‘Element’ rings inspired by daily life
Fine Arts student to sell wares on ACAD’s Main Mall in spring show
I’ve always been insanely envious of creative people.
Like musicians who can make any instrument their new best friend. People who casually doodle away and can create something frame worthy in minutes. My list of artistic jealousy is ever growing and I can now add Ryan Coulson to it.
I met up with the 28-year-old Calgary local on a freakishly warm and sunny March afternoon outside of ACAD.
With the sun blazing and Coulson taking drags from his cigarette, we talked pre-art-school days. The guy has always been interested in art and design, dabbling a little with poster and clothing design since he was a teenager.
Wanting to get the official piece of paper, he decided to go to art school for design. A year into the program, Coulson says he just wasn’t feeling it and decided to make the switch to fine arts. Now into his third year, he’s feeling more inspired than ever.
Being a part of the fine arts program at ACAD allows Coulson to dip into all sorts of mediums, including jewellery design.
He’s most certainly been seduced by the wiles of shiny jewelry over the past three years, but says the intrigue started at a far earlier age.
“My dad is a machinist; he’d always tinker around with different stuff. When I was really little he would bring in some rings and stuff that he made and I thought, ‘Man, I really want to know how to do that…play with fire and metal.’ It’s cool, ya know?”
Even without a website, Coulson is already selling his jewellery and having pieces commissioned.
In preparation for the upcoming ACAD Spring Show and Sale, Coulson designed 15 arrowed-shaped “Element” rings, ranging in an array of colours from a dark, matte black to a luscious red.
After posting a picture of his new design on the photo-sharing iPhone app, Instagram, all 15 rings sold for $25 a pop. Proof that Instagram is useful for more than just taking photos of yourself in your bathroom mirror.
I ask Coulson if he’s able to define his style when it comes to the jewelry he’s made. Like many artists out there, he can’t really seem to narrow it down. For him, it’s all about finding inspiration in the day-to-day things. His travels, skateboarding, friends, Wu-Tang Clan and rap in general. His love for architecture also has a heavy influence on what he designs. He started talking about a series of rings that he is working on that are based on skate spots from his second home, Barcelona, Spain.
Coulson gets all daydreamy when he explains how the texture on one of his rings is symbolic of the ground at one of his favorite Barcelona skate spots.
He sounds excited when talking about the future. Not only does he have big plans for his jewellery, he is also hoping to build a brand for himself one day. Although he’s just in the sketching phase, he plans to create a simple brand that houses hats, beanies, T-shirts, and leather key clips.
“I want to build a brand towards day-to-day stuff, so you don’t have to be dressing up to wear something that I’ve made.
Some of the stuff will be like that for sure down the road, but what I really want is just a back-to-basics sort of brand.”
Coulson said he’s pushing to make a few more pieces in time for the ACAD show running March 22 to 24, which will be held on ACAD’s Main Mall.
It’s probably a good idea to get there early before they sell out. In the meantime, there’s always Instagram.