I don't really want to bore you with a standard, traditional bio written in third person (as if I didn't really write it), so instead, here's me in a blender and hopefully this will give you a quick peek behind the curtain for what makes me tick:
I like to make things. I’m a painter, an illustrator and a designer, but not necessarily in that order. I'm the husband to my beautiful wife and partner in crime, the father to two rascally boys and the owner of two large, very spoiled dogs. I'm an urbanite who loves the hustling, bustling, melting pot of the city, but I also love animals, nature and being outside, and I’m interested in how those two worlds intersect. I love music from almost every genre and banging on things that make a lot of noise (drums), but I am a sucker for a good, face-melting guitar solo, and I’m a terrible dancer, but I like to put on my boogie shoes anyway. I like expensive bourbon, cheap beer and red wine with legs for days. I like old, vintage things, power tools, the smell of sawdust and digging in the dirt, but I also love random pop culture and trying to keep my finger on the pulse of technology. I believe in science and reason, but I equally believe in magic and whimsy. Pondering the vastness of time and space literally keeps me awake at night, along with global warming, the meaning of life and why the hell the last season of Game of Thrones was botched so badly. I believe in equality for all, respecting your elders, and good old-fashioned hard work. I like to think high in the clouds as well as deep down in the cracks, but I try not to spend an extreme amount of time in either. I'm an extroverted introvert and my Enneagram number is a hard 4 if anyone out there is into that kind of thing. I'm an early riser, I don't sit still very well and I wake up every single day with the urge to make something with my hands...and I get pretty grumpy when I don't.
In a nutshell I'm just a guy who doesn't really fit into any one box, with a busy head, a big heart and callused hands, trying to figure out how to say things using paint and pixels, hoping to leave the world a little better than I found it and meeting some good people along the way.
Inspired by nature, humanity, pop culture, technology, food and nostalgia, I explore themes ranging from environmental and social issues, fatherhood, life and death, anxiety and mental health in hopes to show the beauty, complexity and sometimes absurdity of life and the world around us. I believe that everything is connected and my goal is to harness my version of the world into snapshots, whether it’s with a smile, a wink or a subtle middle finger, giving everything meaning, purpose and hopefully a slightly different perspective to this shared existence.
I often hear that I need to narrow down my focus of subject matters, genres and styles to one specific niche if I want to “make it” as an artist, but I simply just can’t do it. Trust me, I’ve tried. There is too much clutter in my head, too many ideas I want to sort out and too much inspiration in this magical, flawed and beautiful world for me too narrow it down any further, so this is where I’ve landed.
After all, isn’t that what art is about, to play, explore and be expressive and inspired in any and all ways possible? If I get judged or ridiculed for trying to do too much, then so be it. At the end of the day I hope I will be remembered for doing too much rather than not enough.
- Ryan L. Wagner