1.10.18 Painting Steeler’s Playoff Cleats

I was born into Yinzer culture. I love the city. I love the Steelers.

On December 14th of last year I tweeted out a goal of mine for the 2018 NFL season. I simply wanted to paint some cleats for the Steelers for the next season.

If I could achieve this goal I would take it as a huge honor. I don’t think anyone would argue that.

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I met Arthur Moats and Tyson Alualu at Cam Heyward’s Charity Event in October and this Christmas season I was commissioned to do a custom piece of Arthur by his wife Shonda. After I made the painting, posted the video, and delivered the painting, it started getting some recognition on social media because of the Moats family (who I am very grateful to).

After that it seemed like some really cool doors were opening. I reached out to Tyson and Moats about doing some cleats for them for the playoffs, trying to realize that goal so many months earlier.

On Arthur’s cleats I wanted to do something that reflected his motto which is “Dont Cross the Moats.”

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Moats is a great guy. Ask anybody that spends time around the Steelers, they all echo how great it is to be around Arthur Moats.

Arthur, I appreciate you giving me this opportunity to paint your cleats. I hope you make 15 tackles in them on Sunday!

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Tyson is from just outside of Honolulu, Hawaii. (Trust me when I do custom art for people I creep hard on them.) I wanted to do something that reminded him of Family.IMG_3208

I did a very Hawaiian design on his cleats. It very well could be the most beautiful place on earth. These cleats he will wear in pre-game since the NFL does not allow cleats to be worn that are not team color dominant.

The second pair are the shoes Tyson will wear during the game. He gave them to me completely white and black. Check out the final result below:

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The AIGA design is Samoan for FAMILY.

One of my best friends in college, Bubu, is Samoan and grew up near Tyson, just outside of Honolulu. He gave me this great “AIGA” idea for the game shoes Tyson will wear. Big thanks to my best bud, Bubu.

Tyson, thank you for letting me do this! I appreciate you, Uso!

God Opens the Doors.

God has been opening awesome doors. But I asked myself the other day, “how does painting cleats for NFL players glorify God’s Kingdom?” Last week at the Bible Chapel, the church I work as a youth pastor, Ron Moore (Senior Pastor) told a story that ended with a shoe store owner talking to his apprentice (who wanted to cut corners) about going to Heaven and having all his work piled up in front of God. He told his apprentice, “I live by Colossians 3:17 “In all you do, whether in word or in deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  When I get to Heaven, I want God to look at all of the shoes I made and look at me with a smile on His face and say ‘well done, good and faithful servant.”

It might be weird to some to say that I painted those shoes for Jesus. However, when I make art, I want the person that is receiving it to know that I have worked as hard as I can to make them the best piece I could have possibly done. I want that person to know that I am honoring God with every brush stroke because I will not waste the talents that God put in me.

Those cleats were painted in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Thank you for reading.

God Bless,

 

Cody.

Pray for Shazier Painting on WTAE

Pray for Shazier

#shalieve

I love how the city of Pittsburgh rallies together in support of some great causes around the city. If there is anything positive about Ryan Shazier’s injury on Monday Night Football, it’s that we can see an entire city, who loves its football and their athletes, come together to pray and show their support of injured linebacker, Ryan Shazier.

Here is the story WTAE ran last night on the painting. (Please excuse my awkwardness.)

Back before live performance painting was even a thought for me, I was a college football player at Kentucky Christian University. After playing Duquesne my Junior year as I was heading toward the locker room, Ryan Shazier was standing there and we talked for about 15 minutes and as I was walking into the locker room he told me to “heal up.” Ryan, I’m wishing you the same message.

I wanted to create a piece that was intense. I wanted to create something that showed fearlessness. I wanted to show the side of Ryan Shazier that proves he would come back stronger than ever.

You can view the painting on Youtube here:

This 13 minute speed painting is dedicated to Ryan Shazier.

IMG_2977Pray for Shazier.

#shalieve

-Cody.

12/9/17 Painting for the Penguins Foundation for Play It Forward PGH!

The best organization in sports is the Pittsburgh Penguins.

By far.

Tuesday morning I got a text during my Student Ministry Team meetings from The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “How confident are you that you can paint Kris Letang?” (0 experience ever painting Kris Letang). “Confident” I told them. “Good, Are you free on Saturday?” (Here is some artistic advice: Whenever the Pittsburgh Penguins ask you if you are free on a certain date, become free on that certain date.)

This past Saturday I walked into the suite I was painting at. I put my stuff to the side and sat around looking at the empty arena. Sarah, my incredibly attractive better half, sat at the bar and took a college final. As game time rolled around and things were getting set up, Pittsburgh Steelers Owner, Art Rooney II walked in. I had realized I’d better bring my A game.

What I had come to find out is that this suite was part of Play It Forward Pittsburgh and Jameson’s Army  at PPG Paints Arena. Jameson, is a 6 year old boy who was born with a heart condition known as Hypo plastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Jameson underwent 6 Open Heart Surgeries as well as receving a heart transplant at just 11 months old. The Pittsburgh Penguins were honoring Jameson’s bravery and toughness during these early years of his life.

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I got to talk to Jameson for a little bit at the game. He’s the happiest kid you would ever meet. He got to come onto the ice as 28,000 fans applauded him and got to ride the zamboni during the second intermission. The little dude is awesome.

I asked for some help on my painting the other night. Troy and Theodora Polamalu’s two boys were in the suite with Sarah and I, so they got to throw some paint around with me. And I had also asked Jameson if he would do the same and put his hand print next to mine.

