Welcome to the Whirl: Texting with Gene. . .


I’ve started to do these really fun videos where you get to experience a fun chat between me and my creative friends & acquaintances.  The idea came from an interview I saw done this way with artist Shura (her album Nothing’s Real is stellar BTW).  Hers was super fancy and animated and all that good stuff that money can buy.  But, I loved the idea and knew there had to be a way for me to create something like that.

Within five minutes, I had found a way and within another two or three minutes, artist Laura Baran had said yes, that she’d text with me!  About four or five hours after that, the video premiered on my YouTube channel: Welcome To The Whirl: Texting with Laura . . . We texted about her new baby, art, and new series of gorgeous watercolors of people on the streets of New York City.

I’ve already conducted another one with singer/songwriter Aquino which will go live on Thursday, August 4th.  That was another great text chat all about Michael’s new album Giants Will Fall and his upcoming on-line show!


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and get in on all the whirling fun: The Whirling Gene

Visit these two awesome artists:



Welcome To The Whirl!

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Back in 2013, I did a few interviews with some of my favorite artists and creatives and titled them Welcome To The Whirl!  Due to my mother’s diagnosis with cancer, I needed to stop most of my work, other than my art, and therefore, WTTW was shelved.

I’m bringing it back as the name of my blog, which will also contain interviews, both live and via Skype, written interviews, my own occasional pieces of writing and these fun text-messaging videos that I’ve started to put together. (Texting with Laura . . .)

I’m excited to get back to doing this because I truly, truly love it so much!  And, I’m even more excited about the fact that so many people I’ve asked to take part, have already said YES!!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be in on all the goodnes: YOUTUBE.COM/THEWHIRLINGGENE


The Memory Project


A couple of months ago, I signed up with The Memory Project, to create a portrait.  The Memory Project is a wonderful organization that connects art students/artists with children and teens around the world who have been neglected, orphaned or disadvantaged.  The artists then create portraits of these children, which are then delivered to them.

I received my package and information and had the extreme honor of getting to create a portrait for this little boy you see here.  His name is Sanskar.

E-591 Sanskar

The minute I saw his face I knew that I wanted to create something special for him and that he’d be a shining little sun.  Working with my art teacher, the great Laura Baran, I was able to create his portrait and get it to the Memory Project in time for the flight to Nepal.

I’m thrilled that the portraits have been delivered and I’d like to share a video by the Memory Project of their travel to Nepal and the delivery of the portraits.  Hopefully soon I will be receiving a photo of Sanskar with his portrait and I’ll share that as well.

Nepal 2014 from Ben Schumaker on Vimeo.

If you’re an artist and would like to get involved or if you’d just like to make a donation to this incredible organization, please visit their website: MEMORYPROJECT.ORG

Interviewed by Edie Weinstein!



I was recently interviewed by the wonderful Edie Weinstein for The Bliss Blog over at Beliefnet.com.  It was a great experience because Edie, being the journalist that she is, asked some really interesting questions that made me think of my work in a different way.

You can read the article here: Whirling Magic

And make sure to leave a comment on the article page since I will be choosing one person at random to win a signed LIFE AFFIRMING BUTTERFLY print!!  Winner will be chosen next week!