big ol’ sheet of skulls & teeth for HEADSPACE show at Chicago Art Department, September 12. also available at ryantroyford.bigcartel.com for those who can’t make it. ALSO i’m trying to clear out some old shit, so if you see anything you like on my store, use the code HELLOSEPTEMBER to get 20% your order. good until a week from right now. thank you and goodnight.
WPA-style poster for Desolation Canyon, to be turned into a poster for a literary event here in Green River honoring the late Ellen Meloy.
i used to write a long-winded, pseudo inspirational passage about life and purpose whenever i embarked on some large journey. i’m currently three weeks into my month-long art fellowship at the Epicenter in Green River, Utah, and this time around i resolved just to think about it on the long drive, and in quiet moments of solitude.
though, i will say that there is a change, slow as it may be, that is vastly and inexorably reshaping the way i think about what i do, why i do it, and what it means to people other than myself. when i’m not gallivanting through the desert or riding motorcycles through the woods, my day job is wonderful. i’m incredibly fortunate to have it. but looking at a computer all day, browsing twitter with a numb gaze in idle moments, you’re quick to realize how much of the design world (and, i suppose, the digital world in general) is full of folks aesthetically jerking themselves off while looking into the mirror. not that i’m much better, but art & design doesn’t have to be such a selfish pursuit of recognition and praise and capitalist encouragement.
when all is said and done, hard as it was to make the decision to come here, i will forever be glad i did, and i will continue to seek out opportunities of this ilk. opportunities where i am not just helping myself, posting screenshots to dribbble and reading blog posts about “brand engagement,” but doing even the slightest good for other people, too. however small that good is - and i know quite well mine is among the smallest - it weighs far heavier on the positive side of human progress than any dissection of a corporate logo or the proselytizing of arbitrary Apple gossip.
recognition feels better when it’s for a purpose greater than yourself or your well-paying job. praise feels more genuine. the air smells sweeter after a day of hard work for a community, earning you no money at all. the shitty beer in your fridge is a thousand times more refreshing.
i don’t have any big answers, i have no idea what’s best for anyone but myself, and i’m not sure what the plan is. i’m just thankful my compass has taken me where i’ve been so far. if i can, anyone with any sort of ability can.
ah, there i go again.