 

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I am very blessed to know the awesome people at the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Through them I have been able to meet some of the most generous donors and charities in the Pittsburgh area.

I get to see the best parts of this city night in and night out.

Praise be to God for these opportunities.

Thanks for reading!

 

Cody.

Partnering with the Penguins Foundation.

I am blessed beyond belief to work with the greatest organization in sports. Back in September the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation asked me to work with them to raise money for the charities they support. Saying its been absolutely wonderful is an understatement. Here is a little video we made for one of the nights working with the Penguins.

Thank you for following me on this awesome journey.

 

10/23/17 Heyward House Event

My Dad could’ve played in the NFL.

…had he ever played football.

He is almost 6’4″, 265 lbs. He stood among guys like Ramon Foster and Brett Keisel on Monday night and other than being in his late 40s, he looked indistinguishable. He has the size, and had the athletic ability. Who knows what could’ve happened. Guys were smaller in the 90’s, he could’ve played. End Rant.

The reason I bring this up was because I was honored to be invited to the Hayward House Night of Steel and Steaks at Eddie Merlot’s. I get a plus one to these things and since Sarah is a 3 week journey away by horse and buggy in South Eastern, Kentucky, where we have to write letters to each other just to communicate, she could not make it. So I asked my dad to come. My parents rarely get to see me paint anymore. Unless they get a plane ticket to Dallas, Salt Lake City, New York, or spend half a weeks paycheck to get a ticket to one of the charity events, they aren’t there.

I took the opportunity to have him there this time to watch and hang out with Steelers like Ramon Foster, Stephon Tuitt, Brett Keisel, Charlie Batch, Tyson Alualu, Arthur Moats, Dan McCullers, and Cam Heyward. Bob Pompeani of KDKA, who, is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet Emceed the event.

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I always get a deep warm feeling during these things. The Heyward House is a charity foundation that does incredible things for children with cancer. I saw a large body of people Monday night get behind a great cause and decide to make a difference. I get to be a part of some of the most heart warming events in Pittsburgh. 80% of my events are charities. I am constantly seeing the best sides of Pittsburgh and the most generous sides of people. People want to make change in Pittsburgh for the better. Its great to see. Pittsburgh is a good place looking to become even better.

 

 

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The paintings I did that night were a profile of Cam in uniform, who, right before, said: “Its going to be hard not to make me look ugly.” to my response “… well Cam, that is where I have to trust in the Holy Spirit.” Evangelism at its finest. The second painting was a special one of Cam and his father Craig, who also spent years in the NFL and tragically passed away from cancer nearly twenty years ago.

 

 

Here is the KDKA news clip of it:

The paintings sold for nearly $8,500. With Cam’s wife, Allie, winning the one of Cam and Craig Heyward.

I am blessed I get to do this. Blessed by God. I get to meet some of the hardest working people every day, for causes that are so great to be a part of. I love being able to tell people I am a pastor. I love being able to share by what power I am able to do this. I love when people ask where my church is and how they want to check it out.

 

I AM BLESSED.

 

Thank you, Heyward House! Thank You, Jesus!

 

-Cody

 

NHL NETWORK 10/4/17

Crazy.

No other word better describes that day.

I can’t explain how grateful and shocked I am to be typing a blog about how I appeared on National Television for one of the biggest sports networks in North America.

I was asked to be a part of the 2017-2018 NHL Opening Night celebration for the NHL Network. IMG_2261.JPG

During the night I painted Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Brent Burns, and my favorite player since I was 8, Marc Andre Fleury. I also created a collage of some of the network analysts such as EJ Hradek, Mike Rupp, and Jackie Redmond.

Here are a few clips from LIVE TV:

(Full disclaimer: I am very comfortable speaking in front of crowds, I am very personable on stage, HOWEVER, live TV is an entirely different animal. Please do not judge.)

Here is the first clip via Twitter Link!

Sorry, Jackie, Ej, and Mike for being so awkward. Please have me on again, I’ll do better.

While I was at the Network I was accompanied around by Neal Slotkin. Neal was extremely courteous and even gave us a tour of the place. NHL Network shares its studios with the MLB Network. I was taken through studio 21, 42, and 3. Those, of course, are named after Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson, and Babe Ruth.

Again, the journey this week was incredible. I have been blessed. Doors keep opening. All I am doing is being faithful to my calling. To work hard and do all things in the name of Jesus.

The first thing I want people to know is why I do it. I do it because of him.

Colossians 3:17

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Thank you for following along with me this crazy week!

 

-Cody

 

Sean Lee’s Dream Builders! Dallas, TX

I’ve never flown to paint before.

I had the crazy awesome opportunity to paint for Sean Lee’s Dream Builders event last night in Dallas, Texas.

Sean is a graduate of Upper Saint Claire in Pittsburgh, PA, right next to the Church that I am a director for in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Not only are we both WPIAL football players, but Sean also played football at Penn State where my parents graduated from.

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It has been a great opportunity to meet one of Western Pennsylvania’s greatest football players. An NFL All-Pro and Captain of the Dallas Cowboys.

I painted twice last night! Sean had his painting, and I did another one of a young Jason Witten. Each Painting sold for 3,000 dollars. A total of 6,000 dollars for the boys and girls club in Dallas.

Here are a few more pictures from the night:

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I cant thank the Dream Builders organization enough for letting me be a part of this event!

 

Thank you Jesus for your grace and the opportunities to share why I do what I do.

-Cody.