Surf Artist, Painter, Graphic Artist

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Rika is a Vancouver, British Columbia artist working in brushed ink, watercolours and metallic leafing. His subject matter is the ocean surrounding the land he most loves: the Pacific Northwest Coast. Chosen locations, mainly on Vancouver Island, are places of special personal importance as well as beaches and breaks favoured by surfers.

Raised on the Canadian prairies, Rika's journey into the worlds of art began through observation and natural talent. He was introduced to art by a babysitter who drew stunning photo-realistic pencil portraits of his family. From that time on, Rika would spend his spare time drawing.

At 27, he entered art school at Malaspina College in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where he studied Fine Art under painters like Ian Garrioch. Eventually Rika moved into the graphic design program run by Rick Conroy, where the student acquired an appreciation of and skills base in illustration, typography and computer generated graphics. In 2000 he was accepted at Emily Carr University where he received his degree in Communication Design.

After graduation Rika moved to Japan to teach English. While in Japan he was introduced to the art of Japanese Shodo Calligraphy, where the life-long pursuit of perfect balance on a most basic level was practiced. He observed a refined use of the 'Black Mark': a combined expression of Art and Communication.

While in Japan, Rika was also introduced to Indigenous Culture of New Zealand - the Maori. He observed their complex and highly ornate graphic and carved forms. Maori mark making was a cohesive marriage of the Large to detail Stroke, while still maintaining Balance. Upon returning to the Pacific Northwest Rika began studying the art and design of local coastal peoples such as Haida and Tia-o-qui-aht Nations. He continues to work with local indigenous communities both in Art and Design, in environmental, cultural and social avenues.

His work is the resulting product of all these influences and experiences. Like his predecessor Robert Bateman, Rika hopes that, by drawing attention to the natural world and working closely with communities and environmental organizations, he will be helping to protect the wild.

Rika currently makes his home in the downtown East-side of Vancouver where he works as an independent designer with clients in Music, Environmental and Non-profit areas. He spends a good deal of his time on the west coast of Vancouver Island and continues his life-long pursuit of perfect visual balance.

Artist Statement

"My hope is that my art will give these areas further value and further appreciation and to be a contributor in keeping them wild, free and protected."