Authentic Living

On the road for the last two weeks. Christmas. Family, New Years, driving and leaving again in 3 days for a jaunt into South Fla (somewhere I’ve avoiding for something like 15 years).
Little training, lots of thinking, scarce rest, and a generally hectic work/life schedule.
So what’s the point?
The point?
Pursuit of an Authentic Life. I’m hoping that all this is the continuation and preparation towards living a more authentic life.
Let me clarify a bit.
An ultra runner, Anton Krupicka, that I follow mentioned living an authentic life in an interview. He defined this as doing things, on a daily basis, that felt meaningful and gave him joy…
This just keeps swimming around in my brain. Round and round and round…

On a daily basis.

Jen and I have talked about what this means to us, as a couple and individually. A big part of it is enjoying experiences, not things. Seeing new places in person, not on the tele. Breathing the air, tasting the cuisine, and experiencing things outside what our current day-to-day offers.
So, we’re planning on changing that. Creating our own path. It’s nothing that it hasn’t been done before, it’s just not the “normal” way to conduct an American Life. I supposes that’s part of the point.
One of the things that has me intrigued about our tentative plans is it will allow/force me to combine the 3 facets of my life, family-athletic-artistic, more intrinsically then they already are. All when I thought I was trying to separate them.
So please, stay tuned we will keep you informed as our plans develop.
In the meantime another ultra runner, Christian Griffith, has a little project he’s starting today. The Skarfing Project, because writing a food journal is so 2011. Create your own, join up, share along.

For those on the other side of my life, the art/tattoo world here’s a Tumblr for you.

Get inspired to DO something, we are.

Inspiration, a ‘treatise’ to artists

Pre-amble: thank you to Ross Lloyd & Dave Tevenal for the inspiration to write this and create new things.


“I’m not inspired.” “I can’t think of anything to draw.” “I’m just not feeling it.” and on and on and on.

An un-inspired Griffin, stage one

This is what I hear daily and have myself muttered from time to time. Excuses as to why we aren’t producing something. Why we’re sitting around fucking off on the computer, or our iPhones, or the XBox.

Do you see the pattern?

Devices designed to numb the thought process, to quell creativity, to dull imagination because its already imagined for you.

Another creature I had never drawn before

We as artists tend to sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. In the land of tattoo this generally means a paying client waiting for us to knock out a sketch so we can get to the needles and skin part of it.

Immediate monetary gratification is what we are really waiting for.

Which is okay, sometimes. But it’s extremely short sighted. It puts you in a position of always creating the same style of stuff. Just moving the pieces around, not really trying to develop anything new because it needs to be done now so there’s no time to figure out a new, a better, more interesting way.

Another forced sketch.

If you have decided to make your career as an artist, then treat it as such. Put the distractions away, pick up your medium of choice, and create something. It takes effort at times, but that’s what a job is, it’s work. Shit, we are some of the few who have jobs we enjoy and can enrich our souls at the same time. Treat it with reverence, pay it back, create something.

All the images displayed are initial sketches created when I was otherwise un-inspired. You’ll see finished projects soon enough.

Don’t Call it a Come Back

How to keep the thought process organized here? Hmmm, where to begin? I guess start in the macro, work down into the micro comings and goings.

Macro – Well it is official. Bright Ideas Custom Tattoo and Art Collective is moving to Murfreesboro. Papers are signed, utilities turned over, and keys have exchanged hands. Gods willing we will be tattooing out of the new location by months end.

Where the magic is going to happen

Where, o’ where is this mythical spot? For those familiar with Murfreesboro we are taking over the old Video Culture location. For those unfamiliar, the address is 2321 E Main St Murfreesboro TN.

Swing by if you’re in the neighborhood, you may catch us pretending like we know what we’re doing with a hammer and drill.

I continue the work aggressively at completing a series of illustrations tentatively dubbed the Rose Collection. They’re traditional tattoo inspired images with my personal take on mythology, history, and tattoo culture. The plan is to have limited edition prints, hand numbered and signed made. Interested parties get in touch if you want to tentatively reserve anything.

I am also looking into t-shirt, sticker (everyone loves stickers), postcards, and maybe even button pins or patches for sale by the beginning of the year. So stand by for the full onslaught of Ryan R Speed designs (Please insert the tone of self mockery, I really try not to take myself too damn seriously). If anyone out there knows where to get quality merchandise made, let me know.

Projects closer to completion? There are a couple. Laura’s Mermaid / Butterfly piece is just about done, I think one final sitting to smooth out a few tones and we will be there. This has been extremely enjoyable and hopefully I’ll talk her into another new project.

My “Traditional” sleeve has taken root and it is well on its way. I’m really happy with how the old school is blending with a more modern style of color and shade. It’s a great example of how when we push ourselves out of a comfort zone we can create some really cool things.

something special

Why is this so special?  I mean come on Speed, we’ve seen WAY more impressive flowers then this cherry blossom.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a fine specimen of a tattoo.  Clean lines, solid fill, smooth fades of color. But it’s still fairly basic, nothing extraordinary.

So why is it so special?

Because it is on M.  M who started a back piece years ago, and still is patiently waiting to finish it.  M who has been fighting lupus,  crohn’s disease, and many other autoimmune elated ailments.  M who is always smiling, with good things to say, and genuine interest in others.  M who can’t go a day without being in pain, even though she’s only in her 30’s, yet doesn’t use it as an excuse to feel sorry for herself.

It’s special because it made her extremely happy to get one step closer to finishing her back.