At age nineteen, John Paul Schafer decided to become a professional painter. “I’ve been all kinds of different artists. I’ve been a commercial artist as a way of making a living, but always a very serious painter. I always said I was a studio painter first who worked to support it.”
Ultimately, John knew that art was his true calling. It was obvious to others as well. John grew up in Independence, Iowa, a small farming community that didn’t generally employ career artists. Still, his family, in spite of having their fair share of trouble, always encouraged the development of his gifts. They believed his abilities were God-given and should be nurtured.
“Art for me, all through my childhood, was really kind of a saving grace, because there were other challenges. It’s because of Tom Schafer, who’s actually my adopted father, that I insist on being self-employed. Dad taught me the value of owning your own business: being your own man, answering to no one except your customers and the people who depend on you."