By Cristina Olds
Worl painted decks for himself and his family first, but soon saw the need for an affordable line of manufactured boards sporting his digitized designs. He also paints custom artboards, and says his clientele are split fairly evenly between skaters who actually ride the boards and collectors who hang them on their walls.
"I started painting on decks just for fun, just for myself," Worl said. "It continues to be my canvas of choice while I study the old masters and the new masters of formline design, in the rich history of Tlingit and Athabascan art." Flowing two dimensional formline designs featuring northwestern coastal sea creatures and other symbols have adorned totem poles and house posts for thousands of years.
Formline Playing Cards from Ace Artist Rico Worl
By Sara Shahriari
Adding a touch of Native artistry to an everyday item like a deck of cards is a natural step for Worl. "Growing up in a family that is close to the culture ensured the arts would be close by," he says.
Comment: For more on the subject, see Tlingit Artists Designs Skateboards.