• Studio-1

    Ryan’s studio

Introducing…Illustrator Ryan Chapman and his brigade of merry friends

Posted by Holly Wilkins,

In a world of bright colours and smiles, it is hard to believe that Ryan Chapman lives in the same smoggy, grey London we call home. Ryan has developed a signature look to his joyous characters using colourful and simple shapes, and whether they are repairing a car, rendezvousing on a house boat or smoking a pipe, these little people seem to be enjoying every second of it.

Ryan’s portfolio consists of an impressive amount of editorial work and has also contributed to a number of exhibitions around the world. Read on to find out what inspires him to create such jolly characters, and why he will never employ an intern again.

Where do you work?

I live and work in a lovely old converted factory near Shoreditch in East London called Wool House, it’s a really nice space with a lot of natural light.

How does your working day start?

It starts with some blended fruit and a little stretching (I would call it badly executed yoga) – I sit at a desk or computer most days it is very important to stretch, answer emails, a few blogs and then start my working day.

Where would we find you when you’re not at work?

When I’m not working I try to get away from the studio/computer as much as possible, I’m originally from the North East of England so I like to get out of the city and breath some of that fresh air when I can, but usually in London you’ll find me lurking about at Beach London, Kemistry Gallery or Wunjo’s guitar shop.

Would you intern for yourself?

I had an intern once, his name was Sunny, he was a dog I looked after for a friend. He was hopeless, I swore I would never have another intern again, not even if it was me.


Outdoors, primary shapes, Dick Bruna, Scandinavian children’s books, surfing, old guitars and the internet.

How do you work and how has it changed?

Most of the commercial work I do is pretty much done on computer, I start off by reading the brief a good few times to get a good idea of the project, then I start sketching out roughs, ideas to send to the client, once an idea has been approved I create the finished artwork in Illustrator. It’s such a great way to work if you have tight deadlines and also handy when I’m working on the move.

  • C7f352bba151a6275b5548b0b56e2109top

    Ryan Chapman: Keep A Weather Eye Open

  • 8eaba2b325f9623cde4d9829d795d4b3

    Ryan Chapman: Smoke On The Water

  • Beer-ad-cover-1

    Ryan Chapman: Beer Advocate Magazine

  • Bike-1_905

    Ryan Chapman: General Electric

  • Camp3_905

    Ryan Chapman: Lufthansa Airlines

  • Eco-1_905

    Ryan Chapman: General Electric

  • Flamingo-mag-web

    Ryan Chapman: Flamingo Magazine

  • Ycn-birds-web_905

    Ryan Chapman: YCN


Posted by Holly Wilkins

Holly worked with us as an editorial intern after studying at Leeds University and working in the PR industry in Los Angeles for a short period. She wrote for the site between March and May 2013.