Get to Know Artist Richard A. Chance
Richard Chance (@richardachance) is a Brooklyn-based illustrator whose pastel color palettes and varied subject matter address everything from classic Hollywood to pop culture. Read on to learn more about Richard, how he got started as an artist and his new year's resolution.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello's Social Media & Email Manager. She lives in Evergreen, CO with her husband, two dogs, and one hedgehog named Ditters who hates everything except for mealworms and tunnels.
How did you first get into digital illustration?
Did drawings as a kid then I stop for awhile, then start drawing again in High School senior year to impress someone TBH. Then went to college for Computer information, but I was getting bad grades and someone suggests I do graphic design. Its the only thing I'm good at so I kept going. It was mainly ink drawings at first, black and white. I then realize it would be easy to make corrections with digital illustration. Then I introduce colors
You’re based in Brooklyn, NY. Did you grow up there?
Yea I grew up in Brooklyn, all my life. Weirdly enough I was born in New Jersey, (ewwwww). I live in the Crown Heights area when I was a kid then moved to Williamsburg when I was 14, but I still hang around people who were from Crown Heights so it's almost like I never left.
How long have you been creating animations of your work? I love them.
I just recently started creating animations, mostly gifs. I was gonna start making gifs earlier but at the time my stupid laptop kept giving me this error message when I try to make a gif. When I upgraded my laptop I tried again and it worked. But I forgot what I was trying to animate in the first place. In all, I'm slowly trying to get better at animating; it's almost a year now.
Your subject matter is so varied (from unicorns to credit cards)...what do you have to see/feel that inspires you to create something?
Some of the stuff I put on Ello is client work so they might be a change in topics or viewpoints. But yea, I kinda just think of something funny or look around the internet for images then I say, " it would look cool if it had this." That's how most of my drawings start and finish. And the unicorn thing, I'm trying to make some of my illustrations a little bit about myself, this year's resolution is to be more vulnerable, this includes my drawings.
Almost every illustration features a pink background. Why is that?
Yea, I don't have a clear answer to that. I ask myself that question a lot. I came to a few conclusions but this is the clearest one I think? Me, in person, visually, is kinda bland, to make up for that I do the opposite in my drawings. Pick a color that makes you seem not bland. I think I'm pink on the inside. Or, or I just like pink and it's easy for me to pick colors from a pink background. This was one of my other conclusions
What sort of emotions/messages are you trying to convey with your work?
No real message, I'm trying to entertain myself. I might go through a spiritual awakening and start narrowing my drawing to cater to that. I feel like I'm dodging the emotion part, I wish I did have a message, it would make things simpler.
How do you push yourself as an artist?
If anything, on the technical side. Anatomy and shape. I want to have a good year where I leave and study painting and come back a master with sweet skills that I will use but people won't see because it's so subtle. Like Batman when he went off and train in the temple. Not like Rocky tho. Punching meat is gross.
Why do you stay on Ello?
Ello is pretty clean, and for the most part, I see on the front page a WIDE variety of images. I'm a very visual person so it's nice to see fresh stuff. And there was something else that solidified it for me, it was the musician x artist collabs. I like collabin' with music artists, it's kinda my thing
Do you do any sort of real life sketching or painting, or is all your work digital?
I carry around a Moleskine book to draw people on trains but recently I've been lacking. My train rides have been brief so no drawing on the train. I want to start painting just to get away from the monitor's dim light.
What are you doing when you’re not making digital illustrations?
Before my answer was drawing after drawing. Now I kinda wander around. I just realize that's what I did before but this time I have a rule, a coin flip rule where if I passed by something cool I would flip a coin to see whether I go in or not. Met a lot of odd people because of it. Now I have odd friends. I think we're friends? OH yeah, I'm trying to make music, I've been unsuccessful but I'm slowly getting better.
You can follow Richard on Ello and Instagram.
This Ello Artist Interview was brought to you by Squarespace. Get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain with the code ELLO at squarespace.com.