COLORADO DPRINGS, Colo. – The quest to find that first job can be daunting to anyone. But for one young man with autism, instead of becoming discouraged, he’s found a way to forge his way independently through art.
After struggling to find a job, Erik Yanez decided to become an entrepreneur. He spends his days creating custom artwork — everything from murals to custom shoes — and selling it.
“I was trying to do it to make some money,” explains Yanez, who says he finds his voice through art. “Everyone wants my paintings for sale.”
He’s saving up money to be independent while also trying to help his parents.
“I can paint the wall, and you can pay me what you want,” he said.
As a teen with autism, Yanez struggles with sensory issues and some basic daily activities. That’s why he’s now bending the world to fit his needs, using his art to make money, and he’s found that the income stream fits him well.
So with the help of his community, Yanez can support himself and show other it’s his world too.
He’s now turned to social media to sell his custom-made tennis shoes, t-shirts, murals, canvas paintings and more.
If you’re interested, send requests through Facebook messenger here. Requests can be made in Spanish and English.