Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ryan Thomas Stiner

Ryan is my brother. Ryan is an artist. I love Ryan. Ryan is my friend. Ahem...wow, that feels nice to say. Anyway, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. =)

That said, there is nothing I want more for Ryan than his happiness and success in both his personal and professional life. For Ryan, they are tightly intertwined.

As an illustrator, sculptor, designer and all-around creative mad-scientist for Zingermans Bread Company, Ryan gets to everyday practice what he loves. He started as a catalog illustrator, inking breads, cans of olives, gourmet chocolates, sandwiches and hundreds of other delicacies. Recently, he opened Zingerman's own in-house carpentry and molding workshop, which creates displays for the various Zingerman's businesses.

Ryan seems to have found a niche with Zingerman's, and from his telling, they seem to welcome and encourage his creative vision and drive. In fact, one of the reasons Ryan loves working for Zingermans is the culture promotes employee growth, entrepreneurship, and creative thinking.

While Ryan is lucky to work for a company which gives him extraordinary freedom and license, he has earned those privileges through his hard work and talent. It seems to be a great match - they like the work he produces on behalf of the company and he gets to work for a company which allows him to practice his art and continually flex his creative muscles. Isn't that what every artist wishes for? A creative gig that isn't selling out?

Ryan's latest work for the Zingerman's Deli

It seems to me, a thousand miles away, that Ryan's day-job has served as a source of inspiration for his personal artwork. The more work he produces for Zingermans, the more, it seems, he is compelled to create personal work. I have noticed that, in the last year, he has produced a steady stream of great personal work, while working hard, long hours on behalf on Zingermanss.

In addition to his oil paintings, Ryan has demonstrated a significant acumen for photography. Often, his photos serve as inspiration for paintings. While I have always enjoyed Ryan's paintings, linking many of them to DRB, I was struck, upon viewing a recent photo slideshow of his, at the beauty and symmetry of his photographs.

Here are some of my favorites, reproduced without Ryan's explicit permission, from the slideshow:

I hope by showcasing Ryan's work here you will be compelled to visit Ryan's BROG or his official website, ryanstiner.com. Maybe you will check out his work, tell all your friends and family about his great stuff, and maybe even buy an existing piece or commission him for a custom piece of artwork.

It's the same reason I link to friends blogs and why I posted about Natural Built Homes. I want people I like to be happy and successful and hope I can use my blog to help promote whatever it is they are putting out to the world for public consumption. Just playing my little part!

In closing, I want to make sure Ryan knows that Beth and I are so thankful to him for the artwork he made for our wedding. It still hangs prominently in our living room, a reminder, as Ryan inscribed on the back, of my and Beth's love for one another and a reminder of Ryan's love for us. Thanks Ryan!

1 comment:

  1. wow. thanks so much. that's very nice of you to say all of that.
    Your blog showed up on our marketing department's google alerts for zingermans (which is a service google provides that alerts you when certain keywords are mentinoed online).

    As an anal aside ... i work for zingerman's community of businesses (zingerman's service network to be precise) ... which counts zingerman's bakehouse as a member (along with z coffee company, z mail order, z creamery, zingtrain, z catering/events, z roadhouse).