“So like most of us, I have been trying to find ways to stay sane during these frustrating times,” says illustrator Ryan Peltier on his newest work. The uncertainty of everyday life at the moment has inspired the illustrator in the best way possible: “My philosophy is pretty simple, keep it positive and try to inspire people to think bigger and more expansively.”
This philosophy has subtly informed Ryan’s recent editorial commissions, producing work that is ultimately positive, but provokes questions. “The alternative to this would be for me to make a whole bunch of doomsday drawings, which most people wouldn’t enjoy, and there is always a plethora of these types of artists out there anyway,” he tells It’s Nice That.
An example of work which Ryan says, “is as good as it gets for me, when my personal interests collide with a professional job,” is a spot illustration for Time, promoting green energy. The illustration is multi-layered but with a clear message, displaying alternative ways to conserve energy in his signature constructivist inspired style.
Another project by Ryan is a Subway Art Card for the NYC MTA. “These will be up all year in most of the trains in New York, and I have been inundated with requests to make originals for people.” The illustrator’s interpretation of using public transport is a funny and silly translation but still resonates with the overcrowded, topsy turvy busyness of catching the subway. Particularly in the animated versions by Danny Hengel, one of Ryan’s old students who is “great at working with artists/illustrators and making stuff dance”.
Outside of editorial commissions including opinion pieces for The New York Times, Ryan has been working on self-driven projects displaying ambitious imaginary illustrations, for instance “an illustration colony outside of Portland Oregon”. The second is inspired “by Elon Musk and his Tesla Car Company as well as the SpaceX project which has ambitions to colonise Mars,” explains the illustrator. Again using a constructivist style, Ryan has drawn a life on Mars full of texture and adventure.
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