Interview with designer Ryan Beshara

By Published On: March 5th, 2010

Today I’m really excited to feature Ryan Beshara, the artist […]

Today I’m really excited to feature Ryan Beshara, the artist behind an amazing line of modern art prints.
ModernPop began in 2008 with a line of witty stationery and calendars for adults but has now grown to include art prints and personalized invitations for children. Check out some of my favorite pieces, and be sure to click the links to check out more of her work!

Alphabet Soup print

Ode to Helvetica prints (sold separately)

The whale

U is for Umbrella print (A-Z prints are available)

I love that each print is gender neutral and printed in-house using only the finest watercolor papers and archival inks. Any piece would look great in today’s modern nursery. And since I am continually fascinated by designers, Ryan was gracious enough to answer a few questions I was dying to have answered.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
From the age of 5 to about 12, I wanted to be a doctor, and then I decided I wanted to be an archeologist. I never once thought about being an artist; I never really considered myself very artistic.
Were your parents artists? When did you know that you were an artist?
Yes, both of my parents are artists and so is my sister. My sister is an amazing writer, my mother was a singer and my father is an incredible artist—I swear he can do anything. Growing up, he was a furniture designer and builder, and he’s currently a sculptor of sorts. He creates beautiful 3D portraits out of wood which are also optical illusions—they are pretty fantastic! It was in high school that I started to dabble in art; I joined my high school yearbook as a staff photographer and really enjoyed the art form. One summer I went on a trip to NYC and I fell in love. I thought, “I want to live here” and applied to Parsons. I mostly just wanted to live in NYC–I grew up in Colorado and NYC was as far from where I started as you could get in every sense!
You went to Parsons to study photography. How did you get into graphic design? Are you self-taught?
Yes, I received a BFA in photography from Parsons but always loved graphic design–I have no idea why I didn’t switch majors. Photography has given me a unique perspective in terms of composition and color that maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise, so for that I am grateful for my time at Parsons, but yes, in terms of graphic design I am completely self-taught.
What is your favorite memory of attending such a prestigious school?
I would have to say being around so many talented artists. I mean crazy talented; I was blown away on a daily basis. Being around so many people who have such amazing natural ability pushes you in a way you never thought possible—competition is a powerful thing!
When did you decide that you wanted to own your own company?
Well, in the real world (haha), I am a freelance producer. I produce photo shoots for photographers who are shooting national ad campaigns and fashion editorials for magazines. I worked for a company right after I graduated from college, but that only lasted a year and I went out on my own. Owning my own business is just in my blood; my parents were always self-employed, and I just don’t know any other way.
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I think in another life I would love to be a lawyer or a detective.
Where do you draw inspiration for your children’s art?
Color really inspires me. Color is everything–it evokes in me an emotion like nothing else. Books, songs, photographs, my absolutely amazing, fantastic nephew Elias (he’s 5 years old and I am totally crazy about him). He inspired all my robot prints–he and I played alien invasion one day when I was out visiting my sister and I thought, “Oh my, I have got to create some illustrations of robots so he will always remember that day we played together!”
What does your creative process look like?
It is very rare that I will start off with an actual idea of what I want to do. First, I will go through my archive of colors. I look through images that I have saved on my computer, and when I find a color that speaks to me, I will just start to draw, create shapes, and see where it goes. Sometimes it doesn’t go anywhere–I will sit for hours and start over a hundred times. On a good day it just flows and I start to see a character develop and then it just blossoms. I love those days!
What is your favorite aspect of owning your own business?
The freedom!

Thank you so much Ryan! I hope you get inspired as much as I did by this beautiful lady. To find out more about Ryan and her lovely work, check out her website ModernPop.