Rob Ryan

I first admired Rob(ert) Ryan’s work a few years ago without knowing who he was. This is because he’s done a fair amount of book cover illustrations for a variety of authors. I think the one I read/saw first was The Book of Lost Things.

I looked up the artist info inside the book, and did a little research, and was delighted to find that he had also done his own full-length book, This is For You.  I immediately bought it for myself and a second copy for a friend.  His media is paper cut-outs, done by hand, each from ONE piece of paper. The intricacy is staggering.  You can read more about his background and work here.

The book is great because it makes his work accessible (original papercuts are hundreds, and while worth every penny, are a bit out of my range…)  The only sad thing is that the inevitable consequence of printing as a book means you lose the texture and dimensionality of the original papercuts. The book does tell a story, one that reminds me in tone of some of Shel Silverstein’s work (The Giving Tree!), but each page certainly stands alone as its own individual artwork. Here are a few of my favorite pages.

Rob has a fairly extensive online presence, with a professional blog and a personal site going at the same time.  Through these sites I found he has an active Etsy shop, and since I can’t make it to his Ryantown storefront in London, I had to fulfill my dreams here.  Which I did with this lovely lasercut acrylic key!

His second book, A Skyful of Kindness, was released this fall. The brilliant people at Brain Pickings recently profiled it, and also shared a link to a short video Etsy created about Rob in their Handmade Portraits series. You can see him at work cutting, which is fascinating, and you can see the dimensionality of the papercuts, something that’s missing in a flat publication.

And whilst cruising around the intertron looking for images to link to in this post, I also came across this papercut DRESS he did for a Vogue wedding issue.  It took him 3 days to make it.  I stand in awe. I am a papercut groupie.


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