LORIN MORGAN-RICHARDS WESTERN ARTIST

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Lorin Morgan-Richards is an author and illustrator, known mostly for his Young Adult fiction. A fan favorite is his series The Goodbye Family about eccentric undertakers living in the Old Weird West with their daughter Orphie who oversees the town of Nicklesworth as their sheriff. His latest collection of comics is called The Importance of Being Otis: Undertaking with the Goodbye Family.

About my location:
I live in Studio City, California, with my wife Valerie and daughter Berlin. We live across from CBS Studio Center where they filmed several Westerns including my favorite as a child The Wild Wild West with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. Having toured the lot, I found little reminders of the glory days of TV Westerns like photos of the WWW train and buildings named after stars like Roy Rogers.

During the day, I work at the J. Paul Getty Trust, an internationally recognized art institution, where I am surrounded by art and spend my lunch breaks drawing to curious children with prying eyes. “Look, mom, he’s drawing a cowboy,” they say. I also like to visit old Western sets and ghost towns for inspiration. I believe immersing myself in history is very important. My imagination helps see the past come to life as if watching a theater production put on by spirits.

I also find it enjoyable to draw while watching my daughter practice barrel racing in Santa Clarita. She’s been riding since three, now seven, and is my muse for the Orphie character. Afterward, I take my daughter over to Newhall to visit William Hart’s home (they have a great Cowboy Festival every April, a place where you might find me with my books!) or we might go to the Autry Museum of the American West. Notably, I used to work there and the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, an affiliate of the Autry. At the Southwest Museum, I used to help set up art shows for people like Russell Means and with friends got involved in many Indigenous community events (i.e. Bringing the Circle Together). I also Iike to visit places like Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, an amazing place built into the side of a mountain, and Will Rogers home in Malibu, to name a few. Sadly, we lost the Paramount Ranch (featured in the TV series Westworld and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) to a recent wildfire, but I understand plans are underway to rebuild the Western town.