My name’s Ryan, I’m an illustrator and author based in New Canaan, CT.
I create picture books, graphic novels, character based brands, animated videos, and share everything I learn in tutorial videos on tiktok and youtube as @ryryart.
I also run an Animation & Design studio called MediaLuv.
From a young age I’ve had a never ending urge to draw, create characters/stories , and share my work with other people to try to put a smile on their faces. That urge is my inspiration, or fuel. I simply let that inspiration push me and I steer it in the direction of things I’m curious about or ideas that pop into my head.
Where do I get ideas from?
- Genetics: I believe storytelling, rhyming, and personality are as genetic as someone’s eye color. I think whatever this creative urge that fuels me is, probably started in a cave many thousands of years ago. My ancestors were definitely drawing funny things on those cave walls.
Personal Stories: Every one of my books is based on things in my life, at least partially. And if I have an idea for a story that isn’t autobiographical, I will sprinkle in details of my life to make it feel personal and original.
- Ice Cream Robots is about me moving from New York City to the burbs.
- Pancake, Pennsylvania is about my hometown, ironically not in Pennsylvania and instead of a pancake obsession, there is a chicken wing obsession.
- Space: Woo-woo time. Some of my drawings and stories I struggle with, the way someone would struggle doing pull-ups at the gym. And like that person doing pull-ups, their muscles grow stronger when they relax and recover. That relaxation between writing or drawing sessions, or space, is where so many ideas flow from. Ideas will come to me in dreams, usually when I’m ¾ sleeping, and also when I’m totally relaxed, which usually doesn’t happen with 2 kids.
- The Market: I love me some competition. So, when I have an idea for a book, or I’m working with a client, market research and differentiation helps to carve my ideas and make sure what I create is different from other things on the market.
Shell Silverstein, Where the Wild Things Are, Ren & Stimpy, Family Guy, song lyrics (specifically The Beatles seem to trigger story rhymes for me). Sports. Athletes. Quest for being excellent at things. Tons of artists and motion designers.
Some of my work
Directed Owl City 'Unbelievable' Music Video
Universal Music, McGraw Hill, L'Oreal, Essie, Jazwares, Basic Fun, Bonkers
For more of my commercial work, check out my creative agency site MediaLuv.com
How I Create
Most of my work is created digitally. My drawings are done in the Procreate App on the iPad. I also use Nomad sculpt 3D app. My design and animation work is created in the Adobe Suite of apps on a Macbook pro. I have tons of process videos on social media @ryryart.
Born and raised outside of Buffalo, NY in a town called Orchard Park, I’m a die hard Bills fan. That needed to be mentioned first and foremost.
My earliest memories are of learning how to draw from 'Bruce Blitz Draws' VHS tapes, planning what office building I would have my office in and thinking to myself “If I can get good at drawing, I’ll never have to have a real job.”
I spent every day in school drawing. I drew my classmates, learned about generating demand for my work, and had some pretty cool teachers that recognized I could pay attention better when I was drawing.
In 4th grade I had an epiphany, it was the most I realized I could make a career out of creativity.
During class, I made a cartoon drawing of my friend and his girlfriend. I drew them as a 90 year old couple.
Everyone in my class gravitated to the drawing. They passed it around, laughing hysterically.
My teacher yelled my name. “Ryan Maloney!” She grabbed the drawing.
“You know better than this.”
The scolding sent shivers down my spine. The class resumed and at the end of class, I tried to crawl out of the door unnoticed.
“Ryan, please come up here,” my teacher said. My body temperature rose to 115 degrees.
When I walked up to her desk, my teacher said “About this drawing…”
I was about to burst.
“Could you draw my husband like this? I’d pay you for it.”
The clouds parted in my brain and I swear I heard that Hall and Oates song playing as I danced out of the class. I wasn’t happy because my teacher offered me to pay me money to draw, I was happy because I realized that if my drawings had this kind of power on a teacher and classroom, the same thing could happen in the real world. I could make a living from having fun.