We’re thrilled to have illustrator Ryan Garcia on board! Full of energy and ability, Ryan's passion for illustration emanates from everything he creates; with work that spans from the surreal to the humorous. Technically spot on, his characters always evoke emotion in the viewer and Ryan's environments, whether realistic or purely conceptual, pull us further into the reality he's created.
Not only does Ryan Garcia draw superbly he can write eloquently too! Take a moment and find out a little bit about Ryan from our mini Q&A below. We hope you all enjoy getting to know him just as we have.
Q: What first inspired you to be an illustrator?
A: I actually didn’t even know the job “illustrator” existed until very recently. I remember listening to an interview with the artist (famed Facebook muralist) David Choe during my final semester of architecture school, and I had a light bulb moment. Until that point I had always loved doodling in notebooks during classes, but had no idea one could make a living as a commercial artist, and especially not as an illustrator. I explored much of Choe’s work and really dug into the works of his contemporaries, and I quickly became obsessed with the idea of illustration. I think it’s amazing that I get paid to draw pictures for a living.
Q: Describe a dream commission?
A: A dream commission is one that leaves me with butterflies in my stomach after reading the brief. With certain assignments, I’ll read over the brief (usually with new clients) and having a feeling of complete terror running through my body. The feeling of “holy ****, I have no idea how I’m going to approach this” is a strong indicator of a dream commission - the necessity to think outside of the box and create something novel. Although at first it feels impossible, the pieces I’m most proud of are ones where I couldn’t rely on old or cliche concepts.
In terms of a specific dream commision, I would love to one day illustrate a cover for The New Yorker. New Yorker covers have such a rich history, and as an illustrator, it’d be an absolute honour to be a part of that tradition.
Q: What personal interests have most affected the direction you’ve taken with your art?
A: I really enjoy reading psychology and social-psychology books, and I think they’re inevitably affecting my work. I love reading about how the brain works and what makes people tick. From World War II propaganda, to body language, to Greek philosophy, to colour perception, I love learning about the human experience.
Q: How do you spend your days?
A: My work days are almost identical to one-another, I’m a firm believer in discipline and sticking to a strict routine. Especially for starting illustrators, I think it’s vital to have daily habits that keep you “ready” for freelance work. The best illustrators are the ones who “keep the blade sharp” and are ready to strike, both intellectually and creatively. I’ve kept up a daily brainstorming habit (with or without an actual assignment) for the past 2 years, and this has paid off immeasurably.
Q: You recently went on a trip to Peru. Do you travel often, does this serve as inspiration for your work?
A: Travelling mainly serves as a reset or a “reformat” for my brain. Because my day-to-day life is so regimented, I really look forward to the complete change of pace when I’m travelling. In this past trip to Peru, I decided to take a complete break from work and just let myself recharge - no laptop, no work email, no planning. I’m always amazed by the inspiration I get from travel and nature - whether it's a beautiful landscape panorama, or even looking at the local artwork.