Easy Conversation: Richard Haines

Richard Haines is as cool and hip and as his illustrations.
A frequent collaborator of J.Crew, this Brooklyn resident takes street-style on the daily updated What I saw today, a blog where he showcases people and stuff he sees in the street of New York - and beyond...
More recently Haines's work was featured on The New York Times  as part of the publication's Fashion week coverage.
We had a chat with him and it went a little something like this.

Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Richard Haines?
Hmmm. Where do I start with that? I’m a compilation of all my experiences, the way we all are. Some things that stand out: My father was in the navy, and we traveled a lot. I think that gave me a sense of a much larger, more interesting world as I was growing up. It fed my curiosity. I always love to draw. It’s been my passion and escape. That passion to draw merged with my love of fashion and New York City-so those 3 elements all coincided to create my blog ‘What I Saw Today.’ I can’t remember the first time I came to NYC, but I do remember after that all I ever wanted to do was live here. As a kid growing up gay in a very straight, conservative world, New York represented freedom, anonymity, and creativity. Living here after all these years is still a dream come true. It keeps offering me new ways to reinvent myself-or find my true self-and I am so grateful for that.

What made you decide to sketch people instead of taking on good ol' street style photography? There really wasn’t a choice. I’m a terrible photographer-I have no comfort level with it. I am in awe of photographers-that they can get a moment with a camera. I’m too busy fumbling with it and any good moment is long gone by the time I’m ready to hit the button. Sketching was a natural process for me-there was no question that it would be my medium. And I had no idea the blog would take of the way it has. My original ideas was just to experience the rush of putting work out ‘into the universe’ and to use the blog as a portfolio to get fashion design work.

Tell us about your creative process? Who / what inspires you?
The more I draw, the more I see life in situations that should be or can be drawn. But what I look for is a ‘line’-the way a person carries himself, holds himself. It’s not really about fabulous clothes, but a mixing of swagger, attitude, charm and the way a person puts himself together.

What's your work philosophy?
My philosophy is to work, work practice, learn the basics and be humble. I teach and a lot of students want to develop their ‘personal style’ before they learn to draw. That’s a big mistake. One needs to learn how to see-how to break down shape and line, then the style comes in. Also, for years I felt I was never good enough to show my work. That’s why I find the Internet so ‘empowering.’ I always tell students to keep it real-speak and draw with an honest voice, and share your work. -the world needs to see more art!

Who are some of the artists who've influenced your work?
So many...when I was around 11, I saw a fashion illustration in the New York Times of the Paris collections. I have no idea who the artist was, but I was so fascinated by how so much information was captured in so few lines. I remember copying that sketch for days. And of course Antonio, his work in the Times Fashion Magazines in the 60s was groundbreaking- he made illustration so relevant.
And the lines of Vertes, Eric, Bouche-- amazing talents. And of course, Christian Berard, and Cocteau. I better stop here, it's endless....

What's playing on your Ipod these days? I listen to what I call ‘Brooklyn easy listening.’ A lot of Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Department of Eagles. My friend Keehan told me about ‘How to Dress Well’ so I’m listening to that, and I just downloaded some Xx Xy. And of course Velvet Underground or Sylvester always get me through.

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5 commentaires:

Audrwey a dit…

Trop fan !!!
Belle entrevue les filles!!!
Continuez votre beau travail!!!

on en veut d'autres!


TAM + SAM a dit…

Merci, merci miss beauté!

Anonyme a dit…

holy crap, what a good interview. what a great man! love his drawings.

Anonyme a dit…
Ce commentaire a été supprimé par un administrateur du blog.
TAM + SAM a dit…

Thank you! Isn't awesome?!
Thanks for stopping by.