by Alyssa Laube
About: As one of the youngest exhibitors at this year’s expo, Ryan Broderick has an impressive portfolio! His focus is mainly on painting, although he has also completed sculptures. You can view his completed works at:
As the youngest exhibitor at the Art Expo, what are you looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to this opportunity to promote myself and give my artwork further exposure. I exhibited three paintings in a prior event which was the maximum allowed, so this being on a grander scale is very exciting. This is new for me, so getting to experience such an opportunity in a high class event is accelerating. Being the youngest exhibitor at the Art Expo just makes me think about how much I can learn, grow as an artist and an exhibitor. I am looking forward to new ideas I can take away with me that will help fuel my creativity.
How has being raised in British Columbia influenced you as an artist?
Being raised in British Columbia has influenced me as an artist by all the beauty this province has to offer. From our mountains to our wetlands and everything in between, there is always a moment for a picture and an experience.
What is it about nature that inspires you?
Being alone with nature lets you feel free and makes you want to capture all the beauty it brings. We are so lucky to be able to experience the distinctions between the seasons.
Do you focus on local wildlife and scenery?
Most of my work is local sceneries that I have photographed. Some are as is and some have been altered or added to.
How did you receive your training as an artist?
My creativity started as a small child. “Art Attack” was a favourite growing up, and when I wasn’t watching art being created, I was doing the creating. I took art classes throughout high school, but it wasn’t until grade 12 that I started to take it seriously. I took at Art A.P. course to develop a portfolio, which is where I realized my capabilities and developed my skills. I went to university for two semesters taking different kinds of art courses, but the lack of feedback and constructive criticism made me feel the need to take some time away and explore my other options.
How have you seen yourself improve since you began painting and how do you hope to improve in the future?
I see many of my paintings coming to life more and more. I have expanded on tones and colour and am really enjoying creating my own work. Being young, I have so much I can still learn as an artist.
When did you begin to work with sculptures?
I dabbled with sculpturing throughout the first years of high school, but took classes specifically for it in my tenth and eleventh year. At university I took a course in sculpturing and found that that I enjoyed creating wire sculptures the most.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I don’t set any limits on myself and want to try everything that I can. I am passionate and dedicated to my work, and believe criticism can only improve one’s ability.
You have completed many pieces that feature a male figure being constricted by what appear to be vines. How is this symbolic to you, or would you like it to remain interpretive?
It’s funny – my parents actually thought it was worrisome and asked me if I needed to talk to someone! As I worked on the twelve-painting series, it became a self-portrait of my struggles with expression throughout my childhood. I’ve always been quiet and reserved. Because of that, and my good nature, I was often unheard.
Also, many of your landscapes include two small characters. Is there meaning behind this?
I’m a bit of a romantic!
What is it about painting vehicles that fascinates you?
Each vehicle is very different. Although I’ve painted several CN trucks, each one has it’s own character. I’ve always loved trains and, as my Dad has worked for CN for many years, I feel that connection.
Describe how it is to be a youth in the art industry.
I’m finding it tough not knowing the in’s and out’s of the business. I’ve only just started, so I still need to get creative with getting my name out there. I am passionate about painting, which I hope is something that translates through my work.
What are some of the advantages or challenges? How have you overcame these challenges?
Getting my work out there for people to see has been tough. Once I created my website, I really enjoyed the feedback. I’ve had people send me pictures asking if I can paint them and have sold several paintings that way. I created my own sunshades for my vehicle and advertised them on the website too. Plus, I never miss the opportunity to hand out my business card!
Similarly, how do you challenge yourself?
I enjoy taking on something out of my comfort zone. That’s my challenge. I need to know that I am doing my best work. It needs to speak to me and I have to feel like I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do.
What does creating art do for you?
It’s very rewarding. It is my passion and it makes me feel complete.
Are you planning on attending a post-secondary institute, for art or otherwise?
I did complete one year, but am seeking something more suited to me. I wasn’t getting feedback and I didn’t feel I was growing the way I thought I should be. I’m sure that when I find the right program, I will jump in eagerly.
Do you wish to continue art as a career in the future?
Absolutely! It is my passion. My dream is to quit my day job and paint full time.