Interview: Richard Minino
How long have you lived in Orlando, and what part of town do you live in currently?
I’ve lived in Orlando my whole life. I grew up in Colonial Town and my mom still lives in the same house. When I bought a house I only moved a couple miles away to Audubon Park. I’ve always loved living in Orlando. Luckily I was in a band that got to travel a lot so I got to experience a lot of other places so when I hear people talk bad about Orlando I always tell them it’s not the worst place. I have to defend it, it’s my home.
If you had to sum up your professional title, what would it be?
I guess I would sum up my professional title as co-owner of a regal design agency, master chops drummer and pit bull fighter. No but for real I always just tell people I’m an illustrator. I like the simplicity of it and that’s what I love to do, draw. I’ve never been a good “business” person so for me to say I’m something that sounds grand and important just feels weird to me.
Being in the creative industry, how do you feel about Orlando as a homebase?
I think even though Orlando is one of the smaller big cities it has a lot of people that carry a good art scene. I think people in the industry here are a bit more humble and real. Whenever I go to NYC or San Francisco I feel like it’s flooded with people scratching at the bit to get noticed. Also we’re living in a time where we can work from anywhere basically and pull in clients so I don’t think about Orlando holding me back in this line of work.
For better or worse, how has being Orlando-based effected your career?
Well first off I love riding motorcycles so when I want to relieve some stress I just walk out of my home office and leave for a bit. I can do that basically anytime of the year here. You can’t do that in other cities where it actually gets cold in the winter unlike the 60 degree weather we get when it’s “winter”. Second of all we live in a city that brings in tons of revenue from tourists so I feel we’re more exposed to creative ads and other visuals that attract outsiders. Even just going to Disney gets me in a creative mood to see how a titan like them can still stay relevant but look classic at the same time.
So I would say it has a very positive effect on me.
How do you see the local creative scene shaping up in the coming years?
I’m not really sure how I see it shaping up. Sometimes I feel like because of the digital age everything is becoming easier so it’s hard to find really good talent in any town. I however am an optimistic person most of the time so I see someone coming along and improving it. Luckily we have people like Steve Parker who busts his ass to make this local scene a really good respectable one.
Can you tell us about the work you’re doing and who you’re working with these days?
Lately I’ve been focusing a lot on our clothing company that we started a couple years ago called VNM. I love doing that stuff, it keeps me sane. It’s a great feeling to be able to design something that you’re really proud of and that you’d actually wear. Other than that I’ve been doing the branding for The Revival Tour coming up in March and FEST 12 in Oct. Those are really fun to see my art spread over multiple forms of advertisements, merch and blogs.
Does the VNM brand have a local, grassroots following? Or do you see the majority of fans coming from other outlets?
VNM definitely has grassroots following from our close friends which is such a rad feeling but we also have a great following from all the I got to meet over the years from touring. So all the friends I had in bands and stuff was a no brainer to contact and let them know about VNM. Once we had a strong base with our friends support it was a lot easier to get our name out. For the past 10 months we’ve seen a really big increase in attention and that has been great because we’re finally starting to see the real potential of this company. If I could do it as a main job someday that would be a dream.
What’s the future look like for VNM? Any more collaborations we should keep a look out for?
Well we have a lot of stuff in the works and a few magazines are doing features on us pretty soon so that’s really exciting. We’re getting in to cut and sew products made in the USA and a lot more products like skateboards and more patches. I’m not sure about any collaborations but we’re always on the look out for new approaches on stuff.
What are some things you’re looking forward to seeing come out of Orlando? Creatively or otherwise?
Well I’m definitely looking forward to watch you guys keep growing. That’s always really cool for me to see my friends succeed in the line of work they love doing. I’m also really in to the art shows that Steve Parker puts on at Redlight Redlight. Basically cause I can walk there and it’s always great art. Other than creative stuff I really like seeing new independent business’s starting up around town like Cask & Larder, The Owl’s Attic and other places. That makes me really proud to call this place home.
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