What does the journey into freelancing really look like? Today’s guest is Ryan Lynn, who is sharing his story of leaving his graphic design job for life as a freelance illustrator. Notably, Ryan has now worked multiple seasons in a dream role for the Philadelphia Eagles. We’re diving into the experiences of a creative entrepreneur, dealing with imposter syndrome, putting yourself out there, and much more. 

The Focused Photographers Podcast was created based on the idea that the most incredible tool for learning is a deep dive into any given topic from multiple perspectives. Join us every other week as we explore important topics, with host Daniel Moyer and a variety of guests offering different perspectives! Make sure you’ve hit that follow or subscribe button on your favorite podcast player to get notified each week as we air new episodes!

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REVIEW THE SHOW NOTES

From graphic design to freelance illustration(3:05)

Show the work that you want to do (9:28)

The hurdles to getting started (13:15)

The big break (19:00)

Making your own luck (22:29)

Charging for your work (26:23)

Scoring the job with the Eagles (32:25)

Feeling comfortable saying “no” (39:33)

The importance of relationship building (44:05)

Dealing with imposter syndrome (49:11)

The creative process of illustration (52:04)

Continuing to grow as an artist (56:46)

Connect with Ryan (1:09:02)

 

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MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Creativity Workbook

 

CONNECT WITH DANIEL MOYER​

Website: WWW.DANIELMOYERPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Wedding Instagram: @DANIELMOYERPHOTO

Business Instagram: @GETFOCUSEDPHOTOGRAPHERS

 

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Review the Transcript:

Dan Moyer
Hey friends, I’m Dan Moore and welcome to the focus photographers podcast. Today’s guest is Ryan Lin, who is this amazing illustrator that has done work for almost every NFL football team, a bunch of Major League Baseball teams, Miller Lite concerts, events, and so much more. He gets to draw for a living. And what he draws is so different and unique and so cool. He currently is doing a bunch of illustrating for the Philadelphia Eagles, which is, if you talk to him, you’ll hear and when you listen to this episode, you’ll hear it’s like hitting the jackpot for him. If you drove through Philly at all, in the 2018 2019 Super Bowl run, where they ended up winning, you’ll have seen this billboard that he illustrated for Miller Lite with an eagle flying away from the stadium holding a miller lite can is pretty sweet. Or actually, if you’ve been to any Eagles games recently, there’s this incredible 100 foot long mural that he illustrated. But what makes this story worth sharing, at least what I think is that he wasn’t really interested in being a business owner or freelancer. And I still don’t think that he is back in 2016 2017 2018. That era, he he was okay in his nine to five graphic design job and it because his vision of what the entrepreneur life was just wasn’t for him. And I remember years ago encouraging him to go out on his own, but he just wasn’t interested in it. But now obviously, there’s been this huge shift, where he’s making much more money than his nine to five design job and enjoying what he’s producing, enjoying the work that he’s creating so much more history of how he got there is just awesome. And we get into a bunch of that in this episode, along with how he just put in years of work, doing passion projects, and drawing for fun to get his name out there in front of the right eyes. And this was after his three hour daily commute and putting in his 40 hours. He is super inspiring to me. And it’s such a great example of what happens when you follow your curiosity. When you keep doing the stuff you enjoy. You keep putting yourself out there and making your own luck. This episode is actually a special one for me because I’ve known this guest for my entire life. Ryan and I are cousins and we have been close for our entire lives. We were best men in each other’s weddings. He’s the funniest and wittiest person I know and watching him go from regular desk job designer doing trifold brochures for banks to soul filling work that he’s doing right now is so inspiring. I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for him. And I’m super grateful that he agreed to record this episode with me it was more fun is that we use this as an excuse to get together and record it in person. One more thing before we get to this episode is that if you’re a photographer, and you’re feeling stuck in a rut and just aren’t playing in your photography anymore, and doing things to get out of your comfort zone, I put together this little guide called 25 ideas and projects to amplify your creativity. If you just go to focused photographers.com/creativity 101 that’s focused photographers.com slash creativity one on one, you can download it there. Okay, now here’s my conversation with Ryan Lin.

