By Emma Regolini
July 10th, 2020
Efdot, also known as Eric Friedensohn is U.S. based artist and creative mind known for his figurative hand-drawn works. His minimalist, abstract-meets-figurative style has allowed him to work solo or collaborative across mediums worldwide
Drawing inspiration and nuance from artists including M.C. Escher and Keith Haring, Efdot has been able to establish a signature style and apply it to branded projects with WeWork, Google and Skillshare among others.
Efdot’s latest community-building project Muralists, is an online platform feature stories and advice from muralists around the world. In an age when ‘go-big-or-go-home’ outdoor messaging and murals have the power to start conversations and create change, Muralists is an exciting platform to see grow.
We asked Efdot a few questions about his creative process during the pandemic as well as advice for his younger self and other artists.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 18 year old self what would it be?
I’d tell my 18-year-old self to not be afraid of putting your art out there for fear of judgement. And don’t be afraid to focus on a specific niche of creative work. That’s how people will remember and support you.
What advice would you give to a young creatives wanting to freelance/source clients?
Start out by building a solid portfolio to show potential clients. Focus on quality AND quantity. If you have a product that is unique and memorable, it’s just a matter of time before clients reach out to work with you. Patience and persistence is the key.
Respect the people you’re working with, but also respect your own needs and rights.
What was the impetus for starting Muralists?
I noticed a lot of artists wanting to get into painting murals, but they didn’t have too many helpful resources or opportunities to learn.
In 2018, I started collaborating and having conversations with different muralists to study their processes. I wanted to share their work, experience, and knowledge of others in the field, along with the things that have served me as a muralist. Everyone’s practice is different, so having a platform that can share the nuances and narratives of each artist is really awesome.
We are just getting started with the Muralists project, and will be launching a podcast very soon called “Extra Paint” to share deeper conversations with our featured artists. You can find it at www.muralists.com.
Has your creative process changed while working through the pandemic?
Yes, definitely. I have been making fewer murals and collaborating in-person less. This is because most of my commercial mural projects have been postponed as businesses are shut and big events are not really happening. But I am still making art, in the form of donation-based murals, drawings and paintings, limited edition prints and baseball cards.
Is there a dream project that you would like to work on?
I would like to design and paint a skate park. I can see it having a ton of awesome skateable sculptures and murals in it as well.
What are three key learnings/lessons
from your contract with WeWork?
1. Everything can be a collaboration, and therefore be made stronger.
2. I learned various tools and techniques that allow for my work to explore different media. I consider myself a multidisciplinary artist and feel that I can create works for a multitude of spaces/environments.
3. Research makes more impactful art. Art typically exists within a specific context, and, through research, you can make your art resonate deeper with an audience or serve as an example of a particular time or place.
What is your dream mural location?
I haven’t painted a mural on the side of a building larger than three stories tall. I’d like to do a large mural like this in the next year. I’m not super picky about the location as long as there are a good amount of people around to actually see and enjoy the mural. If I had to choose a city I’d say Barcelona… They have a great art/design scene I’ve always had a dream to live there.
Can you describe your work/style in three words?
Clean, Bold, Optimistic