- Words and Photos by The Echo Parker
Little By Little, Learn About Little Ricky Pt. 2
Why Anna Wintour?, and why the backwards “E” in SHEEP?
These are the questions I am bombarded with, and now I am pleased to share Little Ricky’s fans with the story behind the E, EWE and Anna.
Ricky Sencion, also known as SHEEP, is a self-taught artist and native Angeleno. His career began 20 years ago, but not until 6 years ago when his artistic vision took a sharp turn. After reading a quote from an Alexander McQueen biography; he referred to himself, not as a typical "black sheep", but instead as a ‘pink sheep.’
This revelation changed Ricky’s entire art direction influencing him to create SHEEP, and lead him on his way to many art forms all stemming from the silly, fun, light and enchanting SHEEP.
“When I read the line, it was magic! It felt personal. I was different, this was different. At that moment, I knew that I had something greater than I could have ever imagined. Even though I had no idea of what it meant, inspiration came from every direction. I felt overwhelmed. I purchased a toy sheep and started doodling. Eventually, a shape took form and I knew 'it' was 'it' when I saw the shape. It felt like I had seen it before, like it had always existed. SHEEP began. For the first 4 years, I allowed the series to evolve organically. It’s like I went to SHEEP college and absorbed anything and everything! What started off as sticker art turned into a multi layered series of ideas and mediums. I got to play and color again.”
The backwards “E” in sheep was a creative inspiration that developed from his years in textiles. Ricky worked in the textile industry and interior design frequently designing stamps made from erasers to imprint ink on high end wood products.
During the 90’s, Ricky worked at a home furnishing company in NYC. There he learned from a textile artist how to design stamps out of erasers. Playing around with letters he was inspired to create the “Sheep” specifically with the second “E” reversed, and that is how it remained. It represented Ricky who lived his life backwards. And with this, Ricky created his very first sticker:
“Hello, my name is SHEEP”
Using the original stamp, Ricky demonstrated how he created the very first SHEEP stickers. The use of “EWE” in many of Ricky’s stickers and statement pieces is a clever play on words and means a female sheep.
Intrigued by Anna Wintour, in particular, the consistent iconic look she maintains, I instantly took to Little Ricky’s Anna Wintour Sheep. It is playful is playful, fun and for me, hilarious. Ricky best explains creating Anna Wintour Sheep:
“Even though I had sketched Anna early on in the series, it wasn't until August 23rd, 2018 that I officially drew her character. In re-doing a portrait,(from a previous series), of Naomi Campbell throwing a can of Campbells soup, Anna was the only person that came to mind as to who Naomi would be throwing the can at. I created piece, 'I Dare Ewe' and from there came various other scenarios featuring Anna. It's like playing with paper dolls. I get to transform and lighten up an iconic and serious persona."
Check back next month for a "Little More" about our favorite fashion sheep, Little Ricky.