Brian and Sam Frazer

 Paint strokes, musical chords, comical phrases, and play lines. These are all things that can be learned in a classroom. Using those skills to create works of art is something that inherently lies within certain individuals. Brian Frazer and his 80 year-old father, Sam, are two of those people who just have that creative gift. Their connection through their artistic talents has brought them even closer than they were before.

Sam Frazer attended Pratt Institute on an art scholarship and started his teaching career as an elementary school art teacher, but had to prematurely retire when his wife, Rhoda, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1977. Eventually, Mrs. Frazer had to retire from teaching as well and they both moved to the warmer climate of Fort Myers, Florida. For 30 years, Sam dedicated most of his time to his wife, putting his art second. There would be times when Sam would be working intently on a painting only to be disrupted by Rhoda’s needs and have it dry or drip in ways he didn’t intend. As his time commitments became more dedicated to his wife, his art suffered and opportunities became few and far between. It says a lot about someone who is willing to give up their entire career to take care of someone they love. In April of 2012, Mrs. Frazer had to be moved to a retirement home where Sam would come take care of her for 12-14 hours a day. It’s safe to say Sam had his hands full.

Across three time zones in Los Angeles, Brian wanted to provide Sam with an outlet to practice his gift while his father sat by his mother’s side as she napped. Brian, being a former stand-up comedian and now a writer, started emailing his father short paragraphs of funny scenarios that he would think of during the day and Sam would turn the words into a single image. Thus, Frazer’s Edge was born.

The process is simple. Brian comes up with an idea, runs it by a select few friends and then emails Sam a few sentences. When Sam has time, he’ll pull up the email and start sketching. By the end of the day, Sam scans and sends Brian the finalized image after a few drafts. At first, there were a few difficulties, starting from the three-hour time difference and only being able to communicate their ideas via phone call. Sometimes it took them three or four drafts to get to a final product they both agreed on, but often Sam would come up with the perfect rendition of the sketch the first time. It just shows the innate connection and artistic ability that the father and son have. Sam and Brian have been keeping up with this routine going on two years and have created over 500 cartoons, many of which can be found on their website and Facebook page.

One thing I heard over and over again throughout the conversation I had with Brian and Sam is that some people just have the natural talent to be an artist, an athlete, or a performer. I can tell you one thing: these two have it, whatever it may be.