Okay, so where do I start? I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. A fourth generation of evangelists, preachers, and teachers of God's kingdom. Also for four generations most of my family has done hardwood floors or some type of construction for a living. So to get to the point with that. 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, my family has never been short on talent. 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.
Hmm... So how about that doing life thing... Well, i am trying to write a book about it. My life that is. It has been, if its alright to say, one heaven/hell of a ride.
I first went to school 3 1/2 years at MO Valley to be an artist. First 1 1/2 years was spent being bad and not really learning. During the last half my brother and I both got on track with God. We started a little league wrestling team and also pastored a youth group. Then came our ministry the Yahweh Coffee House that started in 1993-4 and still goes today. Don't ask me how it still keeps going but it does. All I can say it it has to be a God thing. It's purpose is to reach out to the many lost and troubled youth. Mostly from the streets but also from castles.
I then decided to transfer to UMKC but, ended up marrying one of the lost who was found through the coffee house. After we got married, we ended up living in LA, CA for about 3 years. It was a very educational experience. We lived 1 step above homeless and was even homeless for a time. There is way to much to explain right now but it is sort of why I am writing a book. I had made a living out there building sets for videos and many other construction jobs. Had even made money doing audience participation/TV stuff. She had gotten into stripping kinda stuff. LA slowly sucked her life out and nearly got mine. We hit another low financial point during a good run when we had our own apartment. So I chose to go to KCMO and make a little money and then go back. While here I thought she should come back with me and stay here for a bit then go back out. She refused to come back. Instead she decided that she would rather stay there with the Gothics and Vampires she had been hanging out with. Blah blah blah, it goes on in some detail and it is not an entirely a happy or pretty story. For one she neared death at least 3 times through overdoses and suicide attempts. It was really hard times and for the longest she was presumed dead. Thank God we now know that she is alive. I truly don't know what else to say about it for now. It is a lot...
Then was the time I lived with my cousin. It is another extremely detailed story. Basically, I lived a pretty hard life while I was with him also. I nearly died twice while living there. Not his fault for sure, just mine. After I had got hurt in Party Cove at the Lake of the Ozarks, I started realizing again that God was trying to get me to do something with my life. I realized he was not going to give up on me no matter what, and that I should not give up on him.
Then I went to Guatemala on a mission trip with my Dad. I had went on this trip for 3 years in a row. On the second trip is when I met my second wife. I know that I should have probably worked harder on this marriage, but past is past. Our life views did not exactly line up. Her and her family had problems with my family. I did not care to much for such judgmental behavior. I had been there done that and seen the negative connotations it has upon life. Maybe it could have been dealt with and worked through, but hey it is what it is.
While I was with her for 3 years a lot happened then also. I went back to school which is a big mess of stories as well. Basically after changing my degree a few times I ended up with a major in art and minors in education and theater. I was supposed to be an art teacher but after student teaching and graduating they decided to withhold my certification. I got in trouble for burglary when I was 18 in 1991. There was ways around it but my life seems to want to be a bit more complicated than that.
During my second attempt at college some things about me physically was discovered. Which is why I changed my degree a few times. It was 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 which has now changed. I now am planned to get the surgery.. I have also been diagnosed now with fibromyalgia and some pretty bad nerve damage due to some canal narrowing and spurring on my spine. Also there is arthritis in my knees and ankles. Then on top of everything else I have developed serious issues with depression and anxiety. I have a pretty full schedule with doctor visits all the time. A bit annoying I must say... Also let me tell you, It just flat out sucks... These are not issue that an artist or anyone wants to have.
I am good with all of it. I know God has got it. Besides, I have lived such a full life, I would not trade it. I have learned so much and can relate to nearly anything. Without these experiences I would probably be just another self conceded @$$ hole. Pardon my language, but hopefully you see what I am saying. After getting through student teaching and being to pissed at the system to even want and jump through any more hoops I went back to physical labor. Which was building theater sets, and doing hardwood floors.
Then I met my third wife. I figured I was not gonna go wrong this time. I chose someone that I thought was in between a vampire and a holier than thou type. She basically left me because and well as she said, she deserved a whole man not a half a man or even a piece of a man. Of which she considered me to be. So now she has been more of a pain than I can explain. She now happily has her whole man. Had him for God knows how long before getting rid of me, but such is life right.
I have none of my own children but, my last wife had 3 girls. It is what has hurt me the most. I love them very much. I hated that relationship being hurt.
It is now 2013 and all of my injuries and overall tensions have caught up with me. I even find it physically challenging in several different ways to create my art. I am a fairly determined person however. Giving up, I must emphasize 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 hope and believe is God's will for my life. I now live with my Mother, Father and Grandmother. Yes we are sort of a pitiful bunch but as a whole we are hoping to function well enough... It is all good. =)
I had applied for government help in order to manage and move forward with my life. The applications for this where filed in 2009. I am still having troubles but have managed to get Medicaid. Still though no car, no income, and yet there are still bills, needs and yes even wants. I have managed to receive some help though. I have now been scheduled to get surgery on my right hand also now and it is actually worse than the left. It all kinda sucks but hey, what can you say except Yiippeee... 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 individualís personalized means of functioning. Patience, compassion, knowledge, and understanding are the most important tools in helping other people.
I also believe that art is a very important key to developing and building imaginative and cognitive abilities. It also builds hand and eye coordination along with constructive skills. I also believe that imagination is the first and very much so a huge, natural ability given by God in order to find our ways through a world of unknown without knowing a thing. All I can imagine that an artist could ask for, is that one would be able to use there imagination to reach out and touch someone, be it by mind, body, and/or soul.