Babes Ride Out


Artist Series | Sarah Rice

Artist SeriesAnya Violet

Meet the talented woman behind this years Babes Ride Out East Coast 2 flyer art!

I am Sarah E. Rice, an illustration artist living in Brattleboro, VT. I work within several mediums, including, but not limited to, watercolor, pencil, ink, acrylic, photography, and block printing. I enjoy making whimsical illustrations of animals, botanicals, toy guns, and motorcycles. I have passions for botany, gardening, and motorcycle riding and attempt to portray the essence of these interests in my artwork.

I am mostly inspired by nature, culture, and mythology. By culture, I am referring to the ability to create a place in society for people to have camaraderie in a way of life. By mythology, I mean the mythology we all create for ourselves, a story that helps to form who we are. I’m inspired by the myths we tell each other about our culture which help to tie us closer together.

As far as my motorcycle illustrations, I make my work for folks that participate and fall into the confines of a motorcycle culture.  I also try to pull other people into the motorcycle world by intriguing them with my artwork. Most folks, both interested in my work and interested in motorcycle culture, are people who find beauty in old things. I feel that I’ve been accepted and supported as a moto artist by the motorcycle community. This group has been incredibly gracious. Like all things motorcycle related, it’s such a wonderful culture to be a part of. Everybody has a motorcycle story. With nostalgia and design, it’s easy for everyone to love motorcycles.

Right now I have 3 specific series I am thoroughly engaged in creating. They are my motorcycle helmet illustrations of vintage motorcycle helmets with designs inspired by vintage wallpaper as the backgrounds. My motorcycles with banners series were inspired out of my partner Josh needing a marketing illustration for his shop, Vintage Steele. I used an old rusted out Ducati as the model for the first of that series that he used to let folks know that Vintage Steele buys motorcycles. I then created two more of that series for selling and building motorcycles. It grew from there. My other series I’m currently working on, and have been working on the longest, are my botanicals. This series was inspired by Japanese botanical illustrations.

I’ve been arting/illustrating since I could walk. It’s a compulsion for me. I’ve always made artwork that is motivated by what I am involved in. Currently, that just happens to be my motorcycle life, and I love it. I’ve always had a certain focus and concentration that lends itself to being creative. Illustrating is something I have been deeply interested in my entire life. Capturing the beauty in an object, especially something made many years ago is really interesting to me. In some ways I feel like it is a way to preserve these vintage items. 

As far as how I got into motorcycles, many years ago, Josh went out and found us a couple mopeds. We had so much fun and a lot of grief in riding and maintaining those two little mopeds. After a couple years on mopeds, I finally braved the graduation to a small motorcycle. I rode that bike for a couple years with a permit, and four years ago, I decided that I needed to get my motorcycle license and took the rider’s course. 

My first motorcycle was a 1974 Honda CB200T, aka The Silver Fox. It was small and a perfect learner bike, fuel efficient, adorable, lightweight, and maneuverable. Its only downfall was it’s incredible unreliability. Still, I shed a few tears when I sold it. The bike I ride now is a 1976 Honda CB400Four SuperSport, aka Lil’ Bee. It rolled into Vintage Steele on the back of a pick-up, and when I saw Josh buying it, I knew it was for me– all yellow and beautiful.

Having a motorcycle requires caring attentiveness and the ability to focus on details. If one thing is wrong, it can and will affect the rest of the machine. Patience is very important when it comes to owning and maintaining a vintage motorcycle. Riding a motorcycle requires you to be brave, but precise, and gives you a sort of freedom than can only be appreciated fully by allowing a certain amount of abandon. It’s the same for art making. In some ways my life as an artist and my life as a motorcyclist influences each other, it’s a two-way street.

I’m currently holding down a full time job and working on my artwork in my spare time. I’m having a blast filling that free time up with commissions and getting pieces ready for shows and the like.