Friday, June 21, 2013

Stephanie Ryan

How did you become an illustrator?
I discovered I was an artist in grade school and continued to explore life as an artist ever since. Every time I thought about what kind of career I would like to have, artist was always the answer.
Did you go to art school?
I attended Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.
Were there 1 or more individuals that influenced your becoming an illustrator?
I grew up near Chadds Fords, Pennsylvania and the home of the Wyeths. I have visited the Brandywine River Museum so many times, I have lost count. There is a part of me that is deeply affected by Andrew Wyeth’s work; the gray days and bare sycamore tree’s speak to my soul. I was also inspired by the work of Georgia O’keeffe, her big, bold flowers filled with so much color and beauty are amazing. She was such a strong and determined spirit and let nothing get in her way when creating her art. Today, I am influenced by my artist friends doing whatever is necessary to share their art with the world.
What inspires you now? 
I am inspired by everything around me. Color, nature, textures and flowers of course! I am equally inspired by life, people, the journey, our stories and the pursuit of happiness in all of it’s forms.

Is there anything you would like to share regarding your technique and style?
I primarily use watercolors but, my work also includes graphic looks and textures that I create in the computer. I am an intuitive painter and don’t like to think too much about what I am going to paint. I let the brush create shapes that turn into flowers. The more I think about what I am painting the tighter my need for control gets and it is reflected in my work. So, I try to be a clean slate when I start!
What types of markets do you illustrate for?
I love product design. Most of my career was spent creating dolls and then art for dinnerware. So, I primarily create art for licensing opportunities on products like fabric, dinnerware, cards, and home decor.
Are there links to your art that you would like to share?
Yes! I have a website, blog, Etsy shop and social media sites! Website:
Twitter: @smallsweetsteps
Instagram: Stephanieryands
Do you do other things regarding art, like teaching?
 Right now my time is spent freelancing and nurturing my licensing career. I would love to get involved in teaching when the right opportunity presents itself to me.
Do you persue other creative ventures?
I love to write and spend a lot of time writing my Small Sweet Steps inspirational messages. This is something I started last year as a way to help others through the challenges of getting overwhelmed by the pursuit of their dreams. They are steps that I have taken and continue to take to make the journey a little easier. They are a labor of love that can be challenging to write but, are also so rewarding.
Do you have product with your images currently out in the market?
 Yes, I currently have dinnerware, fabric, cards, flags, welcome mats, shower curtains and some other things out in the market now and I have a very exciting year ahead of me with some great product launches in January!
What do you love best about what you do?
I love that I get to create art every day for myself and then get to share it with the world. 


  1. Beautiful work, inspiring interview. Thank you! Sharing...