Creative Collaborations – Richard
Meet Richard Poll, he is one of the illustrators that started the creative collaborations project at 2theloo. Richard’s work is exhibited in the 2theloo toilets in Paris & Berlin. And we love it.
I’ve been illustrating for as long as I can remember. It started in the summer of ‘87 when my mom bought me a comic titled ‘The Spectacular Spiderman’ nr. 90. Every month I waited for this 32 page comic book, which I read inside and out from cover to cover.
I grew up reading my uncle’s comics from the 60’s and 70’s; Guus Flater, Asterix & Obelix, Prins Valiant, Agent 327, Bruno Brazil en Franka. As well as a huge stack of the more well-behaved Dutch and Flemish comics of my friends, like Suske & Wiske and Tin Tin.
It wasn’t until much later that I came in touch with the more vulgar work of Eric Schreurs, filled with caricatured sex , violence and dirty scenes. I was also intrigued by the work of Robert Crumb, an American comic book drawer, well-known because of his underground-comic ‘Zapp Comix’ filled with sex, drugs, and social criticism. Eventually I started to create my own comics, filled with the most imaginative adventures and strongly inspired by these artists.
Illustrating continued when during high-school, I often went to the comic-book store after school in the Boterstraat in Alkmaar to drool all over the newest comics from America. The one comic that totally blew me away was the comic of Todd McFarlane, he illustrated for Marvel at that time. He just released his own first comic, Spawn! A typical anti-hero. The comic told the story of an Afro-American hit man, Al Simmons, that was betrayed by his own boss, is gunned down, set on fire and eventually ends up in hell.
He makes a pact with the devil to collect souls for the chance to see his wife again. Wearing a suit of symbiotic armor he is returned to earth the same way he died, as a burned corpse. This comic was brilliant in every aspect, from the storyline, the drawings to the use of ink and colour.
When I was 16 I first came in contact with graffiti through friends. These people were quite fanatic about it. Drinking in the pub and after closing time hitting the streets looking for spots to ‘bomb’ with paint. We bought our spray-cans at the Waterlooplein in Amsterdam, because we didn’t have any Montana and Belton spray-cans in our town. I quickly realised that fonts weren’t my cup of tea, so I stuck with characters. I have never been overly passionate about graffiti; I was more keen on ink and paper.
This opinion has changed nowadays. The bigger the better and the more detail you can put into it. I can totally get carried away in details, which is great but also frustrating because when is a piece finished? My inspirations are comics, animation movies, books, art, music, environment and nature. History, people, sex, commercials, being hungover… Everything can be a trigger. Ideas pop-up at the most unexpected moments!
I was constantly Illustrating in high school, but had no idea what I wanted to do in terms of education. Some people surrounding me advised me to study a real profession instead of becoming a comic-book artist. I did a few months of profession-choice guidance, but I quit this due to the loss of a person very close to me.
Illustrating was off the table for five years before I started again at the Media College Amsterdam. I learned to work with programs such as Photoshop & Illustrator, amazing programs, but illustrating was and is my speciality. After my education I started working as a freelancer. I make flyers, logo’s, create house styles and also mural paintings, decors, DJ booths and even a DJ stage and a cocktail bar for the Softcore group on Trailerpark festival 2012 and 2013 in Copenhagen.
2theloo asked me to do some themed illustrations for their toilets in Paris and Berlin and a Shell themed one as well. I’m very grateful for the chance and platform they gave to me and it’s already paying off, with an exposition on the horizon!