Michael Schneider, Kansas City, Missouri Member Since March 2013 Artist Statement Okay, so where do I start? I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Fourth generation of evangelists, preachers, and teachers of God's kingdom. Also for four generations of doing hardwood floors or some type of construction for a living. So to the point. No one in my family, for at least the past four generations, has ever seen a life with a silver spoon any where close to home. It also seemed as though nearly all in my family have had some sort of artistic bone. Whether it was with music, drawing, painting, sculpting or beautifully skilled labor. There has been ancestors throughout our family coming from many sorts of backgrounds. An Italian mobster, an Irish lady of the night, a Jew hiding his heritage, Cherokee that had walked the trail of tears, a Dutch Pilgrim that stepped foot onto American soil for the first time from the Mayflower, and many other nationalities such as French, British, German, Swiss, and only God knows what else. I guess you could say I have always considered myself to be your typical American mutt. So to explain my art. I would say it is a bit like my life. Full of different, wide ranged, and varying stories. Of course after studying to be an art teacher. I would say, I had experienced and experimented with many types of genres and materials towards creating. I love it all. My more frequented materials is drawing art, painting art, digital computer art and photography both digital and black and white art. I would not necessarily categories my art in any one genre either. But my greater influences comes from Surrealism, Abstract, Impressionism and Comic Book styles of art. After nearly dying a few times, I realized that God was trying to get my attention. I realized he was not going to give up on me no matter what, and that I should not give up on him. It has been found that I have SLAC wrist and arthritis in my hands and I have degenerative disc disease and arthritis throughout my spine. I had surgery on my left hand but decided against it on my right. But now i need the surgery on my right hand and it is actually worse than the left. I also have fibromyalgia and nerve damage due to canal narrowing and spurring on my spine. Also arthritis in my knees and ankles. Then also I have developed issues with depression and anxiety. Let me tell you, It just flat out sucks... These are not issue that an artist or anyone wants to have. I find it physically challenging in several ways to create my art. I am a determined person. Giving up, will just never happen. I believe my imagination and artistic abilities guide me to the purposes of my life. I will create art no matter what, with nub, stick, mouth, mind, word, movement, and/or emotion. I am now without work, going through to much doctor/hospital crap. In 2009 I had to stop physical labor and then decided to turn my focus on God, the coffee house (Yahweh Underground) and my art. Most importantly I am finally pursuing that which I believe is God's will for my life. I live with Mother, Father and Grandmother. We are sort of a pitiful bunch but as a whole hope is strong... It is all good. =) Patients seems to be the key, and Persistence gets you there. We may all function a little differently, but in our own ways we have the chance to be equal. I believe that when dealing with all people you have to accept each individual’s personalized means of functioning. Patience, compassion, knowledge, and understanding are the most important tools in helping other people. I believe that art is an important key to developing imaginative and cognitive abilities. It also builds hand and eye coordination and constructive skills. Imagination is the first and very much a huge, natural ability given by God in order to find our ways through a world of unknown without knowing a thing. I can imagine all an artist could ask for, is that one could use there imagination to reach out and touch someone, be it by mind, body, and/or soul.