RYAN FORSTER

Australian artist.

Who am I? Writing about yourself has got to be one of the hardest things to do. How can you sum yourself up into a single paragraph that sells your personality and life experience? 

I can tell you that I love art, coffee, my family and the smell of rain.. but is that enough to understand me? 

I don't believe so. 

If you wish, you can read more about me below. Or if you're somewhat sane, simply continue to the shop where you may feed this starving artist. 

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Nosy bugger aren't you?

The artwork that saved my life.

When I was young, I wanted to be an illustrator. I would spend hours drawing highly detailed scenes.

It seemed like my future was set. But then you grow up and enter the real world.

I chased the easy money instead of following my dreams. I worked in factories and mowed lawns, flipped burgers and tried out so many different jobs that I can’t even remember them all. I always had a deep sense of faith that it was only temporary. That my real life would start soon. As I entered my thirties, this lack of direction and progress caused me a huge amount of anxiety.
I was completely lost. I looked into becoming a carpenter, a surveyor and even the Army. I had absolutely no idea where to go with my life and an increasingly overwhelming sense of panic.


It all came to a head at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. I don't remember waking up any particular day and thinking that I was depressed. It was more of a slow realisation. I fought it at first as many men do and hid it from my family. Stupid me. 

It was around 3 months before I opened up and reached out and in that time I lost 10kg, lost all interest in life and completely lost who I was. I've always thought that I could conquer depression because I love life so much.

I really do! I get so much joy from such simple things as light filtering through leaves, or birds flying backlit at sunset.. Or the shapes of trees and clouds. 

But I found out that it doesn't work that way. You're not you anymore. I hated that I couldn't find joy in anything and that I couldn't just 'snap out of it'.

I tried a lot of ways to cope. Exercise, diet and medication helped and I gained enough of myself to pick up a pen. At the end of the day when the kids were in bed, I would unwind and release my stress onto the page.

This therapeutic exercise would allow me to ignore my problems and focus wholly on the drawing.

I drew repetitive shapes I called 'oysters' simply because it made my mind switch off. I used fine-liner pen rather than pencil as it forced me to focus completely due to it’s unforgiving permanency. 

On March the 3rd 2020, I bought a large piece of card and began to draw. Inspired by castles and history, my love of fantasy books and artists such as Escher, ‘Castle’ was born. This artwork slowly pulled me from my downward spiral. It gave me something to look forward to everyday. I would sit down for a few hours each night and sink myself into the paper.

When I draw, I can ignore that I'm not where I'm meant to be in life. I can ignore the black feelings. 

There was no master plan, no motive other than to unwind and give my creativity an outlet. But it worked.

It pulled me into a better place and gave my life the new direction I needed. 

 

My childhood dream has found its way home and I’m suddenly very excited about what my future holds..

Ok. NOW will you go to the shop?