Learning by design
by Kathy Anderson
Ryan Loghry has a college education, a diverse
résumé and the desire the take his artwork to the
next level -- the public. The 32-year-old artist, born and raised
in Vancouver, Wash., resides in Yacolt, Wash.
Ryan Loghry is easily inspired.
"Just walking around," he said, "I
see things I'd like to capture."
Ryan's job as a Web designer affords some artistic
outlets, but still leaves him with lots of unused creative energy.
So he paints.
He's also inspired by the great impressionists.
"Josh Ice Fishing"
"I went to France last year and spent time
in the Louvre and at Musée d'Orsay," he said. "I
can't even begin to relate what it was like to see the masters'
paintings -- to observe their brushstroke styles and color manipulation
was a dream come true. I used to do watercolors, mostly illustration
and cartoon-type stuff, but switched to oil on canvas and an impressionistic
"My biggest problem is finding the time,"
he said. "When I do, I listen to jazz, soul and classical
music -- it helps me stay in the mood."
Earlier inspiration came a little closer to home.
"When I was a kid," he said, "Mom
would paint after dinner. She'd set up on the kitchen table --
the only place with enough room and light.
"I drew a lot growing up, and when I got to
high school I was lucky enough to get in an art class with Ms.
Niemi. She was a great teacher -- that was the start of my serious
He graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle in
1989, where he studied ad design, graphic design, illustration,
cartooning and took lots of real-life drawing classes.
"Dan and Sasha"
The art of work
Ryan put his schooling to the test and gave freelance a try
from 1993-95. He claims he wasn't very successful.
"I was never good at drumming up business or
schmoozing people," he said.
"My biggest gig was for a greeting card company. Handprint
Signature produces a line of cards that come with a packet of
ink. You mix up the ink, press your infant's or toddler's hands
or feet in it, then imprint them inside the card. The outside
was what I designed. They were childlike, flat designs -- a lot
of fun to work on.
"I had a few other small jobs, illustrations
mostly, and one book cover for a limited-run of sermons for a
local preacher," he said. "The rest of my time was spent
on a children's book I wrote and illustrated. I manufactured 10
copies -- this was before I had a computer -- and sent it to publishers,
with no success. It was a great experience though, and I'll probably
try it again someday."
Then he spent five years at Hash
Inc. -- the first as an unpaid intern -- while also working
full-time at a factory.
"I was an artist/animator," he said. "We
produced a live-action motion picture -- special effects, robots
and space ships -- and three cartoons while I was there. The first
cartoon was definitely a learning experience: artists and animators
working together figuring out whose skills fit where. By the second
short, "Clown School," we were meshing and the cartoon
was pretty good, albeit short -- only two-and-a-half minutes.
Our next project was much more ambitious. It was to be a series,
called "Fantasy," which viewers could download off Hash's
site. Unfortunately, we made only one episode.
"The purpose of all the shorts was to sell
the software we used. They were played at trade shows, and all
the models we built went onto an Animation Master CD.
"I put in a lot of hours, but loved every minute,"
he said. "I made some great friends and learned so much --
it was like an extension of my college education."
Now Ryan is a Web designer for @once,
a permission-based e-marketing company.
"We build and send the messages that show up
in your e-mail IN-box when you request information or sign up
for a newsletter from a Web site," he said. "My duty
is to create Text, AOL and HTML versions of newsletters and catalogue-style
advertisements for clients."
A picture's worth
Ryan's latest painting, "Geneva Morning," views the
lake and city of Geneva and is painted from a photograph he took
on his trip to France.
Another favorite is "Nebraska." "It's
painted from a photo my late grandmother took," he said.
"It has a definite mood and is very simple.
"In 1996 I went to Vermont for Christmas with
some friends. We stayed with their family in a little granite
quarry town called Graniteville (go figure). It was a winter wonderland.
One of our hosts took my friend Josh and me ice fishing. We bored
through the ice with an auger and dropped in our lines. Having
grown up in the Northwest it was quite an experience -- I've never
seen so much snow.
"I give away most of my paintings to family
and friends. I'd really like to show and sell, but I don't know
how the system works, and have no contacts."