RYAN HESHKA (Manitoba, Canada, 1970)
Ryan Heskha was born in Manitoba, Canada, grew up in Winnipeg and lives in Vancouver. His academic background and his activity as an educator, which he combines with his personal artistic endeavours, are related to interior design.
His illustrations have appeared in publications like Vanity Fair, Playboy, Esquire, The New York Times and Smart Money and on the cover and interiors of BLAB! Heshka’s work has also been selected to appear in American Illustration, Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts. He works with different galleries in America and Europe and is regularly commissioned by publishers to illustrate books for children and adults.
Heshka has exhibited at numerous galleries in the United States, Canada, Asia and several European countries. His work can also be found in many private and public collections, including the SOLO collection in Spain.
Thanks to the harsh Canadian winters, he spent much of his childhood at home drawing, building cardboard cities and making Super-8 films. Early influences that persist to this day include old-fashioned comics and pulp magazines, natural history, graphic design, music, classic movies and cartoons and, of course, the work of his idols Jack Kirby, Bill Everett and Tarpe Mills. All of them are repeatedly intertwined in his work, from pin-ups, film noir and sci-fi cinema to Surrealism and the most disturbing dreams. Women feature prominently in all of his creations; as Ryan himself has explained, “I admire women because they’re powerful, they keep overcoming obstacles every day and unite in the struggle to change the things that still don't work today”.