Ryan Todd’s 365 days of drawing delivers a witty collection of inventions, and some thought-provoking observations

The artist’s diverse collection of doodles encapsulate a year-long exploration into the practice of visual thinking.

17 June 2024

One drawing a day, every day for an entire year feels like a pretty daunting challenge. How do you come up with that many ideas? Well, when Ryan Todd reflected on his latest 365-day illustration sprint, he humorously confessed: “I would be lying if I said that there weren’t times when I regretted starting the project altogether”. With a keen commitment to “foster a habit of regular conceptual exploration” the artist initially started the project to make more space in his practice for some spontaneous creativity, establishing a strict routine to plot down his daily visual thinking on paper.

Ryan tells us: “I carried my sketchbook everywhere and the constant demand to produce ideas was tough [...] But, when it comes down to it, the act of creative thinking is inherently fun and the daily drive to produce new ideas enabled me to adopt a more playful and curious mindset,” he shares. Quick, playful visual thinking has always been a part of Ryan’s work, but this collection of drawings is a testament to his decision to finally formalise this part of his creative process into a stand-alone project, and what a wonderful series of graphic drawings he has made.


Ryan Todd: 365 days (Copyright © Ryan Todd, 2024)

To tie the collection together, Ryan’s only limitations to the daily ritual were the drawings’ simple, black and white style. Absent of colour, the artist’s shredder letterboxes and circular dogs were often playful puns and observations drawn from his surroundings, “the results of a visual exercise” or a form of “social commentary”, says Ryan. Without a set brief, the artist found that changing his location was often a great way to accelerate his idea generation, helping him to find new objects, subjects or scenarios to immortalise on his page.

When sharing his learnings from the year-long project, Ryan says the working methods he established allowed him to make new connections that he would have “undoubtedly missed”, with his daily doodles feeding into his commercial work in unexpected ways and pushing him to “embrace the beauty and richness of everyday life”. With his final drawings drafted Ryan tells us: “I’ve really enjoyed approaching it as nothing more than a simple daily exercise in creative thinking and not speculating as to what the project could become.” Although now that the project has reached its finish line, we were keen to see what the artist plans to do with all 365 of his new ideas. To this he responded: “I would love to explore how they can be seen and shared. Perhaps a book, perhaps an exhibition, perhaps an auction….watch this space!”

GalleryRyan Todd: 365 days (Copyright © Ryan Todd, 2024)

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Ryan Todd: 365 days (Copyright © Ryan Todd, 2024)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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