Ryan exists by his motto “I live to create – I create to live.” Having taught himself to paint when he was young, Ryan’s skill secured him a full tuition fellowship to Northwestern University where he earned his MFA. Since high school, he has lived solely off his art through prize money, commissions and teaching private art lessons. To date Ryan has shown his work in over 60 juried art shows. His work deals primarily with youth culture and the “cult of excess,” depicting scenes of intoxication and drug use, alienation and cigarette exhalation. Ryan uses classical oil painting techniques to create modern day pieces capturing his generation. In this sense, his work is a marriage of the present and the past, a re-utilization of past techniques to make works that explore the romanticized views of self-destruction and masculinity so prevalent in our culture.