Richard Minino and Yardley came together many years ago to form The VNM. The VNM is a one-stop shop for designs, artwork, and paint. Richard and Yardley both have major roles in the company, but both agree one the #1 Goal: Have a Good Time! I'm sure if you open your closet you can find a few designs created by them, for brands like Biltwell, Chemical Candy Customs, Southbound and Down, and so much more. ChopCult currently has three designs in stock that Yardley created, and I'm sure you will see more down the road. The thing I love most about these guys is that they are super easy to work with and have a fast turnaround. So let's open a cold one and get to know the guys behind The VNM. Enjoy!
Give us your details! Name, birthplace, current location?
Richard Minino, born in Orlando, FL and still living here.
Yardley, born in Orlando, FL lived in Brooklyn for a brief time and now back in Orlando.
What’s your first recollection of art making an impact in your life?
Richard - It was at a very young age for me. I drew a weird-ass fish when I was about two years old, and my mom and dad framed it in my room. I remember that the feeling of making something and seeing it displayed was very gratifying. My parents always pushed me to create whatever I wanted. I always had some form of paint or pencils in front of me growing up.
Yardley - Oh man, it’s very vivid. I could draw better than anyone in my first-grade class so other kids would ask me to draw things for them. So I was basically in the same position as I find myself today all these years later!
Who were your influences growing up?
Richard - At first it was my mom, she used to paint before she had kids and would put up her art around the house. I thought it was great to see that. Then, as a kid just going to Disney often was super inspiring. The whole park was incredible, and the attention to detail was off the chain. Later I realized my dad, who was a printer, was super precise at his job. It was neat to realize that later in life and see how dedicated he was to his craft. It's all he did until the digital age pushed him out of the game. Then, getting into punk and hardcore set it off for me with the aggressive nature of that art. I took that and just kept rolling with it.
Yardley - Shaquille O'Neal, Andre Agassi, and Ted DiBiase.
When did VNM get started and what does VNM stand for?
Yardley - VNM started eight years ago. Oh, this is a great one. We used to lie to people and makeup stuff it stood for. The honest answer is nothing. Just a few letters that were easy to cram together and keep people guessing.
What types of services does VNM offer and who is responsible for what?
Richard - I mostly do the illustration stuff, but we have a separate company where we do stuff for other businesses called The Black Axe. We started out working together and just doing design work for other people. VNM came about because we were tired of working for everyone else and watching their companies grow. It's nice to finally have an outlet for stuff that we want to wear and are proud of.
What medium do you prefer to use when coming up with designs?
Richard - I like to draw with pen and ink on paper. Then I scan it, color it in on the computer, and get it ready for printing. I know most people like to draw on a tablet, which is probably smarter, but I just like the feel of doing it on paper and getting it right the first time around.
Do you prefer the clients to have input in the artwork or do you prefer to run with it?
Richard - I love when people give me ideas. Sometimes they ask me to "do something cool," and it drives me nuts because I'll sketch out an idea and they'll reply with "that's not what was in my head." I guess people think we can read minds too! It's great when someone can say what they want, and it always turns out awesome, and it's an overall quick experience.
What are some of the brands that you’ve have created artwork for?
Richard - We've done a lot of stuff for ChopCult, Showclass Magazine, Born-Free Motorcycle Show, Biltwell, Chemical Candy Customs, Ventura Nationals, Southbound and Down, Boogie East, Chopper Supply Co. and a bunch more!
What was the most challenging piece of artwork to date and why?
Richard - By far it was the roach tank that I had for Art, and Fuel 2 put on by Throttle Addiction. That was the first tank that I painted with real stuff and not just rattle cans. I never used an airbrush gun or even a regular paint gun. Scott from Chemical Candy gave me the confidence and walked me through the whole process, and in return, I designed a bunch of stuff for him. What he taught me was invaluable, though. Yardley was also super crucial in this because he constantly reminded me that it wasn't impossible. I kept wanting to quit, but he wouldn't let me. I never thought I could do it and it was so challenging. I still have a hard time doing it, and you need a lot of patience and practice. I was shocked when I won because I was up against the guys I looked up to. Though I think I won because mine was a little goofy with the roach thing, but whatever. I don't think I'll ever be 100% satisfied with a job, but I guess that's what comes with it if you want to keep getting better.
Photo by Mikey Revolt
Richard, you are becoming well-known in the industry for your radical paintwork. When did painting bikes come into play?
Richard - It all started with painting a Biltwell helmet with a paint marker and 1 Shot paint. We were using it as a promo giveaway for VNM. Then some people contacted me and wanted me to do one for them. I always felt a little weird because I felt like I didn't know what I was doing until Scott (Chemical Candy) showed me the ropes. I've only painted one complete bike, and that was a real test. It was so much work that I don't understand how the real deal painters make a living from it. It's an incredible amount of work that barely anyone notices. I'm eventually going to paint my bike, and I'm halfway excited and halfway dreading it because my fingers will be screaming while I'm sanding that thing down.
Out of all of the paintwork done to date, which one would you describe as your best work and why?
Richard - I think it's the Roach Tank. Only because Yardley convinced me that we could make it happen. It's my favorite because we had to search in his garage for the perfect roach. We finally found a beefy boy and decided he was forever going to be seen encased on the tank with a joint in his mouth. When the acrylic, dried Yardley ran over to my house, and we couldn't believe it worked. It was like a couple of idiot kids doing science experiments in the shed. That's the only tank that I decided I will never sell, and it will just sit in my room as a reminder that I did that shit and I can do it again.
The tool you both wish you had but don’t?
Richard - A proper spray gun. I don't know why I keep buying Harbor Freight junk ones and won't just fork over the money for the good stuff.
Yardley - One of those big CNC mills where you slide the doors shut, and it shoots the liquid everywhere and spits out parts.
Do you have anything in the works that you’d like to share with our readers?
Richard - We're constantly working on new things. I guess we want to ramp it up for 2017 and do some big giveaways and regularly make new products.
Yardley - Just more of the same jokes slapped on stuff to keep folks laughing.
Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to? Thanks to everyone who keeps buying our crap and letting us put out dumb shit all the time!
Be sure to check out The VNM's website for awesome gear and give Richard and Yardley a follow on Facebook and Instagram.