Everything I hear about Milwaukee seems to suggest its perfect, and all the people I meet from Milwaukee are so nice. This seems very strange – what is wrong with Milwaukee?
I’d say our best feature is the Art Museum. It has a great collection of work, you’ve gotta check it out if you’re in town. A few years ago they added a huge expansion, so we’ve been getting some good shows and attention since then. The city has a strong gallery scene, which makes living an artist life possible.
A downfall is we have a rising crime rate. I live in the inner city, so it’s something I have to deal with. I recently did a series of work discussing violence.
What inspires your vibrant colours and un-natural body forms?
All my work comes from development and process, I’m always making something. I first started drawing the angular figures and spacemen about five years ago, in figure drawing class, I’ve developed it since then. I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with unconventional color combinations, it makes things interesting. I love overlaying spatters of color, the chaos and unpredictability is exciting.
What is the most you’ve ever sold a piece of work for?
With paintings it's really difficult to say, each image has three possible sources of income; I sell the originals, I license the image for prints, and I license the images as illustrations. I can say that licensing the work is more profitable than selling the originals. I’m currently working with Armada Skis and the clothing label Heavy Rotation on producing some classy items.
Apart from Art and illustration what other things are you into?
I have an ever growing record collection. I love everything about them, from the warmer sound of the vinyl to the larger artwork on the covers. Most of my spare money goes to record collecting. Otherwise I love being outside with my dog, or riding along the lakefront on my bike.
Who are your favourite artists/illustrators alive today?
I’m inspired by everyone, there is just so much good work out there. Inka Essenhigh’s paintings are really great, especially the early stuff with all the twisted flat sci-fi forms. I’m also looking at Amy Cutler, Marcel Dzama and Matthew Richie. Matthew Richie’s work is mindblowing. I was stoked to see one of his originals in the Indianapolis Art Museum.
Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?
Over the past five years I’ve shown at galleries mostly here in the upper Midwest, specifically Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Right now I have two pieces in Houston, Texas at Premium Goods. Last year, 2006, was the first year I showed work out of the country. I had paintings in two London group shows, sponsored by my rep 4WALL, and in the Arkitip group show at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen.
Are you involved in any collaborative projects at the moment and is there anyone you would like to work with?
Right now I’m working with Lars from Kinky Form. We’re doing a hoodie, its looking really great. He took a bunch of my vectorized sketches and remixed them into this really dense image. It’s going to print really well. I think we’re doing charcoal grey ink on a white American Apparel hoodie.
I’m up for working with anyone, as long as their style isn’t very close to mine. I’d like to work with someone out of my medium, maybe an author.
Have you every considered making a children’s book?
All the time, it’s going to happen one day. I published a small book in 2005 called Babble Box which was a children’s book of sorts. It was from the perspective of a Dad telling his kid about the olden days, which is now, so he’s speaking from the future. It was 32 pages, I’d like to make the next book over 60 pages and in color. I keep flip flopping on ideas, but I’ll get it pinned down one day.
What’s next in the pipeline for Ric Stultz?
I’ve got a bunch of illustration work I’m doing and I’m always painting and drawing. I think the key is to always stay busy. If there aren’t any projects, it’s time to make one.
I-Robot or Bladerunner?
Oh man, no comparison, Bladerunner is totally my favorite movie of all time, hands down. The special effects can’t be touched, even by today’s standards. I think it has something to do with Sid Mead’s industrial design, those hover cars are the shit. Between that movie and Alien, Ridley Scott is a sci-fi genius.
Kermit or Gonzo?
Kermit, because, you know, it’s not easy being green.
You can see more of Ric Stultz’s work at