"So what's it gonna take? Silver shadow believer..." -Shiny Toy Guns

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Most Def. Consider "ReconsidART"

Artist, Ricky Watts has been a great friend and inspiration to me for a number of years. His work is always innovative and a truly perception altering experience. Anyone with an interest in graffiti, works made of recycled material, or simply looking to expand your mind for the evening should join us for:


Friday, July 10 7:00p to 10:00p
at Petaluma Mail Depot, Petaluma, CA

Event Info

All art lovers in or around Sonoma County, should stop by. Visit Petaluma for some downtown dining and then head over to the Mail Depot for some creativity!

His work will be featured with Nate Burleson's, a must see combo. I caught a sneak peak of some of the pieces and they are mind blowing fantastic! A personal interview with Ricky can be found here on Azy Does It.

Also visit his site!

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Which Witch is Wicked?

It wasn't a great shocker to discover there was a witch in my family, 16th century. Plagued by intuition, vivid dreams, and constant introspective thought, it actually makes perfect sense. I suppose it's no accident that Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'd dress like a witch more than once a year if I had my way. According to my cousin (the family historian) my ancestor, Mercy was sentenced to death for not following suit. Supposedly, a few town's people's crops and herds died after a run in with her. Coincidence? Probably. Still pretty cool though. She was issued a reprieve and lived instead, good news for me or else I wouldn't be here.

No surprise, that going to see the Broadway musical Wicked with my witchy family at The Orpheum, was a thrilling experience for me. It was in a word: superb. I was a little nervous too; I am not a big fan of musicals. I love the Wizard of Oz, but others had told me it was nothing like it and that I might be disappointed. After seeing it I recognize the grave differences between the two - but none of them are disappointing.

It was rich in its story lines, costumes, and sets, and beyond just its visual elements - it was smartly written. A political tale of good and evil, right and wrong, leaders and followers, a nation of fear, equal rights, animal rights, discrimination, prejudice, ethics, and standing up for what you believe in - it was hard for me to imagine how anyone could be disappointed. I won't say too much more, except that it makes you question the definition of the word: wicked.

Mercy was considered a witch because she didn't believe what the others did. How sad that people were/still are persecuted for having a different point of view. Wicked was inspiring and when I wasn't enthralled with the show, I was starring at the ceiling! The Orpheum Theater in itself an architectural work of art. I spent the entire intermission looking up. The show was magic. Anyone who can, should go before it is gone.

A special thanks to my cousin Rod for making it happen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Santigold Trouble Blank!

For weeks, I have been meaning to write about a few things and just never got them down. In May, I went to see Santigold, Amanda Blank, and Trouble Andrew perform at the Warfield, in San Francisco. They rocked it; I absolutely loved the show. These three musicians are incredibly unique, all containing different styles, but complement each other nicely and perform well together. I love anything cutting edge and they are nothing short of it!

I have been a huge fan of Miss Santigold since I first heard her voice a year or so back, at the Roshambo Winery Tournament, in Sonoma. I liked her so much, I remembered a verse, and Googled it when I got home. Since purchasing her album, I have gone on to find that she has performed many singles with other well-known artists. From rap, to hip-hop, to punk, to alternative, to pop, she fits nicely into any genre. Her music is hard to classify because she encompasses so many styles and I believe this is what true artistry is all about. In fact, just about every song on her album could be considered a different genre; it is so rich in variety, it’s ridiculous. She had excellent stage presence and was truly personable to her audience. She even brought a bunch of people up on stage to do the last song with her!

Trouble Andrew, I discovered through a friend who was a fan. What can I say, he’s a professional snowboarder for Burton and I love his punk rock-ness. Because he opened the show, I didn’t get to enjoy him long enough. Amanda Blank, I heard for the first time and she was a fantastic performer; there is nothing blank about her personality! She had spunk. Definitely one of the best female rap artists I have heard to date.

