How I Got Here: Rob Ryan

Artist Rob Ryan on why his work goes far beyond paper cuts, and what it’s like to make it in your 40s.

For artist Rob Ryan, recognition took its time. Although he’s now known and loved for his paper cut work and illustrations – the subject of a new monograph published by Rizzoli – it took until his 40s to break through and find commercial success.

Now happily ensconced in a paper-strewn Bethnal Green studio, he’s able to focus entirely on making work with his hands. We met him to discuss how he kept the faith, why he doesn’t like being called a paper cut artist, and why waiting for success wasn’t actually all that bad.