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Meet Ryan Cooper Carl: Art And Community Involvement

Chattanoogan Ryan Cooper Carl discusses his art career and how he stays involved in the community.

For local artists, staying connected to the community is vital. Their art has to go beyond what they create and become a reflection of how they are benefitting their neighbors. Ryan Cooper Carl knows this and is using his artwork to stay involved with the community.

Ryan has been creating art his whole life, but his first moment of art fame came when he was in the second grade.

“I painted a lionfish for a little mermaid school performance. My teacher framed it and head it displayed at a bank,” Ryan said. “A lady bought it and my parents bought me more art supplies with the money. Since then I’ve always been doodling, sketching or painting!”

Maintain a community presence is essential for Ryan. He involves himself heavily with local events, often doing live painting shows at events hosted by CampChilla. Ryan says that Chattanooga is a city that truly supports artists through the grants it offers to local creators, how willing it is to give artists opportunities to create public art, and the many art-based events the city holds.

With all of these opportunities available, Ryan says that it's easy for emerging artists to get involved. All they have to do is be willing to put themselves out there and make connections.

“Involve yourself with as many functions as possible. Constantly network and most importantly, create create create!”

Some of the biggest inspirations behind the artwork that Ryan creates are people who inspire him and the world around him. He constantly plays with the theme of impermanence and wants to continue to show that idea with his pieces. Whenever he finds himself in a creative stump, he just puts the brush to the canvas and makes a mess and then tries to find meaning in them. “I just shut my brain off and create. When I’m looking back through my mess with fresh eyes, I’ll usually see something within it.”

You can follow Ryan on Instagram, @cooperdome, and make sure to visit his shop on Etsy here.

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