When people think of the word artist, they may think of a painting like Starry Night by Van Gogh, or a sculpture like the Moai statues on Easter Island. The word artist in most people’s minds isn’t a word that is all encompassing, spanning across the many skills and talents that different artists possess and present to their audience.
With Ryan, there were more questions to what he would do with art and what being an artist meant to him.
In the beginning, Ryan drew as a hobby but after advancing to high school, he choose to take art a bit more seriously. However, the atmosphere in a high school creates concern for a practical application from your education so once again, the question of what being an artist meant stayed with him.
The question remained unanswered as Ryan struggled through his first year of college at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County, bouncing from astronomy to sociology to business, then finally deciding to earn his Associates Degree in Science and Fine Arts Form. Thereafter, he made the decision to transfer to the University of Stevens Point Wisconsin, where he discovered an overwhelmingly inspiring community of mentors and artists which was enough to pull him back into becoming an artist again.
This year he finished his degree at UWSP, achieving his Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Art.
Ryan soon discovered that becoming an artist was not about answering those unanswerable questions on what it meant to be an artist. He found that to become an artist was to live creatively. Beyond just painting a beautiful scene or shaping clay into an everlasting effigy, Ryan found that he needed to bring his creative self into anything and everything he ever worked on.
In this newly-developed artistic consciousness of his, he began experimenting and playing around with many different media, rather than sticking to one or two. If asked what kind of artist he is, Ryan would answer a painter, but it is through multiple forms of media that he can understand his painting, and in turn, understand the new channels of art he creates.
Through this methodology, Ryan has come to the conclusion that he should not ever solidify a specific “process” to how he approaches his art. He believes that his process is always developing with each new project he works on. Before, on the narrow path, Ryan had a clear definition of what a painting could be, but then he started to direct questions at his own work, having a back and forth conversation with himself to try to validate his solutions.
He uses these solutions from previous works to help him understand what he might be able to bring to a new piece, the experience allowing for new questions that will in turn, create new solutions.
How Ryan sees the way he approaches art, the way art will continue to be a part of his life is still in a state of flux.
As most of us agree, he hopes that he can use his craft to sculpt himself a living. Most artists do wish for their work to be held in high esteem within the foreseeable future. What Ryan would actually like to do with his work is bring attention and eventually help solve social and humanitarian issues. For the moment this is one of the bigger questions in Ryan’s mind and the solution might not be easily found, whether it is creating works about those issues or aiding in art based events that brings awareness to those issues.
Whatever the solution to this question is, Ryan is excited for the experiences his art will guide him through.