We had the good fortune of connecting with Edward Sprafkin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edward, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” That advice sounds like a dream, but working for yourself is the most demanding work you’ll ever do! However, it is the most satisfying and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The majority of my work is painted directly from life to experience the subject first hand. Whether a picturesque landscape or live portrait model. I’m more interested in capturing a person or place’s mood and impression than a photographically detailed rendering. Even when working from a photo reference, I use it as a jumping-off point and give myself an artistic license to interpret rather than copy verbatim. As far as teaching, I’ve been sharing my knowledge for the past 14 years and love helping artists of all levels advance in their artistic journeys. I’m sure every profession has its challenges, but I believe perseverance is the key to success. There will be many uphill battles and hurdles to jump, but the willingness to push forward even an inch at a time is essential for survival. A simple lesson learned along the way in the social media age is to produce and share your best work possible and don’t have any expectations. Art has been my calling for my entire life. My goal is to put out the best work possible for my collectors and provide the best instruction for my students.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Sedona is the top must-see destination in my book. Even though this is the Grand Canyon State, I would put Sedona at a hair length ahead of the Grand Canyon. Simply because of the number of spectacular views, outdoor activities, dining, shopping, and galleries in the Sedona area. In Sedona, the best food for the buck is at Café Jose and the Wildflower Café. I’m an artist, so I would visit as many trailheads and vistas as possible to take in the sights. Jerome is another fun day-trip destination, just a short drive outside of Sedona, and within an hour north of Sedona, Flagstaff offers more activities and sites to see. As I said, Sedona, Jerome, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon are the must-see destinations for any visitor.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Scottsdale Artists’ School has helped make the transition from east coast artist to desert dweller a much smoother one. I haven’t found a greater concentration of talent and kindred spirits in Arizona. I’m happy to announce that I will teach two workshops in portrait and landscape painting at SAS in 2021. It’s a great honor and milestone to advance from a workshop attendee to a workshop instructor. All of my students and collectors deserve a ton of credit. Without their support, I wouldn’t be able to pursue my artistic passion and wouldn’t be able to assist them in pursuing theirs.