Ryan Jacque is a pencil drawing artist with a passion for hunting and wildlife that has filled his life with experiences, tragedy, and a life that is being well lived. After meeting Ryan through LinkedIn.com, I commissioned him to produce a piece that was from one of my favorite hunts with my father. The drawing means a lot to me as the mount for my father’s antelope now hangs in my living room after his passing several years ago. I thought a pencil drawing of the event would sit nicely on the wall beside that antelope. Ryan created a piece of art that reminds me of my fathers impact on my life and I am proud to have this art hang on my wall. This drawing will be passed down to my son someday.
Ryan began hunting much like I did, tagging along with his father at the age of 5. He began his first real hunting at the age of 14, hunting ducks alongside his father and family. When he turned 15, he began deer hunting and took his first buck with a shotgun. Thus began a passion for deer hunting and ultimately bowhunting that continues to this day.
Ryan also began pencil drawing at the age of 5 or 6 and he and his family still retain a collection of his work from that young age. At the age of 12, Ryan took a drawing class designed for adults and learned how to draw under the pressure of having others around him critiquing his work. He attended Ringling College of Art and Design and spent a year at Paier College of Art in the early 1990s. Ryan also attended John Seery-Lester’s “Wilderness Art Workshop” in Denali, fueling his passion for wildlife drawing.
After leaving art school, Ryan took on real jobs and worked as a roofer and a union carpenter. Ryan said, “These jobs reflected my personality, especially my focus on detail. Roofing has always been my favorite thing and I still miss it. Many of my earlier drawings were thought up while doing slate repair on old barns. Jobs like those really makes you think about everything you do.”
On November 1st, 2008, Ryan headed to the tree stand, climbed up into the stand and was about 25 feet from the ground when he fell to the ground. He broke his femur and hit his head on a rock on the ground. After doctors realized the severity of his injuries, Ryan was placed into a coma and recovery was a long slow road. Ryan’s family and community have been instrumental in helping him recover and get back to a career as an artist. Ryan was left with blindness in his left eye, one heck of a scar on his right leg, and a speech impediment that he admits embarrasses him, but does not stop him from communicating.
I have had several conversations with Ryan over the past couple of months and find him to be an inspiration. Today, Ryan believes that safety while hunting is paramount to success and encourages folks to remain attached to the tree 100% of the time.
What struck me most in my conversations with Ryan was his positive outlook on the entire situation and his willingness to share that his art has actually improved as result of his fall. He stated, “Having to look at the art work through one eye, forces me to focus in on detail like I wasn’t able to do before and has improved my work over the last couple of years.” Like I said, Ryan is an inspiration and I am eager to hang his work on my wall as a reminder of his dedication and his positive spirit.
In 2012, Ryan completed a portrait of artist Robert Bateman and sent it to him as a gift. The portrait is on permanent display at the Bateman Centre in Victoria Harbour. Ryan has won many awards for his work and continues to grow and mature as an artist, a hunter, and as a man.
Ryan’s favorite passion is doing commissioned work for hunters and sportsmen. He has completed many portraits of hunters as well as man’s best friend (his or her dog). I cannot recommend Ryan’s work enough. If you are looking to invest in a piece of art for your home to highlight your passion, your family, your best hunting partner, or the wildlife you pursue, I highly recommend that you reach out to Ryan at www.ryanjacque.com and talk with him about commissioning your own drawing.