RICK KERSTEN's life and his art have been interwoven since he was a child growing up in Arizona. It was clear to me, at a very young age, what I wanted to do. I just wanted to create things, whether it was paintings, sculpture, book illustration, greeting card art, murals, cartoon strips, designing stores and restaurants or decorating bulletin boards for my daughter-in-law/teacher. I truly love that I do."
Rick obtained his art training through a variety of life experiences. During his formal training at
Arizona State University, he worked in many advertising agencies in the Phoenix area and also freelanced as an artist for the popular television show "Wallace and Ladmo." In his senior year at the university, Rick was commissioned by Del Webb Corp. to create paintings for their hotels and restaurants.
After ASU, Rick found himself in the Navy during the Vietnam War, where he did many paintings and illustrations of life in Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Many of these illustrations were published in the Navy Times newspaper. While in the Philippines, he completed a mural for the main administration building on the Subic Bay Naval base.
Upon returning to Arizona, Rick and his brother Pete, formed Kersten Brothers Studios, a design studio that specialized in product designs for the retail market. This eventually grew into Kersten Brothers Greeting Cards, a production, sales and distribution company with more than 9,000 accounts in the United States and 14 foreign countries.
In 1985, the publishing and distribution part of the business was sold. Rick is still involved in licensing Kersten Brother's artwork, but his primary focus is now doing what he loves most, painting the southwest.