I have interviewed some fabulous people recently and even though I might appear cool, calm and collected, the reality is far from it. However, this morning I was not nervous more excited at the thought of meeting Irishman Rob Ryan for the second time. The first was at the print and design show, Pick Me Up in 2010 at Somerset House.
Since our first encounter I have been sending Diplomat magazines regularly to Rob in the hopes he would one day say yes to creating us a cover. When I first met him I asked and his reply was ‘maybe next year.’ Little did he realise…
Upon entering Rob’s Bethnal Green studio, I was visually bombarded by stacks of prints, tiles, dozens of mugs, some being
painted and some waiting to dry. Making my way up the crazy narrow staircase the scene was not much different, ceramic felines, eggcup holders and a collection of skateboards hanging from the ceiling. Then there was Rob, warm smile and wild facial hair.
Mark bought me the Rob Ryan ‘Our adventure’ laser cut last year, before he proposed (Mark that is, not Rob). Whether Rob likes it or not he will be part of my story forever. I mentioned this to Rob and he giggled and said he liked the sound of Mark. I can imagine Rob and his utterly charming art is part of many people’s stories.
While we were on the topic of relationships I took the liberty of asking Rob about using his romantic art to woo his wife. They have been together for 32 years, they met when he was 18 and yes he told me he would create collages from all the photographs they took together in photo booths.
One of the main reasons for my Rob Ryan visit was to secure a cover for Diplomat and this time Rob did actually say he would create one for us. He even emphasised the words, ‘this year!’ I think he also said something about my cover artists saying yes to me just so I would leave them alone.
Rob is an incredibly busy man and after 30 years in the business now gets to pick and choose whom he works for. He has a thriving business, a dedicated team around him and a very mischievous twinkle in his eye. The other reason for my visit was to meet Rob properly. I knew I would like his straight talking, playful character and I certainly look forward to the cover he is going to create for us.