Name: Joe Richichi
Hometown: Glens Falls, New York
Current Town: Lafayette, Indiana
I started my artwork in Glens Falls, NY, where I was recognized as early as elementary school for having an ability to draw. In high school I took my first drawing class, and more officially found my niche. My first self portrait (which is now plaqued and hanging in GF High) put my artwork on the map in my school, and my other work began being noticed by my entire class. A drawing of New York City form atop the Empire State Building kickstarted my art career, being featured in 3 publications, hung in a museum, won countless awards, and the cover of the school calendar for that year, being distributed to thousands of homes.
After high school I took my artistic ability to a portfolio review where I was offered scholarships by University of Hartford, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the College of Saint Rose. None of which did I take, I decided to stay in my hometown and get my Associates in Communication Media Arts at Suny Adirondacks. During my first few years of college, I displayed my work in the means of 5 personal art shows at local restaurants and art galleries.
Working five years and not finding a "career" route for my artwork, I found my calling to go a completely different route, and become a veterinarian. I packed my things and moved to north central florida in Gainesville, where I earned my second Associated Degree in Biotechnology at Santa Fe College and my Bachelors in Animal Science at the University Of Florida in 2016. Once in Florida, I continued to draw, and try new things, which led to my first colored pencil pet portrait of my fathers dog, Kyra. Until now, I had done pet portraits in black and white, while being somewhat afraid of adding color to my work. This drawing was a risk, but had a huge payout. I posted it online and was asked almost immediately by dozens to draw pictures of their dog next.
With my love for animals, I began on the path of becoming a Veterinarian and was accepted into the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on the island of Saint Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean. During my time at Ross University I began turning my class notes into illustrations to help remember certain things. Those illustrations took a turn to full drawings of species differentiation, starting with Sea Turtles. The sea turtle drawings were purchased by an IMAX movie company for production of their educational posters for the movie "Sea Turtle Odyssey 3D" playing in museums and aquariums around the world. They were also used to promote awareness and education on St. Kitts in aid of helping the endangered native turtles through the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network. That species series led to Macaws, and now Caiman crocodiles. I was officially published in a textbook for the first time in "The Handbook of Horses & Donkeys" through 5M Publishing with my former professor and author, Dr. Chris Mortensen on October 31st, 2018. This book featured ancient extinct species that I created by looking at skeletal records and written descriptions, as well as anatomical drawings. A new path towards medical illustration on top of my veterinary path presents a new world of opportunities. I have since moved on to Purdue University for my clinical year. My speciation and commissioned drawings have continued in high demand but are taking a while to complete while I continue this journey.
Thank you for taking the time to read my bio, stay tuned for my next work!