Richard A. Chance
Because of the Internet
It's late and I'm on instagram surfing through Richards profile. A combo of client work for the likes of The Guardian, Medium, New Yorker and countless others rub shoulders with posts of his daydreams musings up and down his time line. With the one hand soft velvety tones are massaging my eyes, with the other, a flurry of
slightly deranged commentary is preparing to slap me in the face! But it's not crazy, it's fun, refreshing and keeps you right on your toes. With a wicked quick humour that verges on the neurotic we talk to Richard about all things ... Rich.
You grew up in NY? where ? What was it like growing up there.
Oh yea i grew up there, Brooklyn in the Crown Heights area. The neighborhood i lived in had a decent amount of caribbean people there so my family fit in. I remember it was very lively, people playing music people saying what's up from a down the block and block parties.
How has location for you affected your creative journey?
I don't know if it did, i moved to Williamsburg when i was 14, and it was the exact opposite of Crown Heights so i went to school and went straight home. Most of what affected me was the internet. Yea so in a way me moving pushed me to stay online.
What was your big break?
I made rapper GIFs, and someone on Giphy thought it would be cool to make GIFs for them. That eventually got picked up by Its Nice That. Snowballed from there.
Tell me about some pivotal moments In you career so far?
There was a time when i graduated from college and draw stuff for myself then try to get work. Most of it was chump change but i didn't take it that serious until i realize i hate 9 to 5s. I had a few part time jobs, one of the jobs was for a Newspaper and i was the youngest person there. People was drinking prune juice and oatmeal, it freaked me out a bit. It was like a place you felt like you start and end at. Someone there joked that they was there for over 30 years. I kinda, in my head, thought I can't do this and had to make illustration work. So the first crack of a job that allows me to draw for money i took it.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Yea this happens at social events, people ask what do you do? So i have a answer that i tell people. “Yea im an illustrator, yes i can describe what i draw. Its a lot of pink *wait for them to make a weird face* Its like a digital airbrush with pastel colors” *handing them my phone*
Whats your biggest vapour wave/ 80’s art inspiration?
Syd Brak i love his stuff, his stuff mainly inspired me. I was on the internet a lot so i fell into a rabbit hole of vaporwave music and for some reason the look that went with it was attractive. I at first used a lot of purple, kinda the purple you see in a google search of vaporwave. Then it slowly start to morph into a less harsh version of it, more lighter colors.
What inspires your personal work ?
Other artist. I feel like artist like David Jien for a example, I want to tell a story and i want to not tell a story, but implie that there is something more there than it really is. If that make sense. I try to tell stories but i dont think i do enough to portray a exact idea, which I like.
I think that really comes across there’s definitely urgency and intrigue with your images beyond them looking stylistically lush as fuck. Viewers ask themselves what event led up to this character being here? We’re always catching somebody in the act with you and that voyerism is contagious. It’s challenging in the one way because as viewers we’re being asked to fill in allot of blanks, which could be seen as loose ends but i feel is just an inherent part of the charm. Do you every feel a need to tie ends up?
Na i kinda let it be. I feel like i make stuff thats based on shit i like. My favorite movies usually have an ambiguous ending or have no real meaning to them. I Love the movie Napoleon Dynamite, the music is sick but mainly it's simple and mundane. Some people say it has no point but to me thats the point and if you were to add your own meaning to it, it will sound valid. Also the movie The Lobster. It has an ambiguous ending. Without spoiling it, the main character loves another character so much to the point he gonna make a decision either to do one thing to be with her or leave. The other character is also ambiguous which leads to multiple scenarios. I'm gonna get these two movies tattooed on me.
I love the anecdotes in your instagram posts their a fascinating insight into your minds inner working, where does that come from?
Yea, i don't know where they come from. At first i would describe the drawing in a few words on instagram and get very generic responses like, “Great” “This is cool”. So i thought it would be funny if i wrote whatever the first thing that pops in my head because i felt like nobody was actually reading the captions. Over time it became something i did until people will meet me in real life and ask me what's up with the weird captions. There was a time when someone from instagram said they thought i was gonna be this, weird gremlin of a person in real life but, they realize that i’m normal. Lol their words not mine. I got that enough that i feel like i would be less weird or vulnerable in the captions but i felt like i went more in over time. Telling stories that happen to me or thoughts i have when im out and about. I know most of my thoughts are irrational and my decision making skills dont make sense either so i document that as well. I now use it as a journal for me to read in the future.
What ambitions do you have for the future? Where do you picture yourself in 20 years time?
I’m trying to move the illustrations into the real world and outside of just the internet. I want to still do editorial work but i also want it to move further and maybe do some gallery stuff. 20 years from now i’ll be 45, hopefully i'm still alive and still be able to dance on top of a car. I also alway wanted to use an umbrella like Mary Poppins once in my life.
Tell me something about your self?
Uhhhhh, i'm 5’8 but i tell people 5’9. Honestly i'm 5’9 bro, my shoes makes me 5’9. I eat tuna sandwiches everyday, not everyday but most of them. And if i ever get a grammy for some reason im gonna say 'Shout out to Avril Lavigne!'. I DMed her she didn't respond but whatever.
What do you do to relax?
Draw, sounds weird but draw. I feel like i don't relax, but i look relaxed. I walk a lot, other than that i listen to music very slow dream pop music. Someone describe my music taste as depressing indie hipster shit. I guess, and it goes for the rap music too. Its relaxing
Are you an untrustworthy person Rich?.... have you had good results from eating so many tuna sandwiches or are you chasing the world record? aaaand why Avril Lavigne 😂
Yea very untrustworthy lolol. I say things and later go back on it, not because im trying to be untrustworthy and a bit of a unreliable person, its cause i second guess my thoughts a lot. There is some truth to what i say, 99 percent of the time but i can't get the specifics down. If you asked me do I know how to draw? I will say yes, then seconds later say oh yea but blank. Eating tuna everyday, i don't feel any different but i do fear mercury poisoning. Yea two reasons for Avril Lavigne. One, i sing skater boy as a go to karaoke song. Two, some people at a bar or party or whatever would say "you look like you skate". I don't do this intentionally but do i get cool points? Yea then i say i know skater boi by heart cause of karaoke. Then i get another cool point thanks to Avril Lavigne.