Astray Art

 Ryan Harrington

Ryan Harrington


So... tell us about yourself.
I moved to Utah from Pennsylvania in 1996. I wanted to explore the western U.S and a good friend of mine was moving here so I joined him. Other than a brief hiatus in California I have lived here ever since. I have a full time job at a local gallery doing custom framing and design as my day job and I make art on the side when I can. I have a family so finding time to focus on my art can be tricky. Family comes first.

Why do you make art?
I guess i make art as a communication. Its a way to share ideas and create a narrative to share with whoever sees it. I geek out about a lot of things when it comes to art. Texture, color, message, depends on the piece or the artist. A good art session for me has many forms. I love to wake up early and draw while enjoying a good cup of coffee or enjoy time outside spray painting or spending time in my workshop building or hanging with my family painting and getting lost in line work. Its all creative so its all good. I consider a piece finished when i feel that i have solved all the problems that it has presented. I rarely throw anything out, my studio is a testament to that. Some projects definitely take longer to reach their final form but i try to stick with them until i am happy with the end result.

How much time do you get to spend making art?
It fluctuates for me when i have a project scheduled i will work daily. If i don't have any deadlines or shows that i am working towards I may not create anything for days or weeks. I am constantly thinking about art and i consider that to be part of the process. I wish i could spend more time doing it but with a full time job and a family I have a lot of things that take precedence.

Who are your favorite artists?
Currently I am finding inspiration from a lot of street art. Sabers style and Banksy's wit always get me stoked. Robert Williams and Jim Phillips are two artists that influenced me at an early age and continue to influence my work. Skateboarding and punk rock music introduced me to the stylistic art and design that really opened my eyes to the art scene that i now love. I really enjoy a bit of everything though- folk, pop, religious, graffiti, tattoo and more. So many artists so many styles.

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Did you study art in school?
I always took art as electives in high school and I studied basic drawing and design at SLCC. I enjoyed my experience studying art in school. I feel like the classroom setting can help you progress technically more quickly than individually if you embrace it. Advice I would give to someone considering art school? If you go, appreciate it, because its a privilege.

How do you get through creative blocks?
I try not to force it. I work in a number of mediums so if I don't feel like painting or drawing then I go to the wood shop or play around with design on the computer or vice versa. I spend a lot of time with my family and like hiking, skateboarding, and playing music so I try to look at it as a needed break when I'm not creating art.

How do you balance time between making art and marketing art?
Its a hard balance. I try and promote a bit through social media and i have a website that i put together about a year ago that already seems out of date. Marketing definitely helps lead to opportunities and takes being an artist as a hobby to something more. I do think marketing an art form in it self. Finding a way to present your art in the right light or to the right audience can be crucial for an artist if they hope to make a career out of it.

Have you read any good books lately?
Unfortunately no, Sadly Its taken me about a week just to read through the few questions of this interview.