You’re sitting on your couch, or the train, or at work - and you find yourself amidst the sea of memes flooding your timeline. As you laugh, whether subtly contained at your desk or unabashedly aloud at the supermarket, have you ever paused to wonder: who’s pulling the strings? Behind every meme lies a creator, and in the Instagram domain, there’s one name that stands out: Rick Dick.
While staying updated on every pop culture trend - from celebrity faux-pas to the latest Oscar buzz - is as effortless as a passive social media scroll, spare a thought for meme creators like Rick who put in the hard yards to stay ahead of the curve. As you read through this interview, you’ll uncover how Rick Dick keeps his finger on the pulse of pop-culture, alongside exploring the lesser known off-screen side of this meme creator, when they’re not the glue holding our work shifts together.
Could you take us back to the very start of your course, what prompted you to create meme concepts related to the fashion industry?
My background in advertising graphics has always drawn me closer to the world of fashion, especially in the advertising field. However, my passion for fashion that I have now emerged about 10 years ago after I realised that it was much closer to my passions than I believed; those for art and technology perhaps since I was a child. The advent of social media prompted me to explore meme concepts related to the fashion industry, finding an excellent functional medium to narrate and comment on what I saw by combining my passion for humour and satire with current fashion trends.
Although you’re very committed to your Instagram account and artistry, I’m not entirely sure that’s what pays the bills. Do you have any other profession in addition to being a fashion-enthusiastic meme-creator?
My job is that of a graphic designer, so in addition to being engaged in my Instagram page, I collaborate on projects with brands and magazines.
Humour plays a very important role in your work. I’d say even your name is fun! When did you first realise you were a funny person, and what role does humour play in your daily life?
I love humour and everything surrounding it; I believe that humour is an excellent key for reading and critiquing many social aspects. In my daily life, humour serves as a means of expression, connection, and often even to resolve various situations.
In considering the context of your art, it seems obvious that you intend to evoke joy in your viewers, a moment of laughter however long it may be. Beyond this, is there something else you hope they take away from your work?
While bringing joy and laughter to my audience is a primary goal, I also aim to provoke reflections and thoughts on topics related to fashion, pop culture, and society in general. I hope that my work stimulates conversations and insights.
Being a rather new concept, what sparked your interest in exploring artificial intelligence in your work, and how has the process been in learning such recent technology?
The potential of artificial intelligence to enhance creativity and optimise my artistic process intrigued me. Learning AI technology has been both stimulating and rewarding, opening up new paths of experimentation and innovation in my work.
Memes are very Internet-based and have constituted a whole new language that is almost universal. Do you remember some of the first memes you saw?
I have always loved looking for satirical images, ironic advertising campaigns, provocative photos. I am a big fan of the magazine Toilet Paper Magazine and even before that of Permanent Food. The first memes that come to mind that I remember seeing and appreciating are perhaps among the most famous and iconic still today, from the Disaster Girl to the Distracted Boyfriend; in fact, I often find myself reusing them in my work.
Both as a creator and a consumer, how have you experienced the evolution of such language and culture?
As both a creator and consumer of meme culture, I have witnessed its evolution from simple images to a sophisticated and influential form of expression. I try to stay tuned to these changes and incorporate them into my work. I believe it is, in fact, a form of immediate and effective communication.
Have you ever found yourself wanting to shift your art style away from meme concepts but hesitated, concerned that your viewers see it as an integral part of your identity?
Although I am open to exploring new artistic styles, I also recognise the importance of maintaining coherence and authenticity in my work. I try to find a balance between innovation and familiarity to effectively engage my audience, also because I believe it is the style that intrigues the most and never ceases to tire me.
Your work focuses on pop culture with a special focus on fashion. You’re extremely up-to-date, and just a few hours after an event has happened, you’ve already generated a series of memes, from Miley Cyrus at the Grammys to fashion shows in Paris or Milan do you force yourself to stay so updated, or do you enjoy the rush?
I really enjoy staying updated on current events and trends in pop culture and fashion. This allows me to create timely and relevant content that resonates with my audience. Although it can be intense, I find satisfaction in capturing the spirit of the times through my memes.
Your work is actually what the fashion world demands: constantly feeding news, images, products. The machinery can’t stop, and we’re all so stressed. Do you ever feel exhausted? What do you do to keep up the rhythm?
It can be challenging to keep up with the pace demanded by the fashion industry, but I often prioritise self-care and balance to avoid burnout. Taking breaks, cultivating hobbies, and spending time with loved ones help me recharge and stay inspired.
The previous question makes me wonder, what do you do in your free time to relax? What are Rick Dick’s ways of chilling out?
In my free time, I like to visit museums and exhibitions, but also spend time flipping through magazines or on the couch watching movies, TV series, and documentaries. I also find relaxation in outdoor activities like spending days at the beach or in the countryside.
You’re also familiar with virality since your posts are shared dozens, if not hundreds of times. Do you notice a pattern in what type of memes work best?
Memes that are recognisable, timely, and original tend to resonate more with the audience. I try to create content that captures current cultural moments while also offering a unique perspective or twist.
Anna Wintour seems to be one of the most recurrent characters in your posts, where you portray her as a Lego figurine, an ice queen or a Rimowa suitcase. She clearly embodies the fashion industry and has as many supporters as she does haters. Why is she so inspirational to you and your memes?
Anna Wintour's iconic status in the fashion industry makes her a fascinating subject for satire and commentary. Her influence and polarising personality provide rich material for creative interpretations, allowing me to explore various aspects of fashion culture through my memes.
From fashion to cinema, to music and art, I feel like you’re very knowledgeable. You’ve included references to Edward Scissorhands, the Guggenheim museum, Saltburn, Maurizio Cattelan’s polemic banana piece, Barbie and The Devil Wears Prada. So to finish off the interview, could you tell us what series you are watching, what music is playing non-stop on your playlist, or what films and shows you recently enjoyed (or hated)?
I enjoy watching TV series even if not always at the height of their popularity, and I also like to rewatch old episodes of classic series like Sex and the City, Friends, or AHS. My playlists include a diverse range of musical genres, especially pop, but I often listen to old English punk music while cooking. As for movies and shows, I recently watched and appreciated Poor Things, finding inspiration from its dystopian and surreal setting but with a strong and clear message, and I think Emma Stone is flawless in this film, after all she won an Oscar - shame about that dress - Poor Dress!