Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan ThankYoux.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started first doing art on the streets. Mostly making stencils and wheatpaste posters and putting them all over town. I was putting up an image of Andy Warhol and writing “thank you” underneath and signing with an X. I just wanted to pay tribute to him for breaking down barriers of what art is. After going out every night for a few weeks, different art blogs started posting my pieces I was putting up around town and started calling me “ThankYouX”… so I just decided to keep that name and run with it. Over the years, my style has evolved from doing image-based portraits and stencils, to more abstract. I do a lot of geometric cube patterns with my art and have been doing murals with that geometric pattern and bright colors all over the states for years.
Has it been a smooth road?
It was never a smooth road. I had a lot of struggles. I was doing it as a hobby for years while I kept my full-time job as a graphic designer. After I quit to take on art full time, I had ups and downs. My biggest struggle was not just making what I knew people wanted. I always wanted to create art that was true to me. Sometimes people came on the journey with me and sometimes they didn’t. I’ve done shows all around America as well as London. Some shows were better than others. The key is sticking with it and just keep going.
Please tell us more about your art.
I create art for a living. That’s what I am most proud of. I proud to be able to provide for my family and help the community as much as I can. I think the fact that I have a love for tech and start-up life, it has helped me see things from a different angle. I often take risks by investing money I’ve earned into small local companies. Some will pay off and some won’t. I have also traded art for equity with a handful of companies now. I’ve been very lucky, and part of the luck is recognized the opportunity in front of you. I bet big on myself and the people I believe in.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love best about LA is the mix of culture. We have an incredible art scene, food scene, entertainment, tech, and sports. I love how you can cross over into other communities and learn a ton. What I like least about the city is the poverty level. I feel like the Mayor is making some right moves by taking action to help with that… but we could always be doing more. Often times, people are out of sight, out of mind mentality… My studio is down the street from skid row, so I can’t ignore it. I want to work harder on helping with what I can for the homeless.