Ryan Imagines



Ryan O’Neil

I was searching for a word to describe myself and after considerable struggle, I landed on ‘dreamer’. I’ll admit that sounds a bit corny but I do dream every time I sleep and when awake, my imagination is my favourite toy. I like to create in hodgepodges and odd recipes which in a sense also describes who I am fairly well. I hold a statistics degree but deep down I’m a student of the arts so I enjoy the pleasure of nerding out with both halves of my brain.

I mostly write, snap and paint but art has always been an exercise in channeling freedom for me so there's no telling what I'll do next (although I do have some fun ideas). I prefer face to face conversations to anything digital and still have an mp3 player that's not my phone. I believe in telling the raw truth compassionately, making the world I want to live in and facing every problem with a spirit of ‘why not?’

I really want to combine and translate all of my influences and traits into beautiful and engaging work that helps me fill the need for human connection and hopefully does the same for you. I hope to please, entertain and inspire you, whether we meet at a reading or you see an image on a wall. In that sense, I guess I’m just like any other artist.

What’s so special about Ryan?

I'm a Jamaican born Canadian living in Toronto and I'm wildly patriotic about Jamaica (a bit less so for Canada although both are home).

Going to school in Jamaica means I've been brainwashed into pronouncing it ‘shed-ool’ and I'm a bit self conscious about it. I was editor in chief of my high school year book and vice president of the poetry club but I’ve also won an economics essay and a math competition. I’ve always been a bit brainy and maybe more than a bit confused about my passions.

A section of my wardrobe is dedicated to items ruined by paint. I’m a pair of shoes and a left sock away from a full outfit. I may be seen with a bunch of lilies hanging out of my backpack or balancing a roll of canvas on the train. I write a lot of poems while I pretend to be texting and if you get a book or scarf for Christmas, it’s probably from me.

I feel like you know me well enough now. Time to explore my work and see what I can do.