Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Runcie.
Ryan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Being born to Jamaican parents in small-town Texas, I feel fortunate to have the confusing experience of growing up as a biracial, first-generation American man. Like most first-generation American children, I was taught that education is the only way out. I had to practice math after I did my homework and read after soccer practice. Not because of a lack of intelligence, but my parents’ knowledge of lack. My parents instilled the importance of being an autodidact. When I was very young, I was never discouraged from drawing. For me, it was a way of thinking and digesting ideas; an extension of myself. I was never forced to practice and I never thought I could be a professional artist. An art career wasn’t a possibility until late high school.
After high school, I started painting, designing, and building skateboards out of sheer curiosity. It wasn’t a chore and I never put ultimatums on myself. Learning of the opportunities in the career paths of design and architecture helped me to realize that there are paths that will allow me to use my artistic skills to earn a living. I went on to earn my B.F.A. from Texas State University in Visual Communication Design. I never agreed with the notion that my style would be a singular in scope or medium because of my zeal for expression in general. I believe any one style is too limited to adequately express the human experience. This is why I draw beautiful flowers and splatter paint. This is how I can use art to test and blur cultural and aesthetic lines that I choose not to submit to. This winding path through the various expressions of art has landed me where I am today.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I paint philosophical expression through a blended style of portraiture and abstraction. By merging styles, I have found a new aesthetic which expresses my inner thoughts and feelings. My portraits use vivacious color and light to create a new essence no one has experienced. By doing this, I side step the mind’s need to categorize and understand in accordance with race, ethnicity, and stereotypes. In that moment of perspective change, we can experience acceptance and love better than we could have before, hopefully, paying it forward. Joy is as much part of being human as uncertainty. I want ideas such as this to be the underlying truths in my art.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I believe artists play the same role in their community as those who came before us many years ago. The only difference is that we have an abundance of tools and ways of expressing ourselves that were present in no other time period: expression, tragedy, triumph, and creation have been integral to the human experience. The medium and style is the only thing that has changed.
People have always used comedy and art to express disdain in the status quo. In the same breath, they use art to enhance their daily experience and motive. So, I use my art to speak to the deeper concerns and emotions that all humans feel. I don’t feel my experience as an introvert gives me the sense of knowing my society’s day to day burdens or perspectives, however, I find myself wanting to impart a sense oneness in humanity through my paintings. My goal is not to make you feel. My goal is to show you we all feel. We all suffer and seek equality. We all smile and wish to be accepted, yet the general cultural feeling right now is that of a multitude of cracks and divides; many feel alone and stranded. I want to offer connection and hope through my art.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I don’t currently show in any galleries right now, but I do show in art festivals often. A favorite of mine is East Austin Studio Tour in November. To see my daily work habits and artwork, follow me on Instagram @ryan_runcie and visit ryanruncie.com to read my art blog and to contact me. I don’t mind young artists reaching out with questions or to share if my art has ever moved you!
- Website: ryanruncie.com
- Phone: 7132045667
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ryan_runcie
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtworkofRyanRuncie/