Ryan Heshka’s art is fueled by his love of vintage aesthetics. Early influences that persist to this day include antiquated comics and pulp magazines, natural history, graphic design and music, movies, and animation. With his artwork coming across as an unearthed sci-fi comics from a dystopian past, humor is also to be expected.
“My aesthetic from the get go was vintage: I was an oddball kid who sought out visuals from bygone eras,” he once remarked in an interview with WOW x WOW, adding that “its almost as if I were just born that way, wired into the past.”
An esteemed artist, Heshka’s illustrations have appeared in Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, and the New York Times, amongst other top tier publications. He has also been selected to appear in American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, and Communication Arts.
But oddly enough, his creative journey wasn’t as straight forward. “I arrived where I am via a very indirect route,” he told WOW x WOW. “I drew a lot as a child, and through my teens. After graduation, I attended university for interior design and worked in that field for about four years.”
Although he gained a lot of knowledge about art, architecture, and general design principles; interior design, as it turned out, wasn’t for Heshka. “In the late 90s I relocated to Vancouver, B.C., and found my way into animation, an art form I have always loved.” Much like interior design, animation wasn’t Heshka’s cup of tea. “Around that time, illustration really caught my eye, so I created some promotional cards and sent those out, with the hopes of becoming a professional illustrator. Kate Larkworthy Artist Representation in New York liked my work, and I found myself, again, image making.”
Entirely self-taught as an artist and illustrator, Heshka’s achievements (as well as some 50k followers on Instagram) are all the more incredible. Take a look at some of his work in the gallery below.