By Ryan Wilson
How are you?
I’m doing well today, thank you. It’s a beautiful rainy afternoon and I’m currently enjoying it through the window of my studio. It’s coming down in diagonal sheets that keep switching direction, looks rad.
How did you start making art?
To be honest I don’t ever remember a time I didn’t make art… or utilized my creativity in some vein. When I was a child and through adolescence I loved to paint/color things and collage. While it’s ebbed and flowed or changed medium at times, I think making art has always been a natural inclination and form of communication for me.
What’s your process like?
I suppose it depends on what I’m working on but for paper marbling there is a lot of technicality and material prep involved in the beginning. Plus I think there’s mental prep- I’m really into reading and researching, gathering inspiration, palettes, mood-board sort of learning and looking at a lot of previous work and artwork in general. Once I’m actually physically painting, I’ve found it’s maybe 6 pulls of prints in that I start really getting “in the zone.” In a way, it’s like a meditative state. The phone is silenced, no one else is in the studio and there are no distractions. Music or something benefiting the process is playing and it’s free time to get really deep. It’s a manufactured space and yet it feels more natural and better than anything else.
True or False: nothing rhymes with the word “orange.”
Haha… pretty sure that is true? I can’t think of anything!
Your art has a very fluid, free-flowing quality – can you tell us a little about what inspires you?
I’m inspired by (what I deem to be) good art, dedicated and hard-working artists, music and film- really anything creative. Though I feel I’m inspired most when I’m in nature. Say, taking a long walk on a hiking trail overlooking Los Angeles, reflecting back on the work I’ve made/what I’ve seen and thinking about what I want to make… conversations I want to have with viewers.
I love the idea of art serving any type of purpose— on such a wide array of spectrum. On one end, it can be used for social or political issues or propagandaand on the other end it can be used as a form of escapism from the world in general. Personally my inability to confirm and preference to be open-minded, believing, “anything is possible” …especially in relation to art, is perhaps what comes through with the free-flowing quality and fluidity.
Do you listen to music when you work?
Yes! Most of the time, anyway. I also like to listen to podcasts, art documentaries or internet radio.
What’s the first record you heard that really opened your mind to new possibilities? Do you remember where you were when you heard it?
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of The Moon, heard in the living room of my parents’ house. Still to this date it’s one of my most favorite records… what a masterpiece.
What are you listening to now?
I have extremely eclectic taste, so it’s hard to say what exactly I’m playing on any given day… but I enjoy all genres of music. Some days it’s classical, others rock/indie, hip-hop, oldies, experimental… I can’t get into contemporary country or pop, like top whatever radio hits, but just about everything else (?) I dabble in. At this exact moment The Cleaners From Venus are really setting the vibe in my studio.
Your artwork seems like such a natural fit to go with music - how did you get into doing album covers?
Thank you, I agree. I have vivid memories of thumbing through vinyl records in my early youth, completely fascinated with album artwork. 12x12 is a good size- it’s a tangible and accessible work of art. It draws you in. I’ve always been very much involved with both music and art and those scenes, I think they go hand-in-hand.
At this point it’s just been musicians or labels reaching out to me to make cover art. I’ve yet to hit anyone up on my own, but I did recently ask a label contact to put me in touch with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. He’s my favorite musician/they’re my favorite band in the universe, and I think we have serious intersection aesthetically and sonically. Basically I’d fucking die to make anything for them. We’ll see where that goes. :)
Suffice to say I love collaborating, listening to the music and translating it in a visual or simply color-field type of way. There’s so much emotion, movement and visual representation to be captured.
What are you working on now and how can we find more of your work?
At the moment I’m finishing up a couple commissions- my second marbled interior wallpaper mural, and a giant round marble on canvas headed for Australia.
The City of West Hollywood commissioned 5 artists to design vehicle wraps for new (free!) public city buses “rolling out” later this year. I was fortunate enough to snag one and psyched it out with black rainbow marbling.
I’ve also got a few proposals in on other very public-facing projects! I can’t really talk about them yet but I will say I am certainly stoked. My goal is to just keep working, no matter what.
[anything else you want to share]
Collaboration is key… I love creating in any sense and I’ve got a lot of ideas. If you are reading this and into it, let’s marble, or make something cool, get wild… hit me up!