November 5, 2014

It is funny what life brings when you are open to it. Having done national campaigns and branding projects for HBO, Cinemax, AIDS Walk and other major companies, as well as designing night clubs, stage shows, and promotional events, I slowed down in the lovely town of Sebastopol, California to have a family and live the life of an artist. I kept my mind and hands busy on both art and design projects for local businesses like Beringer wines, WineDine Events and various other companies related to the wine industry. If curious, check out my work at RICHIMAGE.com.

Last Spring, as my daughter was approaching her 13th birthday, I was filled with pride of the strong, independent young woman she was becoming. The privilege of fatherhood is incredible and I relish each moment. With her burgeoning independence, I began to feel a deep sense that it was time for me to start to work on projects that were more reflective of my own heart’s work and the scale of my ideas. Interestingly, 3 very intriguing projects came within a month’s time, and each one involved working with community. My life’s work was being presented to me- all I needed do was open. This is how the wONEder project came about. Opening to the needs of a local community and applying my many years experience of art-making, marketing and media to come up with solutions that met those needs. I love the opportunity of creatively reimagining public programs and working with the many warm-hearted people I have met along the way on this growingly familiar journey. And it has only just begun. You can read more details of the story on THE PURPOSE page.

I am so grateful to the crazy cool band of ARTlaws, David, Pablo, Larry, Ivan and others, that are giving their hearts and time, much of which is freely donated, to make this project a reality. I am grateful to our sponsors in the Springs like Kelly-Moore paints and Graco’s spray guns who have stepped up to provide much needed materials and equipment, and to the public and political leaders like Supervisor Gorin, PRMD Director Wicks, and also of the PRMD: Dean Parsons, Regina De La Cruz, John Cherne, Amber Franzino; and of the CDC: John Haig, Fred Bengs, Andy Pozzi, Charles Dollwet,  as well as many others that are providing the funding and support that will help transform this area. I have to say that I am proud that Sonoma county has these county officials representing us. I especially want to thank Teresita Fernandez, Juan Hernandez III, Andy Radolf and the many business owners that I have the pleasure of serving. They have believed in the project all this time and are excited to watch their businesses and community grow.

I will do my best to document our progress on the wONder project, and give you an insider’s view on the creative, challenging, at times ridiculous, and (fingers crossed) rewarding process. I hope that it inspires you to follow your own passions and maybe even help transform your world.


Rico Martin
wONEder Artist and Founder