Accomplished and gifted surrealist artist Richard Borge says: ” Something accidental may actually be really interesting. ” Read on for more conversation-sparking thoughts and ideas from the amazing artist.
Hometown: Fargo, ND
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Areas of Focus: Editorial, corporate illustration, and animated music videos
When did you first discover your creative/artistic talent? Are there any early memories of your artistic pursuits?
As long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed drawing and creating things. I have many memories of drawing for hours on end as a child.
Where do you consistently draw inspiration from?
I get inspiration from many places. It can be nature, other artists’ work, or a grungy industrial building.
When was the last time you stretched yourself as an artist to make your work grow?
I think it was when I started to take an interest in animation. I took a class in Adobe After Effects at S.V.A. and that really got things moving in a new direction. I feel that as an artist it is important to follow your instincts and natural inclinations as well as to allow yourself to be pushed in new directions. If I do the exact same thing for too long, I get bored and I lose the spark that keeps me interested.
How has technology impacted your work? What is the difference, in your experience, between analogue/traditional means and today’s digital technology?
As with anything, there are positives and negatives. Overall, technology has been very important in my growth as an artist. The computer allows me to travel down several different roads and then choose one to use in the final art. This can be good and bad. For example, there is also something positive in having to commit to a creative decision, as you have to do in painting and drawing. Working on the computer is a less linear process because you can always go back several steps.
Does digital technology impose itself more on your creative expression or allow it to better create exactly what you have envisioned?
It allows me to better create what I have envisioned. For me it is also important to be open to interesting and unexpected things. Something accidental may actually be really interesting. It is my job to be open to see those things and be willing to keep them.
Are there any symbols and/or archetypes that are prevalent in your art?
I usually try and find symbols that are relevant to the specific topic I’m working on. I like symbols that have dual or multiple meanings.
What are some of the processes of your work, i.e. the materials used and the process employed to turn a concept into a finished work?
My work is generally really process-oriented. I always start with pencil in a sketchbook when exploring which conceptual direction to go in. When I make the final art, it is a varied combination of many things; such as drawing, sculpture, photo, video, assemblage, etc. The computer is used throughout the process in varying amounts.
How do you balance commercial objectives and needs with your creative vision? Did you ever experience a conflict between the two? If so, how was it resolved?
When working with clients on commissioned work, it is essentially a collaboration. I generally get the best results when given some very general direction as to what they are thinking. If direction gets very specific from the start, the process is less enjoyable. With advertising projects, there is often an elaborate approval process that has taken place before I’m brought into the project. In that case, the creative collaboration is different.
What do you think your work offers to society?
This is something I don’t think about often, but I would hope that some people get pleasure from my work. I think editorial illustration can help make a story more interesting. Hopefully the art will pull them in to read an article that they may not have read had there been no illustration. I’m always happy when I receive an email that lets me know that someone was really able to connect with something I created. Overall, I do feel art is a critical element of culture that affects humanity on many levels. Ideally, it makes our lives more interesting. It is often viewed as a luxury, and therefore when budgets get cut art is always the first thing to go.
I once read an expression that went something like this: “art is an ongoing conversation, and when artists create new work they are adding to that conversation.” I like this statement, and I hope that some of the art that I create can inspire others to follow the “conversation” and see where it goes.