Dan Moyer
All right, so let’s start from the very beginning, shall we? You are a designer, you went to Kutztown. You were working for a bunch of companies. And then now you do your favorite work, which is like designing for football teams and beers and all that stuff.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, I was a graphic designer, by trade for for a while there. And then I decided to branch out into illustration. And now that’s what I do all the time. It’s just illustration. What’s the difference between graphic design illustration? Well, graphic design is like logos and websites and, you know, other things like, you know, printing materials, whatever illustration is just drawing, you know, and there’s design, you know, with that, also, but it’s mostly illustration. And you know, the design shops come in handy a lot. But most of my day is drawing unless, you know, website design, which Yeah. Oh,

Dan Moyer
that’s interesting. I see what I’m just like lob and like the easy questions that you write to like, Thanks, still do. All right. So you get out of college. And it’s like, you’re just working for the man, right? Like you’re working for, like these big companies. What was that? Like?

Ryan Lynn
It was, it was cool. You know, it’s a great way to learn how to do you know, what you go to college for, it’s like, you learn it, but then when you get into the real world, it’s you have to actually learn how to you know, apply what you’ve learned in college. So that’s what like the first like 10 years of, of my design career was was just like, you know, listening to the art director or the owner of the company and just trying to create whatever they wanted. And then you know, sometimes you get to do what you want, but it’s not about you. It’s about what the client wants. It’s about what the owner of the company wants and that’s, you know, where you you just do that you execute essentially Yeah, but dude, very,

Dan Moyer
very, very early on, like 2014 is when I got married and still best best man speech of all time, all the weddings I’ve ever been to had to throw that in there. Yeah, Ryan our best in each other’s weddings. We’ve known each other for a long time. But we’re also related roles, or moms or sisters. So,

Ryan Lynn
and you know, they’re listening, by the way. Hi, Mom. Hey, Mom,

Dan Moyer
how’s it going? I hope you’re listening. I don’t know if my mom was no one. No one was, hey, last few listening. So you, you like are working for the man. And I remember us having like conversations or whatever, you know, after, after I got married. And um, you know, I’m just, you’re, I remember you driving like an hour and a half each way to go down to the one big company. And then you moved up to the Lehigh Valley. And just like, it was just a crazy time, it would be like, Hey, you should actually like run your own business. And you’re like, hell no, like, I have no desire to do that. That’s true.

Ryan Lynn
I still don’t want to do that. But what I do now is I’m a freelancer. And all I do is the work that I want to do, which is awesome. What I don’t want to do is like, have another person that I employ that I like, have to delegate to or, or that like, in the traditional kind of business owner sense, like I’m a business owner branches, my stuff.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, you still have to do all like the taxes. And you still have to do like all the stuff for sure. I guess you don’t really have to do marketing so much. But you did do marketing, in like those middle days where you’re like working and traveling and all that stuff.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah. Yeah, taxes are important. Yeah, so I do that, unfortunately. But, you know, I don’t have to, like worry about like an employee or keep them like, busy. You know what I mean? Because it’s like, sometimes, as a freelancer, you’re the really busy or sometimes you’re not. And I wouldn’t want to, like have to find stuff for someone to do. You know, because I’ve been on that side before where it’s like, we’re slow. And the owner of the company is like, I don’t know, make a Christmas card for my family. It’s like, oh, God, dammit, I don’t want to do that. And, you know, having the flexibility of just being myself is like, hey, it’s down. You know, I’ve between projects right now. So I’ll just draw a picture. And just, it could be whatever I want. And that’s the coolest part that’s like that. That’s the no going back. Like, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to like working for somebody. Because once you have the freedom of just like working or not, it’s it’s taking the day, taking a nap in the middle the day. All

Dan Moyer
right. So when we’re just like most of your work come from now on like, Who are you working for? And what kind of stuff are you doing on like a regular basis. Now,

