We had the good fortune of connecting with Juli Cady Ryan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Juli, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always been creative, making up stories and illustrations as a kid. Painting didn’t become a part of my life until my late 30’s. My kids were all in school and I picked up acrylic painting as a hobby while I decided if I wanted to return to college to finish my degree to be a therapist. That is when I fell in love with painting! I grabbed as many books as I could to learn about techniques and color mixing. I later watched YouTube videos from all the art teachers I could. Mostly I just painted and through trial and error and practice, decided I wanted to try and sell my art. When they began to sell, I was hooked and wanted to see if I could really do this as a career.

Since then, my art has become more than just a career. After my daughter was diagnosed with a serious mental health disorder and later my two sons with mental health issues, painting became not only a life preserver for me, but also a way to share my family’s struggles and help others. I can’t tell you how many times I have had mental health discussions with people that began with my art. I felt so alone during those early years with my children, I didn’t want anyone else to feel alone in their pain. I painted my hopes and my pain and people responded. Later, as my kids became adults and their mental health improved, I started painting other subjects I was passionate about, like climate change, racial justice, diversity and equality. I do want my art to be meaningful, but I also paint whimsical and joyous paintings too, because we certainly need more joy in this world!

I continue to learn new things as an artist and am completely overjoyed and grateful to have a career that I love so much! I have an Etsy shop where I sell some of my original art and prints, but also products like lamps, cards and t-shirts. I wanted to make my art accessible so if you can’t afford a canvas painting, then maybe a print or lamp to brighten your home or office. I also sell many of my newer paintings on Saatchi Art.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being a self-taught artist has been challenging in the beginning. I would have all kinds of ideas swirling in my head, but I had to take the time to learn how to paint each thing to be able translate these ideas to canvas. Everything was new, I had to spend time going online to find videos or images to help me. Today I have painted a lot of subjects and have much more experience in mixing colors and painting techniques, so it has become much easier! Having more confidence in my art, I actually enjoy those new challenges of creating something I have never done before.
Painting has taught me many things, but for this perfectionist, it taught me to let go more. Sometimes trying to be too perfect or regimented doesn’t create the best art. Letting go and letting your creativity come through does! It is such a freeing feeling and so cathartic!

My goal in painting has always been to create art that inspires, educates and brings hope to all who view it. If I do that, I am truly happy. When a client tells me years later that the artwork they bought is still in their home and inspiring them and making them happy-that means the world to me!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a Cincinnati transplant, but have been living here for here for 30 years and love it–it is my home! Cincinnati is a vibrant place for the arts and there are many places to check out! When we first had family visit, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center had to be on the list. The Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest in the US and has 88 galleries! The Contemporary Arts Center is one of the first of its kind in the US and has art “of the last five minutes.”

There are many great restaurants here, but some musts for first timers are Skyline Chili (yes that chili on spaghetti stuff) and for dessert, Graeter’s ice cream. Founded in 1870, Graeter’s delicious ice cream rose to great heights when in 2002 Oprah Winfrey said it was the best she’s ever had and I have to agree!

Another must if you visit Cincinnati is our beautiful parks. One of my favorites is Smale Riverfront Park, where you can get a view of the Ohio River as you swing on big adult friendly bench swing! There are paths with beautiful flower gardens, food trucks and even a carousel that adults can ride!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have so many people to recognize in my painting journey. First of all, my husband, Sean, for not only believing in me, but also packing up my art with great care and shipping it. Of course I need to thank my three kids, Ash, Keegan and Lucas, who inspired me so much and influenced my art’s direction. They still inspire me today with their resilience and strength!
I can’t forget those artists that take the time to share their how to videos! So helpful to me! I also can’t forget all those clients who have commissioned or bought my art. Some have been collecting since I began and I truly appreciate each and every one of them!


Website: http://www.juliryansart.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/julicadyryan

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julicadyryan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julicadyryan

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JuliCadyRyan

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.