Richard Mink is a soft-surface textile airbrush artist who has found his passion: turning left-behind jackets into pieces of wearable art. From actors and astronauts to musicians and Marvel heroes, Richard transforms each jacket into a monument to pop-culture idols and those who inspire.
Self-taught, Richard got his start in 1980 (at the age of 15), when he saw artists creating airbrushed pieces at the beach. He learned by reading publications, his favorite being “Airbrush Action.” It wasn’t easy though: his first brush was a Badger single-action and his first compressor was a small diaphragm style. Richard realized the potential of painting on soft-surface textiles after seeing Jurek Zamoyski’s portrait shirts. Richard began with T-shirts and denim and then later moved on to blazers (his preferred medium). He produced his first blazer in 2009 when he painted Johnny Cash on the back.
When not working full-time as a professional photographer, Richard takes advantage of his free days to comb through thrift stores and other outlets to find jackets to paint. While Richard picks the jacket, the piece will “choose its own artwork.” The color, fabric, and decade of the jacket have a lot to say about what the design will be. A red jacket might be the future canvas of a swinging Spider-Man, or a polyester blazer from the 70's may feature a Pulp Fiction-era Samuel L. Jackson. These heroes and icons are painted using a mixture of transparent and opaque airbrush paints which allow the natural patterns of the jacket to show through.
Richard currently resides in Southwest Virginia, where he was born and raised, and continues to find new ways to adapt and improve his style of airbrushing on soft textile.
Jacquard products used: Airbrush Color