Ryan Mullins {E} Artist Feature

by Christina Diaz

Born and raised in the small desert town of Apple Valley, California, tattooer and fine artist Ryan Mullins has only been tattooing for 2 years and drawing for 4. That’s hard to believe when you look at his artwork. It’s absolutely breathtaking. His mediums of choice are tattooing and Prisma color pencils with some of his Prisma pieces taking up to 200-300 hours to complete. He says, “I’m grateful to be able to create art on a daily basis, whether it be on skin or paper. I constantly find myself sitting back and appreciating the fact that I’ve been blessed to have been able to pick up tattooing as fast as I have.”

I’ve been lucky enough to see Ryan’s work ethic and skills blossom over his short career. He’s the kind of artist who lives and breathes what he does and yet remains undeniably humble. It’s inspiring to say the least. On a typical day you can find the 28 year-old artist making art at Art Junkies Tattoo in Hesperia,CA. Keep reading to find out a little bit more about this desert art junky…

{E}: Were you artistic as a child? 
RM: i drew here and there like every kid does but it never really was my passion till I got older. My grandmother was a painter so I always sat and watched her paint. I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to paint because of her I just never sat down and painted; then one day it was time and I started painting.

{E}: How did your tattoo career begin?
RM: For the most part, I am self taught I never took any drawing classes if I had questions about a technique or application I would ask other artists and tattooists, some would help me and some wouldn’t give me the time of day. As far as tattooing, I would just sit back and watch tattooers I looked up to and break down what and why they were doing what they were doing. Everyone does something for a reason whether it’s their motion or approach. The key was breaking it down in my head to make it work for me.

{E}: Describe your artwork.
RM: I do portrait realism art. This style just attracts my attention in both art and tattooing. So when I started drawing that’s what I strived to do and tried to make my own style with it.

{E}: What inspires you?
RM: As lame as it sounds, Instagram. I am inspired daily. I follow tons of the worlds best artists and seeing what they do everyday pushes me to be better at my art. i also draw inspiration from life, music, books, movies and my fellow tattooists I work with everyday at Art Junkies.

{E}: Favorite medium? 
RM: I like all types of mediums whether its oil, charcoal or pencil but my favorite is color pencil. I find myself working more with it than any other medium. I like being able to walk away from it and come back and it’s just there, no cleaning brushes and picking up charcoals, no mess.

{E}: Whom are some of your favorite artists and why? How have they influenced your work?
RM: Art wise, there so many I really look up to Rembrandt , Craola, Chase Tafoya, Cory Norris, Jeff Gogue. Tattooers would be Bob Tyrell, Carlos Torres, Robert Hernandez, Aric Taylor. Really anyone that loves art and puts their heart into it and when you can see that in their art or tattoos you know they’re doing it right.

{E}: What are some of your favorite art tools and why?
RM: The human eye is a great one. Tattoo machines are revolutionary in art right now. Tattooers are doing art that’s way past what they’ve been thought to be able to do.

{E}: Tell me about your first tattoo experience.
RM: Well my first tattoo was 3 X’s which symbolizes straight edge – a pure drug free lifestyle. Being straight edge has been the biggest most positive thing in my life. It’s kept me out of trouble and kept my head on straight so I can focus on being a good genuine person. So it was only fitting I get something to represent that and remind me daily.

{E}: Personal mantra?
RM: I live my life by the saying “If you’re gonna do it, then do it” –  meaning instead of doing a bunch of things half ass dedicate yourself and do it beyond what is needed.

Website: www.ryanmullinsart.com
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook @ryanmullinsart
Shop: Art Junkies Tattoo in Hesperia, CA

Ryan Mullins {E} Artist Feature