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Conversations with Ryan Hughes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Hughes. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I began painting when I was 21 years old and immediately fell in love with it. I took an art history class in college that opened my eyes to how exciting and therapeutic visual art can be. Shortly afterwards, I began experimenting with oil paint. 

Surrealism came extremely naturally to me, so I began painting my dreams and landscapes that echoed emotions I was experiencing at the time. My passion grew when I began being accepted into art shows in Denver, Fort Collins, Steamboat Springs, and other areas across Colorado. It was also a wonderful privilege as an artist and a gay man to have my work auctioned at the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Gala in 2018. 

Art has become an integral element of my life. It is my most powerful form of communication and has helped me reach a level of self-esteem that was not present prior to painting. I am excited to continue manifesting my dream and improve my abilities as a painter as I move forward. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been some bumps, which have mainly come in the form of imposter syndrome and anxiety. While these feelings can be difficult to process at times, I also find that they are a wonderful source of motivation to continue on my path as an artist if harnessed in a healthy way. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My work is a unique fusion of many different influences, both internal and external. Like many artists, my art is a way to process things occurring in my life and explore my fascinations on canvas. I also believe that my interest in art history has helped me to absorb the styles of a wide spectrum of different artists, which subconsciously ends up coming out in my work. I am most proud of my ability to learn new mediums and techniques pretty quickly. 

What were you like growing up?
Art was always an interest and hobby of mine in some form or another. I always found communication through imagery to be incredibly effective and often dramatic, which helps to get certain points across well. Since my childhood, I have always found a lot of solace and peace in translating my thoughts into pictures and often remain very introverted through this process. 

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