Shaun Ryken is a 26 year old award winning visual artist from Canada.

Shaun never studied art in primary school. « This is just simply because I had no honest idea where to start with art and how to actually express myself in a creative format. Since there are so many paths offered in this area, it’s hard to know if you’re choosing the right one to pursue. » It is after, in College, that Shaun started learning Photography. «  This is when I really discovered my true talent in this field. » he explains. But he then switched to graphic design ‘cause he realized that Photography was not truly for him. « After graduation for design, I took on a few marketing firm jobs in the creative field, but realized I didn’t really have a great marketing background so I went to school for another year to improve this. But I realize that all my study steps were not the healthiest option towards my anxiety. The main reason why I create today is due to my anxiety. » he says.

On his Instagram account, Shaun posts all his creations that talk about his deeply scares and his anxiety : an octopus who is coming out of the toilet bowl, a hand that is catching a living insured biscuit in a plate, a woman who is seeing her skeleton reflection in water, for example. « I create art because I suffer from severe anxiety disorder. (…) Anxiety is a hard thing to deal with when your mind is running and allowing it to bring in more information overcrowds my head. Having the ability to release these weird imaginations into a more visually pleasing form really helped me through some tough times. Since my mind is always freaking out and overthinking everything it always creates some really interesting pieces. » he says. « When I create, I like to attach a story or life memory into a creation. Metaphors and puns that come into my mind allow me to create a new perspective. » he continues.

« If I should give an advice to someone who is starting working in design, it would be : Once you start, never stop. Design is a routine that needs to be worked on and built up. Before you try and find out what the rest of the world likes with trendy designs, you need to figure out what you like. It’s not a race to be the biggest designer in the world, it’s an experience. » he finally says. Awesome !

This content was originally published here.

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