Brooklyn-based illustrator Richard A. Chance’s style is a “blend of 80s airbrush and digital painting with pastel colours”. Looking to artists such as Karolis Strautniekas, Syd Brak, Rockin Jelly Bean, David Jien and anything that has the 80s airbrushed Vaporwave aesthetic for inspiration, Richard’s characters are full of humour and texture.
With various commissions filling his portfolio it was a project with Giphy that first caught our eye. “I was commissioned to create gifs about midday at work. I’m a big The Office (US) fan so I made gifs about a dude pulling pranks on his coworker,” explains Richard. “I’d never done a narrative-based gif before so that was new.” The result is an obscure and funny series that adds a touch of surreality to the working day.
Elsewhere Richard captures commuters on the way to work, a strange character bopping to a boom box and a man with glazed donuts for eyes. Unafraid of making a statement each of Richard’s illustrations start with a lot of picture research. “I doodle for a while and look at pictures and then create a concept. Then I redraw it, then colour it. This is all easy with digital,” he says.
“Every illustration I do I kind of hate looking at it for a good two months. So during, I tend to delete and redo a lot and it sometimes messes up the original look of it. I feel like drawing is not like riding a bike for me, the more I draw in one way, it makes me forget how to draw in another. Is it weird to have the fear of not knowing how to draw?” Despite these concerns, Richard’s work is consistently bold, colourful and well composed. His grainy style offers a refreshing take on traditional editorial illustrations and we’re excited to see who commissions him next.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.