I figured it out.
Today, at a salon for this year's Not Just Another Pretty Face exhibition I was told that I am a "Contemporary Intuitive Portrait Artist". I figure that's a good way to start this blurb. The pieces that I create are purely process based. I freestyle. I rarely plan for the image beforehand. Where I chose to put time, is into the method of their creation. I combine materials and processes with no goal but to make something that looks cool. From these chemistries of actions and materials I concoct what rapper Busta Rhymes illustrated as "many and various styles of all sorts *insert echo*". I've spent a lifetime crafting in this way and have developed a level of mastery that allows me to even create in front of an audience. My work to me is hunting through darkness for shiny bits of newness (because with newness comes hope). Its sculpting with light (whether I'm sculpting or drawing). its carpentry, its strategy. Its a rhyme etched with a drying ballpoint pen onto a steno pad. Its precise. It is, how they say, what it is.
Mike Stidham was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He attended Cleveland State University and received a BA in English in 2007. That year while working in a classroom at an alternative school Michael decided to pursue a career in Fine Art. To meet this end Michael applied to and was accepted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 2010 and graduated with a BFA in 2012. Since then he's been practicing drawing and ceramics.