Aidan Ryan

We've noticed heyaidan's work popping up all over the place in Brisbane (including my neighbours living room wall) so we decided to have a chat with the cool dude himself, Aidan Ryan about finding like-minded doodlers to boost your motivation, developing iMessage stickers, and of course — skateboarding

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Alright well starting on the ground floor, my name is Aidan and I go under the alias heyaidan. Shoutout to squarespace for suggesting that as a URL haha. Going up to level 1, I am an Illustrator and Graphic Designer based in Brisbane. Coming up on the second floor, you can find me at the skatepark or in the streets mucking around with an analogue camera of some kind. On the final floor, I immerse myself in all things colour! Whether it's what I'm wearing or drawing with, I love a good colour palette.

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

Some of my earliest memories of creativity was when I was in primary school, I would just be doodling in all the sides of my books. Just drawing fun little characters and a lot of skateboarding related doodles haha. Soon after I stopped drawing, pretty much because I was getting more and more obsessed with skateboarding. Towards the end of high school I tapped back into my creative side and started to pursue photography. It wasn't until halfway through my degree I decided I was done with taking snaps and wanted to jump into graphic design! Then funnily enough, I picked up the pens and started doodling again in my final year of my bachelor. Since then I've been doodling non-stop and loving it.

Design work by Aidan Ryan The Design Kids interviews Aidan Ryan work-2

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

First things first, surround yourself with illustrators you aspire to be. For ages I was following all the illustrators who did super detailed, realistic sketches of faces/animals etc. This convinced me that I was no good at illustration. As soon as I found some like-minded doodlers, I was more motivated to illustrate. As far as developing a style, I was just drawing anything and everything. Experimenting with different directions and figuring out what I was most comfortable with. It was definitely a lot of food based doodles at the start for some reason. I found them easy to work with because they were compiled of simple shapes. For me, simple execution was key because I could focus more on fun, quirky concepts.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Passion projects are my life! I try to keep something on the side to keep things fresh and fun. At the moment, I run a little brand called HEYA. Basically an excuse to give life to my illustrations through caps, tees, zines and most recently, pins! I'm not trying to be the next big hit with it, I'm just here to create stuff I would wear and rock. Hopefully you guys too! I also recently collaborated with an app developer and I brought out with my very own iMessage stickers which was a super fun experience and they turned out great. You can find them here.

Design work by Aidan Ryan The Design Kids interviews Aidan Ryan work-4
Design work by Aidan Ryan The Design Kids interviews Aidan Ryan work-4

For ages I was following all the illustrators who did super detailed, realistic sketches and it convinced me that I was no good at illustration. As soon as I found some like-minded doodlers, I was more motivated to illustrate.

What advice would you give students starting out?

My advice would be is to just have fun with whatever you're pursuing! I changed my mind at least 3 times because I wasn't satisfied I had learnt enough of all the good stuff. Which brings me to my next tip. Don't just box yourself in as a "designer" or "illustrator". Be both or more! Everything can become hand in hand.

Design work by Aidan Ryan The Design Kids interviews Aidan Ryan work-5
Design work by Aidan Ryan The Design Kids interviews Aidan Ryan work-5

Where to find Aidan Ryan online.

Website: heyaidan.com

Instagram: @heyaidan_

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