A native East Tennessean, Rick Baldwin was born at the outskirts of Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains and raised in a large family of educators and public servants. His earliest drawing studies consisted of copying Archie Comics, which eventually honed his skills and prepared him for positions as elementary school, high school and college publication staff cartoonist. His comic strip “Outta Toon” appeared for 20 years in CCM Magazine and his strip “All The World” ran 10 years in Knoxville’s Metro Pulse, where he also served as editorial cartoonist. Additionally, Rick spent 10 years as editorial cartoonist for Chattanooga’s The Pulse, His cartoons and humorous illustrations have appeared in a variety of magazines, books and publications.
As a fine artist, Rick concentrates on photo-realistic portraiture and works of abstract. Occasionally he combines both, resulting in pieces of modern art with characteristics of street art and graffiti. His 30+ years as airbrush artist uniquely shapes the realistic appearance of his portraiture. Humor is frequently found throughout all his creations, whether fine art, photography or illustration. A former actor and stand-up comic, Rick places high emphasis on humor.
Rick’s portrait and street photography work draws upon the same influences as his fine art and the subjects often being people. People acting and reacting in their environment, telling the stories of how they cope and relate to the forces that surround them. Storytelling is a common thread in all of Rick’s art, a direct result of his years in theatre.
In 2008, Rick began exploring abstract art, which he describes as even more challenging than photo-realism. His abstracts range from simpler lines and colors to more involved pieces of expressionism. Some work hints at social commentary with influences of editorial and political cartooning with text and icons. And while he flirts with many looks stylistically, each piece makes a trail back to the essence of Rick’s vision. The stories.
Today Rick resides in Atlanta where he creates fine art, humorous illustration, photography, writes comedy and occasionally performs at storytelling events.