Steve Baum’s Personal Tragedy Inspired “A B ART” Creations
In the face of tragedy, the creative process can help recalibrate a mourner’s life.
Steve Baum grew up in Chesterfield and graduated from Lafayette High School. He attended Mizzou and studied Business, Exercise Science and Nutrition. Baum is the owner of Iron Tribe Fitness, a highly personalized gym, in Brentwood; the motto of the gym is, “We Change Lives.” Baum has worked to help hundreds of people, in the fitness realm, to “get unstuck” from their unhealthy lifestyles. Now, he is looking to reach thousands of people and help them change their lives for the better—through his art creations and inspirational speeches connected to them.
Steve has a mission to make the world a better place by inspiring others to “get unstuck”–in life–by encouraging them to heal from personal tragedies and emotional wounds, motivating them to dig deeper inside their hearts to find their true purposes in life and challenging them to “give back” through their discovered purposes.
Unthinkable personal tragedy in Steve’s life eventually led to the creation of his colorful, detailed, symbolic art and the calling to free others, from the prisons of their own minds, in order to find their greater purposes. In 2010, Steve’s only child, Austin Baum, drowned in an icy pond, at the tender age of six.
“When I sit down to create a new piece of art, I think, ‘What would make Austin smile?’.” Baum said. “I feel like he is with me when I draw or paint; I feel very connected to him when I draw and it just flows through me.”
Henri Matisse, known for his whimsical abstract art, encouraged others to, “Look at life through the eyes of a child,” when creating art. Much like Matisse’s art, Baum’s art pieces are playful, humorous and simultaneously thought provoking.
Austin’s initials, letters “A” and “B” are cleverly incorporated into the designs of Steve’s multifaceted drawings. Also created using bold colors, Baum’s paintings are large-scale and more minimalistic in nature. Each drawing and painting is an illustration of different points and aspects of Baum’s journey. Hearts, roadways, arrows, swirls and rays of light are commons themes in his work; each piece having deep meaning and significance. In honor of his son as his inspiration for creation, Baum’s art collection and studio are both named, “A B Art.”
Artist, Gustav Klimt said, “Art is a line around your thoughts.” The creative process can help people work through pain and suffering and express their thoughts and feelings in a way that words cannot.
Emily Newman, a therapist and artist says, “Art has been an avenue of healing emotional wounds. Art making has the ability to move people along their journey of grief and loss into a more balanced place of healing and hope. In the face of tragedy, the creative process can help recalibrate a mourner’s life. People find comfort and emotional release in the process of creative expression, as well as from the final artistic product. To witness work that is generated from a desire to heal deep wounds can have the power of transforming the viewer’s experience as well; loss and grief are universal emotions and healing can happen when one feels less alone in their own experience.”
Steve has no “formal” art training—so to speak; following a recommendation from his own therapist– to explore a creative outlet—as a way to work through his tragic loss, Baum began adding pictures in his journal. By his own admission, his original journal paintings and drawings were very simplistic to the eye. More important than the aesthetic value was the story the images told and the meaning behind them. He uses this illustration to encourage others to try something new in the art realm.
“I actually surprised myself. As I continue to create and draw, my pieces became more and more detailed and the whole process is very peaceful and therapeutic. Don’t underestimate your own abilities; until you are willing to try new things you just don’t know what you are capable of doing,” Baum said.
Though Baum is not yet offering his original pieces for purchase, he is considering having limited artist prints and other items made, featuring select pieces of the A B Art collection and holding sales and auctions with a portion of proceeds for charitable fundraising purposes. Baum is willing to create new original pieces, by commission, for interested art enthusiasts and collectors.
Baum desires to continue sharing his art with others and speaking to groups, of all sizes and ages, inspiring them to overcome life’s tragedies and challenges by finding a greater purpose.
“I consider myself to be a great storyteller; my heart tells a story, my art tells a story…life keeps going…it’s like a train on tracks; I want to help people get on the right set of tracks. No matter what happens in life you can choose to shine and help other people,” Baum said.
Artist, Georges Braque, said, “Art is a wound turned into light.” Baum was the keynote speaker at a Congressional Prayer Breakfast and shared his story. He has been called to continue helping others by sharing his art, light and hope, through his compelling story; he speaks FREE of charge to schools, organizations, clubs, churches and businesses. Baum’s presentations are tailored specifically to his audiences, applicable to groups of any size, inspirational and age appropriate.
To book a free speaking engagement, complemented with a display of select pieces of Baum’s A B Art collection, call: 314.265.3503 or email Steve Baum: SBFitness@mac.com. To view additional art pieces, arrange a showing or commission Baum to create a new original piece, visit his Facebook page: A B Art.
“Austin was a go-getter, a leader. He was very outgoing and generous. Austin was so creative; he made up games on the playground and his many friends would love to play them. He was a very happy kid; so positive and caring, he just beamed. By sharing my art, my story and my journey–to help and inspire others–somehow, it allows Austin to live on,” said Baum.
By sharing my art, my story and my journey–to help and inspire others–somehow, it allows Austin to live on.”