We had the good fortune of connecting with Ricky Sencion and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ricky, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I love this question because it brought up my different definitions of what I consider success. Am I successful in terms of being a human being. YES! I love that no matter what, I’ve lived life on my terms. It’s never been in the pursuit of fame or money, but rather real life experiences. It’s been important that I live by being the example. As an artist, it’s a different story and a question that’s been in my thoughts for the past couple of years and more so now. In some odd way, I don’t feel successful in that I don’t have the ‘name’ recognition that I see with some of my fellow artists. I don’t necessarily compare myself with other artists, but I see/use their successes as a point of reference to where I want to go and the opportunities I wish to explore. In terms of the work I’m doing, I feel successful. I make sure to show up every day, 7 days a week. In the past 8 years since starting SHEƎP, I haven’t budged an inch. Instead, I keep pushing on the gas pedal. Putting up work on the streets is a daily thing. I don’t leave my studio without work/stickers in my bag. In the studio, I’ve made it a point to commit to year-long projects as well as doing some 30-day challenges. These mini challenges keep me focused and eventually turn into bigger projects. It’s important that I explore all inspiration coming through. So no matter what, I make sure to not only keep notes, but more often than not, to at least begin a sketch of some sort. So what is the factor? It’s a strong work ethic, filled with great passion and determination. It’s an emphatic commitment to show up and honor the magic coming through. I feel a responsibility that goes beyond words. I can’t imagine not doing the work. SHEƎP is an expression of real joy. Not only do I get to experience and feel this joy, I get to share with our world through my art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As I mentioned in previous question, SHEƎP all started from reading a biography on Alexander McQueen. The series revolves around a pink sheep and the idea that we’re all different. Oddly enough, because we’re different, we’re connected. I’ve been working on the series for 8 years. What started off as sticker art on the streets has turned into a multi layered series of various concepts. I’m lucky and grateful that I get to create a pink world of my own with characters and messages filled with 100% real joy. I feel lucky that inspiration has flowed abundantly and rather effortlessly. My only job has been to bring it all to life by showing up each day and doing the work. The biggest challenge has been being patient. Opportunities haven’t come the way I’ve imagined, but instead of it being discouraging, I keep pushing me forward. There’s no doubt in what I’m doing. Since starting the series, the possibilities of what I can create and do have felt endless. I’m proud of all the work that I’ve done. I’m proud that I’ve made it a priority to honor all the inspiration coming through no matter how relevant or irrelevant it may seem at the time. It’s important to capture it all. I’m in it for the long haul. There’s no plan B. P.S. More than anything, when coming across my work, all I want from anyone is to feel JOY in seeing these little pink SHEƎP.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a native Angeleno and love my city. During the 90’s, I was gone for 10 years, but since being back, I have walked this city like nobody’s business. Aside from my art, walking is a great passion. Perfect for being a street artist. I get to combine two passions. So if there’s anything I would do with a friend, it would be to go for a super long walk. It really could be anywhere in LA. There’s always more to the streets than peeps realize. My favorite area has been the arts district in downtown. I’ve seen it change throughout the years. Taking someone there has always been a treat. Aside from getting up art while on our walk, it’s a great place to eat, drink and do a little shopping.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes! My series SHEƎP was inspired by reading a biography on Alexander McQueen. In it, he referred to himself, not as a black sheep, but as a pink sheep. It was one of those big life moments. I didn’t know what it meant or what I’d be doing with the concept. But, the next day, I went out and bought a toy sheep and started doodling. And as they say, the rest is history. Oh and a huge thanks to my little sister Blanca. She’s been the greatest support system in so many ways.