Illustration’s original cowboy

2005: It was a dark and stormy night but then the phone rang and it was Shawn James! Spooky!! He needed an illustration for the Applied Arts Call for Entry 2005 and the subject matter had my name written all over it. Double Spooky!! The image was based on the autobiography of a friend of mine who was tormented after missing the Applied Arts Call for Entries deadline. Okay, it was me, goddammit. Haven't I suffered enough without you judging me???" Totally Spooky!!

Applied Arts: How would you describe the unique relationship you have to livestock?

Rick Sealock: Thankfully that’s not a question from the local constabulary or psychiatrists. At first I used livestock imagery in my illustrations because no one else was doing it. Then they became part of branding (pardon the pun) my stylistic and conceptual approach. Now they’re entrenched in my visual vocabulary; they’re even sort of family and friends now. You can take the boy out of the country . . .

AA: As you work, what music do you have playing in the background? Is it still Sinatra and show tunes?

RS: Oh I’ve grown. Now it’s Sinatra singing show tunes.

AA: What is the market for illustration like right now?

RS: Most of my work is still editorial. Like most markets, it has slowed down. I think illustration is more bearish than bullish. Either budgets or the art direction is tighter. Some of my old clients have gone in-house, instead of commissioning freelancers. Others are putting projects on hold until things improve. Plus my style may not be the easiest to work with in a tight market.

AA: What’s the difference between working in the Ontario and Alberta markets?

S: Two hours. . . .  Read the rest of  “Rick Sealock: Still Shit-Disturbing”


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