Welcome back to “The Daily Illustrator”. The series that aims to promote and profile local and international illustrators. We're here for the next week so check in daily for the words and of course, the illustration. First up, Dublin based practitioner, Ross Ryder. I actually came across Ross' work through a friend of a friend. There are definitely less than six degrees of separation on this island, especially when it comes to the sphere of creativity. Read on for the interview and some examples of work. You can check out the full portfolio here. Cheers!
WHEN DID YOU FIRST START ILLUSTRATING AND KNOW WAS IT SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO DO AS A PROFESSION?
I remember it pretty clearly, I was in primary school at the time and I drew a character from Yu-Gi-Oh and everyone in my class was blown away by it. So many people asked me to draw them ones too. Not being a particularly savvy kid when it came to social situations I relished all the attention. I went home that day absolutely high on life, thinking to myself this is what I'm going to do when I'm older, this is'll be what makes me cool. In hind sight I suppose I got hooked on drawing initially as a way of getting praise, though I'm not even sure if thats changed at all.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
Right now I'd say a large part of my inspiration comes from metaphysical experiences I've had through lucid dreams or psychedelics, which left me with an incontestable sense that reality is so much more strange and quirky than we will ever be able to understand. As a result I'm kind of obsessed with that space between reality and the mind, where the two meet and converse to form our experience of life.
HOW DO YOU GET THE IDEAS FOR YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS?
It depends, for commissioned work I'm generally designing something to serve the needs of the client in which case the design process is quite rational, but when it comes to personal work it's quite different. It usually starts with some sort of concept just popping up in my head, at which point its pretty abstract and amorphous visually. Then I take to a page and start laying out the shapes and structure that feels right for the idea, establish an overall form for the thing. After this point its a process of adorning the structure I've made, adding and taking things away to bring the idea into focus.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM TO WORK WITH?
Hands down, pencil or a brush pen, sometimes both. Whilst I love to advantages of working digitally, nothing will ever compare to a pencil and paper. It's easier to project your mind onto the page, it's tactile, immediate and there's nothing in the way.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
Yes quite a few things. I'm currently editing a music video I'm making for the Dublin-based band Beach, animating a promotional video for a childcare product, doing the odd commissioned illustration and have recently began doing live visuals at gigs. So my plate is full to the brim at the moment, to the point that I've been often unable to get to my daily drawings lately.
CURRENT PLAYLIST AS YOU WORK?
Beach, Tame Impala, Flight Facilities, Samyel and any kind of Mongolian throat singing music, that stuff just blows my mind.
ARE THERE ANY ILLUSTRATORS THAT YOU ARE A FAN OF THAT DESERVE SOME EXPOSURE?
I'm a huge fan of Kim Jung Gi, if anyone reading this hasn't watched a video of him drawing stop what you're doing and check it out. The man is an absolute wizard the way he draws such rich and complicated images right off the top of his head. absolutely idolizing his work process at the moment.