Richard A. Chance, an illustrator from Brooklyn, New York, has one of those portfolios that pleasantly forces you to linger for a little while.
The oozing pallets and dreamy textures draw you in, not to mention the artful depictions of people gazing directly into your eye, relaxing and leaning in the street with a dog, boxing, eating or doing some gymnastics. These are real-life-looking people, but everything is much more heightened, exaggerated and colourful.
Richard grew up, by way of his website's bio, just around the corner from the "Chinese food spot". He says he was the "kid running across the street to go to the deli to buy something for my mother". A wonderful image; it's this type of energy that transfers directly into the work he does today. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, Richard's background is in graphic design, "that's what my degree says," he shares.
"I drew a bunch in my spare time when I was young." He was a keen creator from a young age, though he didn't take it seriously until he swapped majors in university. "From there, I continued to draw for my own amusement, which led to a few jobs. I'm skipping the part where I started a project about rapper gifs that triggered the work coming in." Nowadays, Richard's portfolio is full to the brim with freelance editorials and some in-house projects, with a client list ranging from Apple to The New York Times, Washington Post to Giphy, Apple and Playboy.
Speaking of how he makes his work, he says he begins by looking at a load of images, "waiting for my brain to pick out a strange image". Once this somewhat magical moment happens – when an idea has been formed – he'll then start sketching or doodling until something forms. "Most of the time spent on a drawing is in the shading stage. Colours are almost the last thing I think about. I think about it while shading, but the colours constantly change throughout the drawing. This is all done on a computer, Photoshop; you can do a lot with Photoshop and its basic brushes."
If there's anything we've learned from Richard, it's that his works are utterly joyful. And, realistically, there's no big message or agenda hidden behind anything. They're there for the audience to enjoy. "Hopefully, people are amused [by the works] like I am," he says. "There isn't a particular message I'm trying to convey and I'm not subconsciously sending messages through my drawings to tell people what to do. 'With great power comes great responsibility' – Some Hater."