Erick Sahler

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Erick Sahler is a serigrapher. That is he creates prints using silkscreen. Erick’s original limited edition prints are clean stylish icons of uniquely Eastern Shore places, events, and culture. Lessons from an Eastern Shore art legend helped him get started.

Erick is a Salisbury native whose family goes back to the 1600’s in the very neighborhood he now lives in. During high school he worked at a local t-shirt business. Erick began cartooning as child and was surprised when he found himself doing it for a living.

For each image Erick comes up with a concept, takes preliminary photographs, does drawings, and then uses the computer to refine the design and separate the colors. Then his stencils are created using a photographic process. There are eight to ten colors printed per project. Erick makes no apologies for placing a priority on commercial appeal. But that does not mean that his creative process lacks magic.

Business is an acquired skill that every artist needs to develop. Erick takes part in a regional circuit of shows which have helped him develop a following and connect him to other artists. He makes use of social media and a monthly email newsletter to keep in touch with his collectors and admirers.

Erick’s current print is an homage to Bethany Beach. A previous Bethany inspired print met a lukewarm reception at a show in the resort town.

In order to preserve the value of the original run once it has sold out, the images are never printed full size again. Erick does make some of the more popular designs available as smaller prints, postcards, or mugs. Erick makes use of bright colors and sometimes humorous word play using his own vision to make ordinary scenes into collectible art.

Erick’s simple elegant style actually goes back to his experiences as a t-shirt designer and cartoonist. These jobs require the artist to communicate ideas in their most primary elements and colors. His aim is to convey the essence of this place.

Erick Sahler’s work can be seen in local galleries and at Salisbury’s Third Fridays’ on the Downtown Plaza.