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Meet Ryan Joseph

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Joseph.

Ryan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Becoming a full-time artist is a recent career change that the universe blessed me with after much struggle throughout my life. I was an athlete and child psychologist for 15 years but reached a point where I suffered from severe mental illness and had to be hospitalized. During that time, I was suicidal multiple times and was on years of pharmaceutical medication and different forms of therapy which didn’t help at all. In many cases, it made things much worse. During that time, I lost my career, home, finances, and almost all friends.

It wasn’t until I went one day to my doctor who suggested I try meditation and go see a Buddhist monk at his temple. I went that night and felt peace for the very first time. He later met with me for individual sessions and one thing he suggested was to do things I used to enjoy as a child. One of things happened to be art.

So I started painting and it was great therapy for me. I was mindful for hours and hours on end and the more I painted the better I felt. Close family and friends who saw my work suggested that I try selling them and so I put them out there and my pieces started selling for thousands of dollars. It was then that I knew this was the career that I could be successful in and love doing full time.

My skills are self-taught and have been constantly changing. Much like myself. It began very dark but as I started feeling better the use of color became more and more vibrant in my work. My hands used to shake when I painted so I couldn’t do small detailed brushwork pieces so instead, I used palette knives and spray paint but now I am using more oils and pigments for my work. My subjects have also changed. I used to do more portrait style pieces but now I am gravitating towards nature subjects.

My nature works are inspired by recent Ayahuasca spiritual journeys to South America where I really realized my connection with nature as a big part of my wellbeing. I call these pieces “Nature Narratives” as they tell a story of this connection I have. I create these pieces outdoors so they are victim to the weather and outdoor elements. They usually start out very dark and abstract and then I incorporate layers of nature and build them up using color and make them into something beautiful. In a way, they are a reflection of myself, dark past layers filled with scars but now am full of beauty.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In addition to the previous, I did extreme therapy and spiritual work in Peru with different natural medicines such as Ayahuasca, San Pedro, and Kambo. These medicines got me over the hump and were able to get me off of years of prescription medication. This spiritual journey was the most difficult thing I did but was by far the most beneficial. I believe so deeply in these ancient medicines that now I host retreats and share these experiences with others who are need of deep healing.

Other struggles are just things like motivation in the Canadian winter and finding studio space.

Please tell us about your art.
What sets me apart from others is my story behind my work. These pieces are all a piece of my own journey and well being. The universe had bigger plans for me during my suicide attempts and now I know what it is. I want these pieces to give inspiration and strength to others. Yes, they hold beauty but it’s the pain and suffering that led to the beauty and I want that to be displayed in my work. I now embrace the hard times and struggles of life as they are the path to happiness.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I have this flashback many times in the past couple of years. It’s kind of sad but beautiful in the same way. I am an only child and my incredible mother gave me so much love. We used to go to the beach together and I remember playing and being so happy. Recently I have moved back to my hometown and go to that same beach by myself for me time. However, I see my inner child playing and having fun with no worries in the world and then apologize to him for the pain and suffering I was going to give him. Doing this has brought me relief and forgiveness to myself in the process.

Happier moments I guess are fishing trips with my Dad and Grandfather or sports achievements.


  • Original paintings – $2000-8000
  • Prints – $100-$500
  • Retreats – $2000-2300

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