Disability Grant Money Will Help Allen Start 3D Modeling Home Business
by Allen Stephenson
(Southwest Harbor, Maine, USA)
Wanting a 3D Modeling Home Business
My name is Allen Stephenson. I am a 49-year-old male who has been married to the same wonderful woman for 18 years.
We live in the beautiful little fishing village of Southwest Harbor, Maine on Mount Desert Island near Acadia National Park. I have lived in four states – California, Hawaii, Missouri and now Maine. I also lived for a short time in Japan.
Of all the places I have lived, Maine is the first place that I feel I am putting down roots and want to stay for the rest of my life. My wife feels the same way.
I have a certification in Computer Repair Technology that I earned in 1988, an Associate of Arts in Computer Information Systems earned in 2000 and a Bachelor of Science in Residential and Interior Design earned in 2008. I am also a first level certified practitioner in Classical Feng Shui.
A motorcycle accident left me with two broken bones in my right foot and tore all the tendons and ligaments free and amputated three of my toes. It also destroyed most of the cartilage in the foot.
When the place where the toes were reattached became infected, the essential removal of the dead tissue caused the tendons and ligaments to break free with no longer enough tissue left to reattach them.
I also received a closed head trauma, which went undiagnosed. Soon after the accident, I started having seizures.
Also, though I have had severe depression since my early teens, my depression worsened until I was constantly having suicidal thoughts.
Two years later, I had a seizure while driving my car, which caused an accident. The doctors then realized that the earlier motorcycle accident had caused brain damage.
When all the tests were finished, the results were that I was having generalized tonic-colonic and absence seizures with some indications of both myoclonic and colonic seizures as well.
They noted a loss of motor control and permanent short-term memory loss. I also move much slower than the average person and have tremors in my hands.
My continued efforts to work resulted in carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve entrapment and severe gallstones.
The final blow came when an extended seizure caused by a fire alarm caused a severe case of diverticulitis. After three surgeries and several complications, the doctors were forced to remove the entire colon.
All total I have been hospitalized for at least one week 16 different times and have had seven major surgeries.
My wife has mild cerebral palsy, public anxiety disorder and was recently diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. She has been unable to work in her entire life and thus does not qualify for Social Security Disability.
Because of my injuries, I have never been able to hold a job for more than five years, with the average being one and a half years. The fact that I cannot stand for more than a half an hour at a time and have a hard time controlling both my physical and mental functions tends to aggravate most employers.
But my seizures have been most devastating toward maintaining employment. They scare other employees and patrons, disrupt the workflow and occasionally endanger people, myself included. This tends to cause employers to start looking for any excuse to get rid of me.
That is if I even get the job in the first place.
My inability to drive has ended more job interviews than I can imagine.
I was finally declared permanently and totally disabled in 2004.
Still, I went back to school for a career in residential design. A two-year program took me five years to complete and left me with $50,000 in student loans and yet still no one would hire me no matter what skills or qualifications I showed.
I had to ask for forgiveness of my student loans. We cannot make even the lowest payment on what I receive on Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income of both my wife and myself.
We have to live in subsidized housing and depend on food stamps and the two local food banks just to get our basic needs. My Medicare and our MaineCare cover my medical equipment and our prescriptions with only small deductibles. However, our utilities often exceed our income, especially during the winters.
If anything goes wrong, it can devastate our finances. This year, a family emergency put us $2,800 in debt.
My wife and I each receive $134.50 a month in Supplemental Security Income. I receive $833 a month from Social Security Disability Insurance.
I also receive $15 a month from Maine State Disability.
We receive $153 a month in food stamps.
I have done miscellaneous one-time jobs, usually involving computer technology, that earn between $50 and $200 each but they are rare.
I work at the public library giving tech advice for five hours a week at $9.25 an hour.
I will welcome any prayers or advice that anyone has to offer us.
If you know of any grants or benefits that might help us it would be much appreciated. Our biggest concern is to get out of debt and out of subsidized housing.
If we can get some land and a small house, we could grow much of our own food and that would ease our worries considerably. The housing authority here will not let us have any garden, food, herb or flower.
Lastly, I need help raising money for a home-based business. It is in a business I know very well but do not have the proper equipment. I am working with a Vocational Rehabilitation worker. She is very excited about the project but admits that the most the state of Maine will pitch in is $2,500.
I am trying to raise the funds necessary for me to start a home-based business in digital 3D modeling. I need a quality graphics ready computer (which I designed myself), a special mouse, graphics pad and of course the software.
Digital 3D modeling is a small community whose work is in more demand than there are suppliers. There is high demand for both individual models and large collections.
Online marketplaces for 3D content allow individual artists to sell content that they have created. Companies can save money by buying pre-made models instead of paying an employee to create one from scratch.
These marketplaces typically split the sale between themselves and the artist that created the asset; artists get an average of 60% of the sales according to the marketplace. Some artists sell their products directly in their own website stores offering their products at a lower price. Serious independent modelers can make in excess of f$50,000 a year.
I have the skills to become a successful independent 3D modeler; however, I lack the equipment and software. If I can acquire these then I can establish ShadowMystic Studio and have the opportunity to get off of disability and become financially independent.
Because I make the models only once but sell them many times, the profit margin grows exponentially, especially as I place more items up for sale. The only true cost is the setup of the computer.
Once I have that, the only overhead will be the cost of electricity, the Internet provider and the occasional software update. The computer, as I have designed it, will last at least seven and probably more than ten years before it need any serious upgrades.