The show was amazing; I love Santigold’s album and just bought two albums from her previous work in a band called Stiffed, and all of them are great volumes of music. I also purchased Trouble Andrew’s album this year and am looking forward to Amanda Blank’s coming out in July (I heard). Now go listen to their music!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NY Street Advertising Takeover

I meant to write about this last month when I first read of it, but time got away from me. I love advertising, but as a creative person and lover of art, I must admit that this project is absolute brilliance. NYSAT (New York Street Advertising Takeover) was created in response to the illegal billboards throughout NYC. Illegal, because they are not registered with city, who wasn't doing much to stop billboard companies from cluttering them with eyesores. So, NYSAT white washed 120 illegal billboards and over 80 artists went out and filled them with beauty.
The project is the mastermind of www.publicadcampaign.com and while marketing is in many ways my passion, this is worth mention. It's incredibly revolutionary.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Story of Graphic Designer and Fine Arts Creator, Richard “Ricky” Watts

“Completing pieces is like growing limbs, you cut one off and a new one grows.” –Ricky Watts

Ricky Watts is a freelance graphic designer and artist based in Northern California. He is proficient in all aspects of graphic design from concept, to production, to completion. A skilled painter and illustrator, exploring many mediums--brush, pen, mouse, pencil, and can–-he feeds his passion for fine art on canvases shown in galleries and commissioned surfaces up and down the west coast.

Ricky Watts has been an artist his whole life, but it wasn’t until his early teens that he got serious about his true passion. He was born in San Francisco and soon after, moved north to Sonoma County. With the encouragement of his family, it was here that he made the decision to do what he loved for the rest of his life. Ricky’s dad was always supportive, “I think it was mostly because of his love for art, he was a painter too, and never seriously pursued it,” Ricky said. Not only just a contributor to Ricky’s pursuit in fine art, his dad also paved the way for his interest in graphic design, “When I was in high school, my dad brought home an old Apple computer from work as a birthday present–-it had Photoshop 3.0 on it--so I started messing around with it and really enjoyed working with the program.”

Growing up, Ricky spent a lot of time drawing and studying typography. Through peers in junior high, he was introduced to graffiti art, which would later become an important aspect of his career. “In eighth grade my friend Jared brought the magazine Can Control, out of Seattle, to math class and after seeing it, I knew I wanted to do it.” Always interested in bending letters, style writing came naturally to him, “Sneaking out in the middle of the night to go paint; it was rebellious and exciting.” He decided he wanted to pursue the art form, both personally and professionally. Into adulthood, his love for aerosol lead to the creation of pieces on paper and canvas, where he turned “rebellious graffiti” into sophisticated works of art.

He went on to complete advanced placement art classes in high school and after graduation, went to college. “I thought to myself, how can I turn art into making money? I’ll go to art school.” He accepted many jobs to get him by while in school–-Blockbuster, Safeway, even a doctor’s office, “I was dead broke, so I took a job at Safeway, where they promoted me to the meat department. It was the worst promotion of my life! I had the cleanup shift--it was disgusting. I lasted 3 months.” He received a degree in graphic design at the Art Institute of California in San Diego and got a job at a print shop where he did just about everything. Designing logos and marketing elements came naturally coming from his background and so did his promotions, as Ricky moved up in his career. But after two and half years in San Diego, a degree, and numerous completed pieces, Ricky decided to come home. He moved back to Petaluma experienced and with an impressive portfolio to show for it.

Ricky continued working for print shops, carried out his passion for painting and drawing, and did freelance anywhere and everywhere in between. “I worked at design during the day and painted at night. I was doing a lot of canvases and exploring other fine art elements.” Being in the industry for the last 8 years, Ricky has developed a very unique skill set. He’s covered all aspects of print media–-designing as well as preflighting and production. He’s designed numerous event flyers, marketing materials and worked on collaborative projects with other artists and designers.

Ricky has finished hundreds of fine art pieces, in multiple mediums, having had his work displayed in many shows and galleries. “The first show I actually ever did was at Sonoma State University, in the Student Union. It brought about a lot of visibility to my work.” Ricky has since done shows as far south as San Diego to as far north as Portland. “I have put paintings in shows and after taking them down, have added to them, only for them to go up in shows again. I have a lot of unfinished projects.” That’s ok, Ricky Watts in himself is a constant work in progress, always reinventing and emerging with new innovations for design and art works.

If you are in need of a fresh new perspective, Ricky is currently taking on new freelance design projects. He also has beautiful prints available for sale in limited amounts, each signed and numbered. For more information, please visit: www.rickywatts.com