I first heard of Ryan, while sitting in an empty computer lab on a quiet Saturday afternoon in Kodaikanal. I can’t remember exactly what I was doing, but Faraz came along and showed me Ryan’s drawings. I was in love. A few weeks later I couldn’t find one of my favourite works and emailed him to see what had happened to it. And so we became internet friends.
Ryan is from Phoenix, Arizona and some of the things he loves include: travelling (he spent some time working as a photographer in Cairo, he’s been all over South America and a bunch of other places), hiking, yoga and music.
Faraz and I pestered him over the years to please make more drawings, but now restrain ourselves since he’s busy with Graduate school learning things like Mandarin. Wow!
nosurefooting: What’s the evil version of you like?
Ryan: I am evil.
nsf: Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Ryan: Dark as possible.
nsf: Biggest fear?
Ryan: Opportunity wasted.
nsf: If you could be an animal which animal would you be?
Ryan: I’m on team human, but wolves and whales and chimps are incredible.
nsf: Favourite book – of forever or right now?
Ryan: Desert Solitaire, Biomimicry, and everything by Freeman Dyson, ever.
nsf: Three elements to the perfect date?
nsf: Favourite song to listen to when you are at a party? Would you be at a party?
Ryan: Dance-y stuff because I like to dance. And sing-alongs.
nsf: Best time of day to take a nap?
Ryan: I don’t take naps anymore. When I did, they were in the afternoon and I would wake up with a deep sense of fragility regarding my mortality. Death and decay–things ending or being forgotten.
nsf: Guilty pleasure music?
nsf: Last great film you saw?
nsf: Best thing you’ve bought in the past year?
Ryan: Text books, and a pre-Trek Klein.
nsf: Your ringtone?
Ryan: “Star Slight” by At The Drive-In. Had it since 2006, across four continents, and everyone hates it.
nsf: Favourite TV show?
Ryan: I forgot about TV already.
nsf: Favourite breakfast food?
Ryan: Grape-Nuts and almond milk.
nsf: The best country you have ever been to? The best country you have never been to?
Ryan: Mexico, for sure. Mystical, magical, dirty, violent, mostly misrepresented and totally underrated. I have not yet been to India, but I bet all the descriptors previous apply.
nsf: What do you sing in the shower?
Ryan: Whatever it is, it is certainly ridiculous.
nsf: If you had a time machine where would you go?
Ryan: I used to think “Europe, during the Age of Enlightenment” or “The New World, before the dicks arrived”, but then my friend the astrophysicist explained to me that my male-identity romanticization was crap and that it sucked for women and for science and for health and for most other things. Obviously she is right. And since traveling back in time is impossible anyway unless entropy didn’t exist, I’d have to travel forward–I wouldn’t really have a choice. And I’d probably be an outcast in whichever society I returned to. Like my grandpa trying to understand Facebook via Readers’ Digest and daytime television.
nsf: Best comfort food?
Ryan: If I still lived in Egypt, Koshari (why the heck aren’t there any Koshari restaurants on the west coast??). Coffee and a cookie.
nsf: First purchase you’d make if you won the lottery?
Ryan: Probably a drink. Keep your overhead low.
nsf: Favourite drink?
Ryan: Usually rotate between IPAs and Americanos, cleansing palate/rehydrating with water.
nsf: If you could be any character from fiction, who would you be?
Ryan: Probably Charlotte’s boyfriend, the photographer. Oh, can it be non-fiction? There are tons of real-life badasses throughout history a million times more interesting than imaginary, idealized composites birthed from the minds of writers.
nsf: What can’t you live without?
Ryan: I was going to do that annoying, “Physically: oxygen/water/sunlight”-thing. But my emo needs include good music, great trails to hike, and lots of pretty pictures.
nsf: Have you ever read Don Quixote?
Ryan: I read it was overrated, but I own in it Spanish and it looks cool on my shelf.
nsf: What would the title of your biography be?
Ryan: “Am I significant? No!”
Here’s a hilarious drawing of Things for India by Ryan.
And here’s Ryan telling the setting sun to wait.