American Vintage Poster Artist
Rick Sharp, who was born into an entertainment family, made a name for himself as a poster artist in the 70’s surf culture of Southern California. During that time period, the young artist’s work appeared on national magazine covers, Hang Ten t-shirts, surf posters, album covers and concert posters for folk music icons such as Donovan, Arlo Guthrie and Peter, Paul & Mary, to name a few. Sharp’s early work was reproduced as posters by Channel Islands Surfboards, KTYD Radio and the City of Santa Barbara’s Fiesta celebrations and are now historic and hard-to-come-by. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum's most recent installation (Sept.2012) "The Lost Posters of Surf Artist Rick Sharp", features the Artist's earliest pen-and-ink works and other artifacts used in the creation of his posters.
Today, if you walk through gift shops in Hawaii, you’ve more than likely either seen or bought Rick Sharp’s vintage-styled art on a myriad of products produced by Island Heritage: candles, placemats, coffee mugs, calendars, tote bags, tumblers, photo albums, the list goes on and on. You name it – and you’ve probably noticed his art on it. But you may have thought it was artwork from the travel poster era of the 1920’s, 30’s, or 40’s or from an artist who’s now dead and gone. But Rick Sharp is very much alive and well – creating his nostalgic art for a new worldwide audience. Of Sharp’s career in the arts, one thing is certain: Rick Sharp doesn’t become his work – his work comes out of what he loves.