Interview with Rob Ryan

We love Rob Ryan’s paper creations. Massive fans of humble materials, we often feature artists that use paper and Rob Ryan dominates the paper cut industry. Each Rob Ryan piece is carefully hand-crafted and holds it’s own individual meaning. Whether the piece provokes a fond memory, moves you with the words or makes you laugh out loud. There is a picture here for each of us.


Hello Rob!

What inspired you to start paper cutting?

I just felt like doing something a bit different, so I gave it a try – I liked the results and then did another. I think the inspiration behind it was a desire to simplify my work.

Paper cutting is such an art, and some of your work is so intricate. How often would you say you cut your finger with a scalpel?  And have you got any tips for inspired paper cutters to stay safe? 

I rarely cut my finger but more often stab myself in my stomach & leg. Only a couple of weeks ago I dropped a scalpel onto my knee and it went in about 1cm deep, ouch! Lot of blood!

Tips for papercutters, don’t act like a fucking idiot like me!!!


The words within your work are often romantic or witty. How do these sayings or stories you use in your work come about?

I just jot things down in little notebooks as they come to me, and then when I’m in the studio I look at them and start trying to make something out of them

If you could collaborate with any person from any point of time whom would you choose and why?

Preston Sturges. He is my favourite artist. He is funny and deep and silly and wise All at the same time. I don’t know what we could do together but I would just love to meet him for 10 minutes and talk to him

You have prints and stationery, homewear etc. available with your designs on, but what has been the wackiest request for your work to be used for?

I am constantly asked for permission for my work to be used as tattoos. I don’t care. If you think you can improve on the beautiful body that your parents gave you then go ahead! Knock yourself out!!

God I am such an uptight idiot!!

You are such a busy man, and I can imagine have so many different projects happening at one time, can you tell us a bit about what you are working on right now? 

Today I made a new tile design and worked on ceramic cats I’ve been meaning to finish for a few months now. Tomorrow I will do some work on a papercut of a couple lying in a hammock under some trees. On Wednesday I will start thinking about a huge Christmas window I have been commissioned to do. Long term I will start working on some pictures for a show in NY in May.

Thanks so much!

Be sure to check out Rob’s online site and keep an eye on the new products available online in his Ryan town shop.