Exhibitionists: Jack Ryan

Art can be anywhere, everywhere. Jack Ryan puts his on your feet. And in your ears. He is a young artist in the San Diego area, hustling through many different kinds of art. He spends most of his time drawing flowers on shoes, which has gotten him noticed by Toms and Keds. 

But he splits his time between that and making “chill beats.” He’s shared his favorite one to accompany this gallery of his work, and he has a whole album of similar stuff, each track intended to evoke the connotations of different colors. If you have synesthesia, PLEASE tell us if you see the colors that the tracks are named after when listening. Heck, if you have synesthesia, tell us anything you want about it. But back to Jack, he thinks everyone has art in them, and here he shares some words on his influences and process.

1.) Who are your top 3 artistic influencers?

I’m really impressed with and influenced by Tyler Warren. He creates very calming, beautiful artwork and is an unreal shaper. His floral art is what really made me realize it was possible for guys to draw flowers and still be cool haha.

The second artist has to be Keith Haring. He’s known for drawing very smple, but powerful shapes and characters all over New York City subways that made people just sit there and think. Most importantly, he would repeat the same objects all over the place, thus making them seem more important. This is what I am doing with my collection, and it’s definitely what legendary guys like Shepard Fairey did with the OBEY symbol.  

Lastly, I am blown away by the multitasking ability of Pharrell Williams. Not only is he one of the best music producers of this generation, but he is also one of the most stylish/forward thinking individuals I’ve ever seen. To be able to create music the way he does, while still accomplishing all of his thousands of other creative ventures has completely helped me in my own life. All I do and think about is creating art, making/selling beats, drawing on shoes, starting a world-altering shoe company, surfing…the list goes on. Focusing and harnessing one is very tough sometimes. I just try to remember that people have done it. Anything and everything is possible.

 

2.) Where do you create your art?

I seriously create something wherever I am. I don’t care where you are…if you have an idea, write it down. Write it in your iPhone notepad app. It’s hard to stay focused in conversation sometimes. Always creating. At the end of the day, I would say my favorite place to create is what my friends call the “Creation Station” haha. It’s my homemade music studio, right next to my kitchen. Humble beginnings for sure. There is art all over the place, purple sound proof foam on the walls, and massive speakers and a keyboard all jammed into this little corner. People walk into my place and know exactly what my passions are…what I’m about.

3.) How much time do you typically spend on each piece?

When I know something is gonna turn out sick, I don’t even know how long it takes. I honestly love to just ride on this natural feeling of accomplishment with a piece for as long as I can. I’ll just stare at it, analyze it, and try to keep myself from adding anything else to it. Sometimes I stretch the process out over a few days. No rush. When it comes to creating music, it actually takes a little longer. Days can turn into weeks. The creation part is fun and exciting, but the editing and laying it all out part is tedious. It’s so hard because there are so many options. Once it’s done though, I’ll just play the track over and over. I imagine someone else, someplace else, listening to sounds I created. There’s nothing like it.  I’ll probably go deaf by my 30’s. 

4.) What mediums do you work in?

For the last two years, I’ve been strictly drawing my floral artwork on canvas shoes. I use a basic pencil with and huuuge eraser ha, and fine tip Sharpie pens. I make my shading through the technique of pointillism. Once I started doing actual pieces on canvas, I went with spray paint, paint pens, and some acrylic. I just don’t have the patience or skill of getting fine lines the way I want them with a brush.

5.) Do you have any advice for young artists?

Although I consider myself a very young artist, comin’ up like the rest of us, all you have to do is be confident in your abilities, and show the world what you’ve got. If you have a passion, harness that energy and make it happen. You’re supposed to. Most people are too afraid to express themselves like we do. Even if you’re not an artist in the painting sense, show the world what you’ve got. Who cares what they say? When they react in a weird way, it’s coming from a place of insecurity. Treat everyone with respect and remain a humble g, like me.

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