When I first spoke to tattooist Ryane Urie about her work, she described it as “colouring outside of the lines“. When she uttered those words, I knew we had to interview her!
The Denver-based artist attempts to break boundaries with her creations whilst respecting tattooing’s traditional roots and progression at the same time. Ryane brings together old and new, city and nature, structure and fluidity to create an approach to the artform that’s refreshing to see.
Read on for comforting words on the evolution of tattoo styles and moving statements on the processes of art creation… this is an inspiring interview for anyone wanting to spark a passion for tattooing.
I’ll let Ryane do the rest of the talking!
Tell our readers a little bit about where you’re based and how this impacts on your work.
I am a native to the small but bustling city of Denver -a place where city art collides with nature’s beauty. You can’t turn a corner without seeing something painted on the sidewalks and (if you are really paying attention) some wildlife lurking.
This is what inspired me to paint sloppy, with loud colours… even if it did get me into trouble from the authorities a few times when I was growing up. I finally found my way into tattooing years later and have now been at it for a little over two. Find the job you love, never work a day in your life.
Traditional versus watercolour. Painting within boundaries versus breaking them. Let’s talk about that!
As an apprentice, I was ‘raised’ in a more traditional shop. That means block colouring, solid, thick lines and great designs that are legible from a distance. I was drawing roses in my sleep in those days.
It was a constant struggle at the time because I was a messy watercolour artist outside of tattooing and just wanted to splatter ink across every soul I met. Many tattoo artists from the founding days still don’t believe in deviating from the solid designs that have stood the test of time since Sailor Jerry. To think of colouring outside of the box literally would make many cringe.
Many also argue that the watercolour designs will fade faster and are a waste of time. This is where I found the hybrid of the two worlds. I love to create bold, black lines to give the watercolour tattoos more of a ‘bone structure’ so they will stay visually legible over time. The splattering of colours all around carries the eye across the flow of the body.
How do you intend to keep this philosophy with your work as time goes on? What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to meld more amazing styles together – that will be my new adventure. I would love to combine portrait realism with sacred geometry to create a beautiful organic blend of people and science. Until then, I plan to try to play with colour transitions and watercolour styles in more intricate designs – focus on an organised chaos as opposed to random splats.
Tattoos, tattooing – what does it mean to you and your clients?
Lately, it’s been easier to break the rules of art with style. A new generation of clientele have been more open to tattoos as a work of art and allow me the room to play with new ideas. This has only fuelled the fires of my love for the this industry and the infinite boundaries it can offer for me as an artist and for my amazing clients.
If you haven’t experienced the process of a tattoo yet, that’s okay, there is still time. Be sure to shop for an artist that meshes well with you and is great at listening to your needs and not afraid to set fair expectations of the artwork that you will give a heartbeat to.
I tend to draw designs that connect to me and then post them publicly in the hope that they connect with someone else too. This usually brings in, not only a client, but a connections that makes us friends in the long run.
Follow Ryane on Instagram to keep up-to-date with her work.