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The only other time I can remember having this much money in my bank account was after my father died. In fact, it was a very similar amount. Then, I remember thinking it was a useful amount, but not exactly life changing. We paid a little bit off the mortgage, we bought a new old car, and had a holiday and possibly a new bed. It was nice to use his hard-earned to make our life a little easier.

This time, this amount is doing things to my brain. I suspect it has already been life-changing. A couple of people who know about these things have said my application must have been outstanding. My project must be brilliant!

Though I say so myself, I was proud of my application, it was a good one!
The project in my head is brilliant, but it hasn’t been done yet, so how do people know?
The answer lies, in part, that ACE have funded it, so it must be! Right?
I bloody well hope so!

It is in my power to make it so.

I feel the weight of expectations.

It is my responsibility to make it as good as I possibly can, as this cash has come out of lots of people’s pockets. I owe them their money’s worth.

My practice seems to have moved up a gear, I can feel it.
I’m having some printing done. By a printer. I’m not photocopying onto crappy paper, I’m having postcards done for my open studio launch event thingy. I shall hand them around to the great and good. The theory being that people keep postcards, but throw away bits of paper. They particularly keep postcards with nice images and text on. I’m getting new boards put up and painted in the gallery space next to my studio. I’m going to get the vacuum cleaner out.

But the biggest thing is something I wasn’t expecting.
Today I have opened up a new bank account, and deposited the grant. I have made a couple of payments immediately. It feels great to be able to pay people. The barter system is all very well, and we artists are expert at skill swapping, materials exchanges, time swapping… But… Today I have paid people what they are worth, in proper, real, actual money. I feel at last, I am paying these people professional respect for their work and talent and skills. With a big thank you to them for still supporting me when I couldn’t.
It is weird being on the giving end. It is great to be on the receiving end of a fair rate of pay. To hand it out is absolutely fantastic!

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