HAIR COLORIST BY DAY, ARTIST BY NIGHT - Interview with Shayne Ryan

My name is Shayne Ryan, I am a Seattle native, but I studied illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco before transferring to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle to receive my BFA. My work mainly consists of paintings, drawings, and prints focusing on childhood nostalgia, pop culture, and fairy tales. A pastel infused color palette with traces of gold and soft, bubbly imagery reinforce a feminine quality in my work, even when the imagery itself is not particularly effeminate.

How early did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?

I knew that I wanted to be an artist before I was in Kindergarten. I ended up taking “Arts Enrichment,” instead of Kindergarten, every other day! I didn’t realize that illustration was what I was really interested in until my first year of college.

Describe your style in three words.

Organic. Fluid. Cartoonish.

What influences/influenced your art?

I have been influenced greatly by cartoons, video games, graphic novels, and manga as well as Renaissance, Rococo, and Art Deco work. Monsters and creatures in mythical stories and fairy tales have greatly inspired and influenced me as well.

What environment do you enjoy working / illustrating in?

I like to have a very personal work space. Having my own space and set up is very important to me. I like to be surrounded by all of my action figures and tools and artwork by artists whom I admire.

What is a typical day like for you?

I work as a hair colorist in my daily life! On a typical day I will go to work and paint people’s hair all day. I always bring my sketchbook in case I have a cancellation! After work, I go to the gym, then I go home and work on my illustrations and pins

What triggers your creativity?

Nothing sparks my creativity like one of those 80’s fantasy films with puppets and creatures and glitter like The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth.

Who is your favorite artist? Why?

My favorite visual artist is Yoshitaka Amano. He illustrated Vampire Hunter D and was an art director for many of the Final Fantasy games. His work is over the top, full of movement and color, bizarre and unique, but still anchored deeply in traditional Japanese art.

What are your goals for 2018?

In 2018, I would like to continue to create and improve my skill more. I also want to work on bringing more humor back into my art!

What is your favorite song, band, or artist to listen to while you're illustrating and animating?

I love listening to really high energy music when I am making art, such as Judas Priest, Nekromantix, or the Phenomenauts.