Rick Blyseth, illustrator
I have been interested in aviation, art, and History from a very early age. My father was a pilot in the USAF giving me unique opportunities to be around and in a whole host of different types of airplanes both military and civilian, as well as travel to many places around the globe.
Countless childhood hours were spent pouring through old magazines and books in the library or at home. I studied the illustrations and tried my best to emulate their style. One of my earliest influences was an Aeroprint Aviation Art Catalog from 1984 that I still have and admire. I drew and painted traditionally for many years with no real formal training.
While in college I produced several graphite illustrations on commission including several pieces for the Cessna Aircraft Co. in Wichita, Kansas. Billy Barnstormers, also in Wichita, Kansas, gave me the opportunity to begin selling prints of my work in 1993. At the same time I began working digitally at a screen print shop designing tee shirts and creating/ recreating logos in vector format. This was really the foundation for my interest and development in the use of digital media and drawing tablets.
Over time I have transitioned to the use of a Cintiq tablet and Corel Painter program simply for the ease of workflow. These tools have allowed me to begin exploring the true world of digital painting and illustration.
In 1991 I got my Private Pilot license at a little airfield then called Benton Airpark in Benton, Kansas. Then name has since been changed to Stearman Field (1k1). I flew as I could but then in 2001 I decided to pursue a more full time flying career and so got the rest of the needed credentials. They say that you should draw or paint what you know, and thus my emphasis on aviation related themes.
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