Artist Profile: Ryan Preece



Ryan Preece is a practicing Brisbane artist. His latest work is being shown in a Kiln Gallery show titled “The Illustrators” from 3rd October – 26th October

What does it mean to you to be an artist?

There are people out there who are just born artists; I firmly believe that through experience. These people, including myself, find that they just escape it even if they tried. So I’m not an artist by choice, it’s my purpose. I have a vision that I spend my life trying to decode and refine.

What is your favourite part of gallery openings (of your shows)?

Watching people slowly gather in at the start, some don’t know me by appearance so I pretend I’m just a critic and ask them what they think of the work. Also the social and networking aspect of the whole thing, that’s the most important part. Also watching out for those little red sold dots.

What is the worst?

I hate being the centre of attention, and that’s usually what you are at your own show. Also when sales don’t go as expected.

Describe a typical week- how do you balance life and work?

I have at least 4 days a week set aside for painting. That would involve making my own canvases, gathering inspiration and reference material from the internet, books or my sketchpad, buying paint, and making sure I set aside enough time to attend art openings and galleries. When nothing’s on, you’ll find me wandering around through QAG or GOMA.

What kind of dialogue do you have in your head while you are working?

I always seem to be drawn to tragedies for inspiration, so I listen to a lot of Tom Waits and Nick Cave while I paint. I’m interested in people who live unconventional, “wrecked” lives. People who are full of desire rather than contentment. I liken that to the plight of the artist, the artist spends their time in a perpetual state of desire, because once you’ve got what you’re after, there’s no drive left and inspiration stops. I think about this a lot while I’m working.

How do you get feedback on your work? What strategies do you employ to grow?

Feedback comes through my peers, gallery owners/curators, and occasionally critics or interviewers. Everyone has their own opinion about what art should be and how they interpret your work, so I try not to let it affect me. I only listen if I know it’s constructive to me. You really have to tread your own path and don’t just work to appeal to the market, because people will sense that and be turned off.

Do you buy art? What works do you have in your house?

I’ve got a few pieces at home from my friends and artists I like. I like having them around because it makes me feel more connected to my circle of peers.

Do you have a long term plan for yourself as an artist?

Absolutely. To enter more competitions, get representation from more galleries, extend my buyers list, extend my network, have more interstate and international shows, and think of new and enterprising ways for self promotion, including books and film. As well as develop more, which just happens anyway. An artist needs to have a long term plan otherwise it all just stops. And like anything in life, it helps to visualise where you want to be in your career at a certain point in time, if you live for your passions then it’ll just happen, that’s more true than you think.

What is your favourite work at the Queensland Art Gallery or Museum of Modern Art?

At the moment it’s the Sidney Nolan retrospective show at QAG. It’s amazing to be there in front of the work of an Australian art giant like that.

Do you have a favourite painting outfit? Describe it?

I do, it’s my boxer shorts with soccer balls on them. They’re hot. But when people are over anything goes. If I’m in a really good mood, or drunk, I’ll wear my pirate hat too.


“The Illustrators” showing at Kiln Gallery from 3rd October – 26th October.




One Response to “Artist Profile: Ryan Preece”

  1. Tracey Says:


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