by Ryan Hipp
When I was very young, I fell in love with the Smurfs—it was when the English-translated European film The Smurfs and the Magic Flute debuted on a weeknight and then heralded in the new Smurfs cartoon on ABC Saturday Morning Cartoons every week thereafter.
Around the same time, I discovered Richard Scarry’s books, and the Mr. Men/Little Miss series by Roger Hargreaves. As long as I can remember, I have found that my passion to write and draw came from the things that I loved.
I have always gravitated towards creating work that will homage the things I love. I will either hide little nods to my past in my writing or art, or in some cases I am completely literal. I refer to the work I do as Nerdcore artwork. Nerdcore is a term derived by a movement in hiphop to use dorky subjects like comic books and video games as references and subject matter in the lyrics or as samples – I apply that same concept to the artwork I do to stay fresh and relevant.
I find inspiration in everything I love, and naturally, as an artist I want to honor and showcase what I love to tell the world more about me. Once a week, I try to illustrate a new piece. Something either current or nostalgic. Its my way of showing my fanbase topics they may not even be aware of and giving these genres a new voice.
As writers and artists, it is important to take what we love—to take what inspires us—and let it reflect back to our audiences.
Ryan Hipp is a published author-illustrator of books for kids from Grand Rapids, MI., honored by the MRA as recipient of the Gwen Frostic Award for work greatly impacting literacy. Ryan is the leading expert in Michigan on fostering visual literacy and creative thought; with 10 years experience and research in the field. He actively gives presentations to aid educators to inspire and motivate young people. Ryan is dedicated to helping kids achieve their goals and overcome life’s obstacles as depicted in his newest book LITTLE STEPS. Visit him at RyanHipp.com.
Ryan is giving away an original sketch on bristol board.
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