Meet the Artist: Christopher David Ryan (aka CDR)

by Jacqueline

Artist Christopher David Ryan (aka CDR) chatted with us about his home, sources of design inspiration, and why he won’t check his phone before bed.

When we launched Spaces by Dolin last fall, we brought together all of the essentials to decorate a thoughtfully designed living space. We had the opportunity to partner with our favorite designers, makers, and artists whose work spans across furniture, lighting, and visual art. Curated by Simply Framed, our collection of art prints highlights artists from around the world, including Maine-based creative Christopher David Ryan

Christopher, also known as CDR, wears many hats. He serves as both art director and designer for CDR Studios, heads brand design for Grove Collaborative, and oversees graphics for Tandem Coffee Roasters. Christopher, as one might imagine, is quite busy. Luckily, he took the time to chat with us about his artistic style, his approach to designing his home, and what makes him feel like a “real artist." 

Brooklinen: How did you find your personal artistic style? 

Christopher David Ryan: I haven't found it per se. It has always been there. It constantly reveals itself to me. I used to search for it. Then I came to understand that there was nothing to find. Whatever I was doing was my style. I have always been in the middle of it, surfing its waves. 

How important is a comfortable workspace and living space to you and how does it affect your work?

It's beyond important... it's imperative. My work is a product of a comfortable mental space... which is much easier for me to achieve in comfortable living and working spaces. 

"Sprout" by CDR, selected for an Earthy Minimalist interior by Simply Framed founder, Dara Segal, and the team at Brooklinen

Explain the feeling of seeing your work framed and hung?

Seeing my work framed and hung gives me fleeting feelings that I just might be a real "artist". 

Describe how you hope others experience your work.

I hope others see themselves in my work. That's what I see... myself.

What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

I do not have an entirely set methodology for living these moments. I have two small children, so some mornings I wake to comfort a crying baby. Other mornings I wake to a hangover. Consistently though, there's coffee... and the promise of a new day.

At night, I do my best to practice a form of meditation, following my breath, to calm my mind and move towards rest. Sometimes, I just pass out... exhausted from the sensory input of reality. One thing that I at least try to not do in either at night or in the morning is gaze into a screen.

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