Ryan Putnam’s Digital Reality and Vibrant Organisms

Ryan Putnam’s exploration in his two-year illustration study, ‘Sea Creatures’ takes us deep into the depths of fantastically exuberant colours and wondrous creatures.

He experiments with colour, characters, and digital effects.

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While created mostly digitally, and certainly using computer-based techniques, there’s still something very organic in this project. You get a sense of vitality and movement in something that is also electric and technological.

Ryan talks to us about how he wanted to play with this balance and process he went through to create it.

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I do illustration, graphic design and animation. Since I’m passionate about many different artistic styles, my work is sort of an ongoing exploration into different styles and techniques. I enjoy creating work that is eye-popping, colorful, slightly edgy and open to interpretation.

I’m fascinated by ambiguity and sensationalism in art, like dark romanticism, surrealism, and Italian futurism.

By meshing contemporary techniques with these older philosophies on art and culture, new meanings emerge.

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I experiment mostly with digital techniques, but will use traditional techniques occasionally. I usually begin sketching out ideas, then take them to the computer. Sometimes I just start creating shapes or drawing illustrations in Photoshop and Illustrator until they’re complete.

For example, my ‘Sea Creatures’ illustration was done mostly in illustrator from the start. I began creating these abstract shapes with exotic colors and the piece took form.

I wanted to create an environment that was new and bizarre, yet not too unfamiliar from life on Earth, provoking the viewer to consider how odd life can be.

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© Ryan Putnam, 2015

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