From Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Basic Black And White…

It’s been a rather unusual – but fun and very enjoyable – 48 hours. Over that small amount of time, I was interviewed by journalist Eileen Smith Dallabrida for the News Journal’s Delaware Style Files, photographed for the
accompanying fashion shoot by photojournalist Jason Minto and then spent a couple of hours during the evening being introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by coach and teacher Shawn Bidio (owner of Rip Tide Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Lewes, Delaware) for the latest Arts & Entertainment Report.

Michael Sprouse wears a rust red, crushed velvet Madison blazer, black Hanes T-shirt with a big TwinFin Media logo, jeans by Van Heusen and black velvet, ankle-high Kenneth Cole boots in his studio in Lewes. (Photo: JASON MINTO/THE NEWS JOURNAL)

Me with my TwinFin Media logo t-shirt and favorite red velvet blazer in my studio.

Somehow in that mix, I also spent several hours co-producing the A&E segment with TwinFin‘s brilliant cinematographer/editor and co-founder Nick Gruber and helping to craft a landing page for the awesome Arts & Entertainment Portal (definitely worth checking out all you artsy types out there) with the über-talented digital designer Alexis Shaak (also a co-founder of TwinFin Media).

I have to admit, I’ve never considered myself to be much of a style guy. I don’t spend lots of money on clothes. I just wear what I think looks good and what feels right and comfortable to me. As an artist, there’s always creative underlying flair, but that’s par for the course for life for most people who work in the arts.

Eileen thought that I would be a good subject for her weekly style and fashion article (one of the most popular articles in the News Journal I’ve been told by others) so I was honored and flattered to be asked by her for the interview.


Getting my Gi on with Shawn Bodio

She’s a total professional (with the career and credentials to back it up) and I was impressed by her ability to get me to think about style in a different manner that went beyond the “What am I going to wear today” mindset.

I had to select three outfits and describe them in detail for the article. It was actually fun making the decisions on what to wear and remembering why and how I came across the items. I believe the print version comes out on Sunday the 13th but you can read the online version here.

Moking Bird On The Fence ©2016 Michael Sprouse

“Mocking Bird On The Fence” ©2016 Michael Sprouse

I had no idea what to expect when I walked into Rip Tide Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for our interview with Shawn. He is a very charismatic and friendly guy and it was fascinating learning the back story on the martial art. He even showed me a couple of moves on the mat which involved me wearing the traditional Jiu Jitsu uniform called a Gi and being flipped over on my back a couple of times.

Jiu Jitsu is less combat focused and more about self-defense in the manner of getting yourself out of a bad situation. All good to know. Plus, there’s the added benefit of weight loss and the building of physical stamina. Check out the segment online here.

And, in the middle of all of this creative action, I also managed to find the time to get some very nice photos of birds. Spring is in the air and the birds are everywhere looking for mates, building nests or whatever it is that birds do in Spring.

Never let it be said that a life in the arts is boring. Life is as exciting as you want to make it. Don’t forget what the character Betty Draper of the brilliant TV show Mad Men once said, “Only boring people are bored.” And remember – check out the A&E Portal – that’s definitely exciting and artistic!