Toronto-based artist Ryan D. Anderson is a multifaceted creative talent. To put a definition to his skills, he is an animator, comedian and a musician. With 1/1 artwork minted and collected on both Foundation and SuperRare marketplaces, we discovered his artwork which ranges from the quirky and eccentric to nostalgic and atmospheric.
Anderson creates illustrations that feel as if they could be shots from a vintage vhs camcorder, with slow movement and glitchy grain artefacts embellishing the footage. This technique immediately brings to mind the notions of nostalgia, a concept that he states is the focus of each piece and “a sub-theme relative to that”.
For example, his piece Easter in Suburbia “focuses on the hollow warmth of memories from time gone by”. If his audience relates to his work, has a memory triggered, or identifies with a certain emotional aspect of a piece, then he is “immensely happy about that”.
To understand the origins of his style, we conversed with the artist to learn more about his influences and approach to creating this unique style of artwork.
Over the pandemic, of which Canada had some of the strictest lockdown laws, Anderson had time to contemplate about his youth and the past. He began to think a lot about the farm that he grew up on. His childhood house was torn down in 2015, and one year later he tragically experienced the death of his father.
Anderson states how he thinks about the time he spent with his dad and the time he spent wandering around the farm. “The first time I made an animation in this style it was based on that farm. I recreated it in 3D so I could wander around it again” he says.
This surreal experience of digitally recreating a personal monument of the past led him to further develop these concepts in his work. Thus emerges the theme of his current artwork which he describes as “that feeling of wandering around a memory”.
Staring out the window lost-in-thought is where Anderson typically finds his inspiration. “Something generally catches my eye outside and makes me feel a certain way, so I make up a world around it relative to what’s been on my mind.” This observative approach to stimulating his creativity grounds his work within a context of the ordinary and mundane. By highlighting these banal elements in the real world, he picks up on a subtle beauty of the ordinary.
Aside from creating introspective and more "serious" work, Anderson also plays around by combining animations that he’s created with musical compositions that come to him in a stream of consciousness. By constantly writing music and pairing with animations, he’s always sparking his creativity whilst thinking of new ways to help develop his style.
Anderson says that the piece Harbour is his favourite artwork that he’s created, as it subconsciously reflects things that he was processing emotionally at the time. “When I was first sketching the idea, I wasn't planning on it being about loss and I was still processing losing my dad and the house that I grew up in. I kept going with the animation and once I watched it, after I had made a rough draft, I realized what it was about.”
He describes this powerful experience as feeling like he was “having a dream and analyzing it later to understand what was happening and why. His audience related strongly to this work, further emphasizing its success as an evocative and meaningful artwork.
In the Web3 world, Ryan D Anderson has found success and developed an audience of artists and collectors which include some of the best in the space. His SuperRare genesis titled Lil Ghost is a whimsical and charming animation of a ghost floating down the stairs, and was collected by KeyboardMonkey in 2021.
In true artist fashion, Anderson states transparently that as much as he’d like to say his goal is to bring a new perspective to animation or have people see animation in a new light, “I’m honestly just making these for me”.
This cathartic and introspective approach to creating work that he is proud of is perhaps why his work stands out as so unique and uncommon in the space.
In addition to working on collaborations with artists such as Rich Caldwell, Roberta Railaite and potentially Tiffatronn, Anderson says that he would like to see his work displayed in a physical gallery or on a public display. We can imagine how powerful and captivating his animations would be on a large screen display in an urban centre for example, and are pretty certain that if he keeps up this quality of work, that will happen in no time!