Meet our new artist, Ben Schneider! He is truly showing the world that his art inspires hope. Ben was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Art has been a part of Ben’s life from a very early age, providing him with an essential outlet with which to calm and express himself. Art has become Ben’s passion, and continues to provide him opportunities to enjoy meaningful and fulfilling work. Ben loves using acrylic and mixed media to create his dynamic paintings. He is always searching for new techniques to experiment with in his studio, and loves using bright colors and interesting combinations.
What do you do when you first get in the studio?
The first thing I do is set up supplies and canvases. While I’m setting up my materials, I start thinking about the style of the painting and the colors I want to use. I then pick out my paints and prepare them for the painting I will be completing.
How many paintings do you work on at a time?
I usually work on two paintings at a time, though that number can vary. It takes close to a week for the paints to dry, and to add finishing coats to it. Sometimes I will do multiple canvases that go together in a set, so that can be up to 4 canvases at once.
Do you have a dream project that you would like to work on?
My dream project would be to combine patterns using painters tape, and the technique of pouring acrylics. I think the combo of the materials would create a good painting.
If you could paint with anyone, who would it be?
I enjoy painting with my mentor Nicole. She helps me keep my materials organized and assists me when needed. She also helps me keep notes on the paintings, like what colors I used, and any special equipment I choose.
What is your favorite way of generating ideas and inspiration?
The main way I generate ideas is in my head through visions and pictures I see. That helps me decide what I want to try. I also will research new ideas and techniques online. I am very inspired by colors. I love to combine unexpected colors and see the outcome.
How has your art evolved over time?
The main way I have evolved with my art is that my skills have improved. I now understand the routine I need to do to be successful in the art studio. I also think I have evolved the techniques I use. I started with just pouring paint on canvases, and now I have many techniques and materials that I use in projects. I also now have preferences on paint brands I use as well. Each brand can be different, but I know which ones I like.
What do you like most about your work?
What I like most about my work is when I complete a painting. It makes me feel accomplished. I like to look at the finished art and see the final project. I also really like my use of colors. I pair things together that may be unexpected sometimes, but it always looks good in the end.
What is one word that best describes your style?
I think one word that describes my art is “movement”. Throughout all of my art pieces, you can see the unique movements of the paint, and the movement of the colors combining. As for my personal style, I would say I am precise and mellow. I am very precise with measuring paint ratios and completing projects, yet manage to keep a mellow attitude while I’m in the art studio.
Is there an idea you would like to explore?
I really would like to explore the use of tape in my paintings. I like that I can tape away parts of the canvas from the paint I am pouring, and when I remove the tape, a unique outcome of patterns and paint appear. I am also looking into adding more texture to my artwork through the use of gels and other thickening materials.
What is your favorite time of day to paint?
My favorite time of day to paint is in the evenings. I feel like I am most alert and focused in the evenings, and I tend to be most efficient then as well.
Do you ever get “stuck” on a piece? If so, what do you do?
I don’t really ever get stuck on any art pieces. I am very decisive when it comes to the colors I choose and the techniques I use. I do, however, learn and gain knowledge with each piece I complete. I am able to use that knowledge I gained to make adjustments as I move forward into new art pieces.
What is up next on your easel?
When I think about what’s next, I think about trying new techniques and seeing how it goes. I like to evolve as an artist and I’m pretty open to new ideas. I do like to research new ideas, and I tend to plan out new projects to try in the future.
In 2012 Ben’s parents started a non-profit called Ben’s Fund to help children and young adults with autism reach their full potential through financial aid, awareness, and hope! Ben’s Fund has raised over $2,329,166, and portions of the sales of Ben’s artwork go to support the non-profit! Check out their website for more information.
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