Evangelina “Eva” Schmutzler
Evangelina “Eva” Schmutzler is 10 years old and lives at home with Dad, Mom, older brother, Vincent, six hermit crabs, four fish and a black and white dog she named after an obsession at the time- Rainbow. Eva has displayed a strong desire to create from the time she could first grasp a marker. She was so obsessed with drawing that she would create hundreds of pictures a week as a toddler, using any paper she could get her hands on. Even today, wherever Eva goes, there is usually a sketch pad at hand. While her fixation with drawing was a wonderful way to help her focus and calm herself, she struggled immensely socially, emotionally and with communication. After many evaluations, both the delightful and more puzzling aspects of her personality finally “fit” when she was diagnosed with Autism level 1 (also language, attention and anxiety disorders) at the age of 5.
Progressing from insisting on only monochromatic drawings to experimenting with color and building textile creations, Eva has blossomed into a talented young artist. She finds inspiration while pouring over graphic novels, Picasso, anime and objects in nature. She also particularly enjoys taking found objects and forming sculptures and imaginative scenes with them. When she is not creating, Eva is usually playing outside where she hangs out with neighborhood friends and studies insects with a passion. She also plays AYSO soccer, and after 5 years in public school is currently homeschooling. Her favorite subjects are math and social skills and her career goal is to become both a wolf biologist and a freelance artist. Eva also feels passionately about encouraging others to use good environmental practices and treat the world around us with care.
While Eva is considered “high functioning,” she has invested many years in therapy aimed at overcoming her language disorder and sensory issues. She is now fully verbal, but still working on social skills and emotional regulation- two things her artwork helps facilitate. Today she is proud to represent the autism community and demonstrate that those with autism can achieve amazing things.