Meet Ralf, also known as RESUK. Nice guy at day, kick-ass illustrator and designer by night. Born and bred in this little place called Mierlo, moved out to Eindhoven, and currently based in downtown Rotterdam. We’ve had our first encounter with Ralf via his impressive Instagram account, filled up with awesome illustrations and designs. We met up at his studio and talked about the better things in life. Multi-talented as hell, keep an eye out on this dude!
Tell us something about yourself please. Like who are you and what do you do for a living?
The name is Ralf van de Kerkhof. Currently I’m living in Rotterdam where I also have my studio, over at the Hiphophuis. I’m active as a freelancer under the name of Ralf Resuk, designing clothes, illustrating and graphic design is what I do most. I like to have a fresh approach on every project, because everything I create needs its own identity.
Where do you catch your inspiration, and do you have any rolemodels you look up to?
I just love Tumblr and Instagram, you can manage your own newsfeed. I’m following a lot of different bloggers, from clothing designers to graffiti artists and typographic collectors. I’m not really talking rolemodels here, but somebody like Ronnie Fieg is doing a great job in my opinion. He’s doing a lot of collaborations with different brands and he’s running his own label. That’s something I would really like to achieve too. Some people from Amsterdam are also doing a pretty proper job; Filling Pieces, Daily Paper, Afura Store and TNO. They’re going strong independently, but they’re also teaming up sometimes. I would really like to be set up or be a part of a solid team like that.
Can you tell us something about you’re loving for illustration began to grow?
I started out drawing when I was a little kid. My granny used to paint a lot and my parents realized pretty quick that I rather do some drawing than make my homework. It’s always been like that I guess. I usually approach graphic projects with a illustrative kind of mindset.
What’s you own personal masterpiece?
About one year ago, ANT Origins gave me complete freedom to assemble a injection collection for the past summer. A little mid-season collection to make people get to know ANT a little bit better. I turned out to be a small but awesome collection, consisting of denim and floral fabrics on a few caps, tees, tanktops, a shirt, windjacket and a reversible varsity jacket.
We’ve seen some stuff came by about ANT Origins. Can you fill us in on this brand?
ANT Origins ignited in 2008 as a streetwear label, it was set up by two close friends coming from Eindhoven. I already provided and designed clothing for those guys, and then they came with a plan called ‘A Native Tourist’, ANT in short. We surrounded ourselves with a small team and made small collections of around 8 pieces, now we’re still expanding to bigger collections and adding more and more sale points.
What are some of your favorite spots in (and around) Rotterdam?
I’m living in the North of Rotterdam in an area called Blijdorp, together with my girlfriend Imke. It’s a beautiful place to live, I’ve got a lot of friends living here and it’s quite nice and quiet. It’s just a few minutes away from the Vroesenpark where we hang out a lot in the summer or go for a quick jog. I’m also a big fan of the skatepark over at the Zuiderpark, and I just love to work over at my studio in the HipHopHuis. When I’m going for a coffee I usually go to Lebkov next to Rotterdam’s Central Station. I think the new club Twenty Six is going to be my hide-out for the upcoming winter!
You’ve designed an awesome shirt for us. Please tell us something more about it!
The two palmtrees are essential of course, after that I immediate got this idea that the design needed a parrot too. I drew some sketches on paper, and it turned out that the trees, text and parrot we’re going pretty good grouped up together in a circle; always a good shape for a shirt-design. Then I drew the whole design on paper with a marker, transferred it to my computer and did some edits with Illustrator.
What kind of music do you like working on?
When I’m at the studio I usually listen to 22Tracks London, catch some of that grime and hiphop. Some Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar, and sometimes I tune in at 3FM or Studio Brussels. A pretty wide variety I guess!
Do you have any brand or person in mind whom you really like to collaborate with?
Wow, there just so many great brands around! I really like Gourmet Footwear because of their progressive yet classic designs. Nike and Carhartt can always call me to do some designs for headwear, and so do Patta and Woei. I’m also digging smaller collectives a lot, just recently I helped out some friends over at Ourbubble.nl on some designs for their collaboration with BenZak Jeans. And this easy collaboration with Los Bangeles of course, it came out of nowhere and it turned out pretty cool!
What’s coming up in the future?
I’m keep on working my ass off to see my business grow. I’m thinking of hiring an intern or an extra designer to help this expansion a little better. I’m busy renewing my website, and I want to put a little bit more effort in my other project: Fadashh.com. And next to all this work stuff, I sometimes just need to take some days just to relax a little!
Okay, last question. Imagine your house on fire, what are the few things you just can’t leave behind?
Okay, check. My external hard disk, book keepings, Moleskin sketchbook, telephone and the avocado plant!