Advent Calender 14th: Rob Ryan

myth-2The 2012 Advent Calender: For the 25 days of Christmas, I will be blogging each day about a miscellaneous thing I love. Not necessarily a big thing, not necessarily a small thing and not in any order.

Rob Ryan is my favourite artist (with Dave McKean chasing firmly at his heels.) I discovered him at university when I bought a little book called This Is For You in a strange pop-up Christmas gift shop in the centre of Leicester.


Its an adorable little story, about a boy who grows up from the love of his mother to the love of the person he spends his life with. It is illustrated in Rob Ryan’s signature style–a Matissean papercut form. It’s the simplicity of the his art that appeals to me so much–there something about the straightforward honesty of the style with the sentiments of the texts he includes that combines to make them seem both poignant and obvious. Who would have thought that a man with a pair of scissors could speak so much truth about love and life?

He has a whole multitude of individual pieces of art, as well as having designed mugs, plates, magazine covers, calenders and all sorts. He has illustrated another two books, one of his own about two birds seeking out the truth of parenthood, and an illustration of a story by Carol Ann Duffy called The Gift. His work also graces the cover of John Connolly’s The Gates, which has cemented one of my aims in life (along with a Choccywoccydoodah cake): to publish a novel with a front cover by Rob Ryan.


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