajra's Thomas Fire Art Rebuild
Dear friends and patrons, my home and studio in Ventura, California has burnt to the ground.
At 3:45am on Tuesday December 5th, my home and studio were consumed by the "Thomas” fire which continues its path through Southern California. My partner Sarah and I had enough of a warning that we got our pets safely into our RV along with a handful of my original paintings including "Man in the Middle" and "The Wish is Granted"
Other than that we lost almost everything including:
· my studio and all my years worth of paints, brushes and supplies totalling several thousand dollars overall.
· many more several thousand dollars in stickers, tapestries, prints and other merchandise
· two of my Six sketchbooks
· Seven works in progress: “The Jester and the Jack’O’Lantern”, “How ‘Bout an Apple”, “Deep Space” (hand painted - unfinished), “Offering at the Well”, “The Sleepwalker”, and an untitled painting, and my newest painting, a four foot circular piece I had just begun: “The Crystal King”.
· Finally and most regrettably, I lost five finished originals: “Eye of the Heart”, “Heartweb”, “Wayeb”, “Nest” and saddest but perhaps most fitting of all: “
While I’m coping with having lost these creations, my material and financial loss has got me staggering and worried for the future. We were renting and had no renters insurance so none of these losses wil be covered by insurance.
Many of you know I paint in my home studio in Ventura and make my livelihood selling my art, stickers and prints all of which I had stored at home with me on the night of the fire. I lost thousands of dollars in paints brushes and other art supplies as well as my inventory of art merchandise totaling 8-10 grand, which was until a few days ago, what I sold for the majority of my income, and original paintings I had for sale. I never imagined finding myself in this position - asking for donations from my friends, family and fans - but here I am. I need your help rebuilding my life and art thing.
Though I want to be clear I’m not asking for handouts; apart from my eternal gratitude, I would like to offer something in return to everyone who contributes to my general reboot. I’m going to keep track of every financial donation that comes my way and once I have an inventory of posters, stickers and other merchandise I will send care packages to everyone who contributed. Any amount is appreciated and will be put directly to work rebuilding my art empire. If you do not want anything in exchange for your donation I understand but would at least like to get you a thank you letter down the line.
One small miracle is that a box of my sub-dyed hoodies happened to still be in the RV as we drove off. Anyone who donates $120 or more can have their pick of my very last hoodies. Remaining designs include “Pathfinder”, “Drama”, “Man in the Middle”, “Tzab Ek” and “Event Horizon”. Sizes range from XS-XL but availability varies by design and a list of available hoodies will be provided upon donation. I can ship these immediately until they’re gone.
For those of you with a little more to contribute, I saved the majority of my original works of art and have four of them still available for sale listed below. Pictures of theese works are viewable at my website, altaroftheheart.com If you choose to purchase any of the following paintings, please make the appropriate contribution and email me directly through gofundme letting me know your choice of painting and an address where I can ship. I will find out the cost to ship and send an invoice for the shipping via paypal.
· “Heart of the Hive”, this one was slightly damaged in fleeing from the fire, the corner was banged slightly and I’ve reduced the price accordingly. I would be quite happy selling this painting as is for $2500
· “Heart of the Forest” ~ $5555
· “Kālakūṭa” ~ $5555
The following two paintings were not intended for general sale but given the circumstances I would sell these in order to get everything back on track. The price is high, but these are two of my finest paintings and the time and energy I put into them are reflected in the price.
· “Vine of Spirits” ~ $33,333
· “Tzab Ek” ~ $55,555
As previously stated, along with my studio and art, the rest of my material life and all of Sarah’s things went up in flame. Beyond the cost of rebooting my art are so many un-totaled losses. Literally everything is gone from litter boxes, books and bedding to harddrives appliances. As such, all contributions beyond my stated goal are appreciated as soon as possible. Sarah and I will use the funds toward the immediate rebuilding of our lives.
thank you all so very much
[Vajra standing in the exact place he painted all his creations before the fire. In his hand, one of the few things pulled from the rubble, a small statue of Shiva, 'the transformer'. ]
“Forged in Fire” also features the “phoenix black” background; I went back to the burnt ruins of my former home and collected a charred beam of wood from the rubble. I ground it down to powder, mixed it with acrylic medium and used it as the black background. I’m offering the original in exchange for a contribution of $1111
I am still humbly seeking donations, every donation regardless of size is extremely appreciated and helpful. Anything you can give is greatly appreciated.
Thanks to all the support I have received, I have managed to replace most of the merchandise I lost, so I’ll be sending out packages of art to everyone who expressed interest in a token of my gratitude soon.
Thanks to the generosity of friends and strangers I’ve made it past the halfway mark in my fundraising effort but still haven’t made it to completion yet. Please donate what you can to my gofundme account and help me share this post to get me back in Action as a professional artist. Every penny helps!
Once I’m able to replenish stickers and posters lost In the fire I’ll mail out care packages of art to donors in the $20-120 range. Donations above $120 I’m able to immediately compensate with your choice of hoody from my remaining collection of hooded shirts. I had a box of these in the car as we drove away from our burning home and am happy to send you one ASAP if you’d like. Photos of available designs can be seen on my main godundme profile.
With hope In my heart and the utmost gratitude, thank you!
The black is a paint I made by grinding up burnt wooden beams from my studio and mixing them with acrylic medium. Here’s to literally rising from the ashes. I’ll be painting this tonight at “Auspicious Art and Music expo” in Ojai details in the link for those of you able to attend https://www.facebook.com/events/1595360640550663??ti=ia
And if you haven’t already, please contribute what you can to my gofundme - I’ve almost recovered half of the money to replace what I lost in art supplies and merch thanks to your support but still have a ways to go.
Almost nothing remains; even glass and ceramics melted like crayons in the sun. Amazingly, after chopping through the collapsed stucco walls, we found her Kitten's urn, unbroken and unburnt.
As I sifted through the wreckage of my studio, I thought it fitting that all the remained was a little statue of Shiva, 'the transformer,' dancing among the ashes. To make room for the new, the old must give way and I'm praying that what emerges as our new life is stronger and better than before.
It was painful to see everything we left behind so totally destroyed, but we are hopeful for the future and the new life that you are helping make possible. Thanks to your kindness and generosity, we know we aren't alone as we find our new way forward.
Thank you so much to those of you who have donated so far. The support has been amazing.
But we are not there yet.
I'm sincerely asking for your help sharing my campaign and that you please consider donating if you are able. Any amount helps.