I grew up in a family of makers, craftsmen and artists.  Quality time in my family was all about rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty. There were good times and bad times. Coping with the challenges of my parents’ bitter divorce compelled me to imagine quirky worlds where everyone got along and to invent contraptions that could take you anywhere.  Turns out not having had a white picket fence childhood was my greatest teacher and instilled in me a particular compassion for others who have experienced similar hardships. It also fueled a strong interest in social, environmental, and political issues.

I graduated with honors from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA with a Bachelors of Fine Art. I’ve worked for many companies, including Walt Disney Imagineering, tapping into my story driven-process to visualize and conceive environmental branding work for museums, exhibits, theme parks, and related projects.

I’m essentially a creative hybrid: artist-graphic designer-builder/maker-inventor-seeker. Stories are at the core of everything I do. I also want people to both touch and to be touched by my work. Today I use a blend of physical and digital tools. I primarily work with steel and aluminum. I feel a profound connection to these materials.

The 1970s bike culture, the Maker Movement and the Burning Man are among my many interests. All of the bike customizing, welding and painting I did as a kid laid the foundation for my sculptor-designer-maker-builder future. (In fact, my friends and I were the “makers” of the day!)

Burning Man continues to be the blank canvas I need to express my creativity without limits and in a supportive community. Maker Movement/DIY people like me are curious, enjoy learning, and love sharing what they do.

I am a twin! My creative process is inclusive and in my DNA! I’m also a marathon runner: Establishing goals, daily training and conviction all contribute to my creative physical and artistic process.  Today, I live, work, and play with my wife and two daughters in Los Angeles. I have an “open garage door policy” that inspires friendly, curious neighbors to pop in and out as I cut, grind and weld my concepts into fruition. Ultimately, my work is meant to inspire participation, help us consciously connect to ourselves through art and the creative process, and realize how intertwined we are with the natural world.

ARTIST BIO

My work explores humanity’s increasingly elusive connection to the natural world. By illustrating how intimately we are intertwined with nature, my work reveals how we’ve actually become disconnected from it, and tragically take it for granted.​I believe by consciously reconnecting to ourselves, we will realize how inextricably intertwined we are to the natural world and stop destroying it.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Richard wilks