Ryan Snook is a Toronto-based illustrator. Born in 1980 in Sault Ste Marie, Canada. He grew up in a small town in Southern Ontario. Ryan studied illustration at Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada. He has been working professionally since 2003. His work has been awarded and recognized by American Illustration, 3×3, Applied Arts and The Advertising & Design Club of Canada. He has a wife named Beth, an intern/dog named Scooter.
Q1. Tell us a bit about your work.
My work is mostly narrative and humour based. I work in a style that uses cartooning looks established in the 20’s and 30’s. Most of the time I am working towards an image that looks like a single cell from an animated sequence. Lately I’ve been moving away from that, going for more conceptual and design based solutions. But sometimes an assignment brings me right back into it.
Q2. How do you approach starting a new project?
I start by reading whatever has been provided. Sometimes the whole article or just a synopsis. I will jot down keys words and sentences from the material. Once I’ve figured out the most basic idea running through it , I start doing little sketches.
If it’s a personal project I’m working on, there’s never a set way I go about it. I do a lot of one-off images and lots of half completed comics and picture books. With the narrative pieces I usually write out a script and work on images for it over time. Eventually some of these will see the light of day.
I’m inspired by my friends and family, as well as movies, books, comics, everything I do and experience
Q3. Weapon of choice (favorite materials)?
Pentel brush pen. I use it for sketches and I use it for my finals. When I’m in an art supply shop I buy all the replacement inks they have on the shelf. I love this pen. I use it everyday!
Q4. Do you have a favourite place outside of your workspace that you like to go to sketch?
Not really. I’ve tried to do sketches in coffee shops and in parks but I usually find I’d rather be back home. I wish I could, I’m just not into it. I love coffee shops and parks when I’m not drawing. I take lots breaks in the day and enjoy going to the park and leaving my work in the studio.
Q5. Your favourite procrastination pastime?
Walking my dog, reading comics and playing video games. In that order.
Q6. What do you like to listen to while you’re working?
Podcasts mostly. I work alone so I enjoy listening to conversations instead of music. I tend to like podcasts about comics, science and sci-fi. Some of my favourites are 11 O’Clock Comics, Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy and StarTalk.
Q7. What are some of your sources of inspiration?
I’m inspired by my friends and family, as well as movies, books, comics, everything I do and experience. The places I visit and way that changes how I see the world. The best inspiration comes from getting away from drawing, looking at other illustrators work and experience life outside the studio.
Huge thanks to Ryan for providing so many awesome photos and for taking the time to do this interview.
Dont forget to stop by Ryan’s site!
All images ©2011 Ryan Snook