Ryan McAbery‘s meticulous and distinctive process combines her original photography, love of topography and crisp clean line work.
Her multi-dimensional pieces begin with an original illustration, hand drawn over a topographic map which is then printed onto clear acrylic. Each image is backed with a color photograph, creating depth and literal layers for light-catching and light-weight additions to any art collection.
We carry a selection of Ryan’s art year-round and continue to be awed by the work she creates which both reminds us of home and inspires us to explore.
Ryan’s latest collection debuts on June 10, 2021 during West Seattle Art Walk. The show runs through July 4th and all pieces are available to view in-store!
How would you describe what you makes?
I work with maps, photography, plexiglass, ink and layers. I create clear maps on plexiglass and highlight the topography with white ink to create illustrations from the map lines. The ink and maps are backed with an original photograph paired with the map’s location.
What have you been up to since the last time you were at Click?
Continuing to draw / work / play. I’ve been doing lots of commission work since shows are still cancelled, it’s been nice to be home :)
Do you find that your processes change with the seasons, and if so, how?
My creativity is more cyclical - I tend to have more energy and new ideas spring / summer and fall. Winter I reset to get up and running again.
Has there been a big “oops” moment you’ve had while creating? What was the outcome?
So many oops moments… Mostly to do with over thinking and not being able to see that simpler is better. I was not happy with the zinc bolts so I ordered them powder coated. They were terribly hard to assemble because they were sticky and absolutely no-one wanted them, everyone loves the zinc :). I was so worried that the basic bolt wouldn’t be enough. I over thought myself into a problem.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
I design all my work on my laptop and then draw from there. Composition is so important with what I do, I need to make sure I lay it all out correctly before committing to drawing thousands of map lines.
Is there an easter egg in any of your pieces? A detail that you particularly love that others may overlook?
For me, it’s the shadows cast by the artwork on the background photograph. If you shine a light on a piece (especially one with a lighter background) you can create a 4th layer of shadow that enhances the work even more.
Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the collection?
I love the giant trees. I wanted to make a series that was striking, I think the tallness helped with that.
What’s the best piece of advice for that you’ve been given or that you would give to other artists?
Don’t forget to rest and reset. Creative energy is something that needs to renew, however that works for you. Be patient when you need time off and allow yourself to take it.