Lol and I have been a little obsessed with illustrator/print-maker/poet/wizard Rob Ryan for ages. Last weekend I went to the Somerset House Graphic Art Fair, where London based printmakers each recreate their studios for the general public to see.
Print Club London were also there, but the one I was most excited to see was Rob Ryan. I had never seen him in real life before and was eager to see what he’d be like, and whether he’d have a tribe of very small-handed minions to help with his paper cutting. When I got there he did have many helpers indeed – Very pretty, very patient girls.
Dotted around the studio were these patient elves each quietly getting on with a task. One was painstakingly paper cutting the leaves out from a tree with a scalpel, one was screen printing, another laying the prints into a drying rack.
In the centre of it all was the man himself. He was casually sketching out a new design on a layout pad. He seemed totally un-bothered by the hoards of people staring at him like he was in a printmaking zoo of some kind.
What I loved most about his studio, apart from seeing his process, was the collection of stuff adorning the walls. It looked like the sketchbook of his mind had exploded out onto the walls – Scribbles, little drawings, postcards, things that inspired him, examples of his work in advertising etc.
If you’ve not see them before, here is his blog. There is something about his poems that makes me and Lol well up everytime we see them. Anyway, if you get the chance to go to Somerset house before next monday, do. And, if you’re a fan, you can buy his stuff in the shop downstairs. He has
now branched out of just cards and into pillow covers, wooden key
rings, tiles and mugs! The joys of commercialism.