January 27th, 2021
The first thing you notice when you look at the artwork of Flynn Ryan is the bright bold colours. The colours pull you into his world and just won’t let you go. The characters are a beautiful combination of bizarre and cute, horrific and adorable. His line work and attention to detail are marvellous. The depth that he’s able to convey in his pieces is just outstanding. His work is fun, trippy, surreal and bold. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Where are you from?
Eugene, Oregon, USA.
How did you get interested in art?
Well I have always been a creative person and have always tried to escape into a world of fiction inside my own head. As a little one, I was mostly into sculpting but over time, I became more of an illustrator.
What inspires your work?
I will use this section to list the artists that totally changed my view of art and what I want to do. Two pieces of art stand out to me. When I was very young, I saw a piece by Basil Wolverton on the cover of a Mad Magazine that was filled with reprints of the early years of Mad. Then when I was a teenager on a family trip to San Francisco, I saw a mural by Alex Pardee in an alley that lit a whole new spark. Other than the visual artists that literally had a huge impact on me I try to find inspiration in everything. I love colors, vibes, and all sorts of pop culture. I love people who are utterly unique and devote their entire lives to their own vibe and art. Mac Dre inspires me, I love how he created so much of his own slang and his whole vibe, not to mention his music slaps. I recently saw Dolemite Is My Name and that inspired me. This interview inspires me. Thanks for emailing me these questions!
How would you describe your style?
Funky Surreal Cheeky Devil Lowbrow 1930's/1980's Hippity Hop Punk Rock Heavy Metal Style over Everything Adorable Pop Madness.
What is your process for a piece from start to finish? How long does it take to complete a piece?
I get really loopy with lines and work from there. Sometimes things click immediately and sometimes I fart around until the shapes start to make sense. It can take anywhere from a few hours to all day, it all just depends on if I have a concept or not and if it is easy for me to translate.
Do you listen to music when you’re working on your art? If so, what do you like to listen to?
Creedence Clearwater Revival are my favorite band. Erykah Badu is wonderful. DJ Smokey will always be one of my favorite musicians. I've been listening to this rapper/producer Naveisdead a lot lately, I even paid him to cook me up a song for my upcoming comics. While I mostly listen to Hip-Hop (phonk, gangster rap, hyphy, trap, 90's) my absolute favorite is Funk, R&B, Soul. To name a few, Kleeer, Parliament Funkadelic, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Patrice Rushen, S.O.S. Band.
What does your artwork say about you?
That I fucking love art and I want the world to be as fun and not boring as possible.
What emotions do you want people to feel when they see your work?
Fun, Cool, Magical, Edgy.
What is your favourite mythical creature?
Imps/Demons/Ghosts/Goblins/Fairies?!?!? I wish I could pick one but I just love them all. Also every other mythical creature because variety is great.
How have you improved since your first started to now?
I can now pretty much always sit down and draw and know that I will be happy with what I come up with, I have found my style. Art used to feel a lot more like a struggle or like work than it does now. Using a tablet and making digital art vs pen and ink or acrylic has also been a game changer. For my style and what I want to make its by far the best tool, it just speeds it all up and I don't have to worry about lighting or using filters when I post images of it. I love my old stuff but I see many things that I would "improve". I am definitely happiest with my new stuff.
Your artwork has a high school desk doodle vibe that you stuck with and refined into your own style. What do you have to say to all those people who told you to stop and pay attention?
You really nailed it. I am indeed self-taught and did a lot of my drawing in class. I had many problems in school. I flunked a lot and was in the principal’s office constantly. I could not help but interrupt with jokes in class. I just wanted to go live in my imagination and not deal with a bunch of stuff that did not interest me. I had one Middle School teacher in particular that tried to get me on Ritalin. To answer this literally I would not say anything because I would rather not talk to the teachers that treated me poorly. For the sake of the question I would say that alternative Schools are way more radical than big schools and that I wished I had been able to go that route much sooner than my Junior Year in High School. Also that they had no right sticking their noses up when they themselves are hella boring and just try to make kids grow up to be usefully boring tools. I hope that when this hypothetical interaction happens I look way cooler than they do.
What is the best compliment you’ve received about your work?
Alex Pardee commented that he loved one of my characters. Since his art was such a huge inspiration that has to be it. A few people have told me I am their favorite artist, which is also very special to hear.
What does your art studio look like? Clean or chaotic?
Clean! I am mostly digital now.
Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?
Never heard of Fudgee-O's so I pick Fudgee-O's since I am now curious about them. Oreos ain't bad though.