Ryan Lynn
most of my work? My biggest client is Miller Coors. I started working with them in like 2016. And it was like one job at first doing something for like the Atlanta Falcons or something, or I forget what it was the first one, but it was like, just like a cool illustration for like a beer, like lifestyle kind of brand. And it was Miller Lite. And then I did that one. It was cool. They loved it. And then they were like, Hey, do you want to do another one? And I was like, okay, but I also have a job too, which I never told them. I was like, I was like, Yeah, I’m a professional. This is what I do. I didn’t even like, you know, I like took my my video calls and like the conference room at work and like was like, Hey, I’m gonna be able to call. Nobody come in the conference room. It’s totally for our job. Don’t worry about it. Like, it wasn’t and I just like made sure that like I like, you know, fake it till you make it kind of thing like, yeah, yeah, look at the conference room. I have like, this is really great. Like, this is definitely mine. And like, that just kind of kept on going. And now I still my biggest client still is Miller Coors and I’ve done like, I mean, I want to say hundreds but it might be like of illustrations for them. And it’s been awesome. They’re great way I love it.

Dan Moyer
Do you think that they cared about like, the fancy conference room and all that stuff? Like did that actually help? Or was it just like that was out of your head? Yeah. Oh, I need to present this as like the way I need. Yeah, cuz

Ryan Lynn
at first I was like, this was before, like, everybody worked from home. So like, kind of where you worked was like, I guess I don’t know. Like, more noticeable. It’s like 2016. Yeah, yeah, right now. Yeah. Now my, my video calls are like someone’s in the bathroom. Like, it’s not like no one cares where you are now. But back then it was like, I don’t know. Like, I want to make it look like I’m somewhere professional, but I can’t show it. Let them know that I’m at my job that I work at. But anyway, yeah, so that’s, that’s, that was the beginning. Yeah.

Dan Moyer
What I think is wild is like you were working this job. It was like below Philly. You live in Lehigh Valley. You’re driving like an hour and a half each way. And, and like before you even got any jobs. Right? You were just making these posters? Yes. So can we talk about just like when you started and you’re like, Hey, I’m just gonna, like start making these posters and then sell them. And then it seemed like there was this like progression, where all of a sudden somebody saw some posters from a big company. And then that’s what like, led to it for sure.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, it doesn’t like no one’s just going to call you with a job out of nowhere unless you have shown that you can do the job that they want. So, so I try to tell this to you But who need, you know, the Kutztown that the college I went to will sometimes ask like, people will email me from there saying like, hey, the professor gave me your email, can you give me some pointers, like, you have to put things on your website that you want people to hire you to make, like, you can’t just like do the projects that you do at Kutztown, which is like make a type, make it, make a restaurant menu, make whatever logo, like, unless you do a poster of an illustrated something, and put it on your website, no one’s going to hire you because they can’t, they don’t see that you can do that. So you have to show that you want to do that. So that wasn’t my goal. When I started drawing pictures, it was like, what it was, was I was like working like doing like websites and just like, you know, brochures and whatever, just like you know, trifold brochures for banks, which is just not fun. I mean, it’s whatever, it’s whatever it it’s pays the bills, you know, it’s like, you know, when I went to school for and then I like went to I met this guy through a mutual friend who was an illustrator, and he worked at like a pawn shop or something. And then he just like, did illustration, like, you know, he was an artist, you know, on his own time. Yeah. And I went to his house and just saw like his setup. And I was like, I didn’t tell him this, I immediately was like I am. In the, I’m doing this wrong. Like, here’s a guy who’s just like, making whatever he wants. And it’s awesome. And I’m just here making like, whatever for a bank, and it’s stupid. So that was like, like, I can pinpoint, like, the time I met this dude was like, I need to start doing my own thing. What am I doing? Cuz it’s been like 10 years at this point of designer, and I’m like, you know, just kind of like a little bit nap before you had this. Like, big bow. Yeah, like, yeah, like, there was like a, that was like an epiphany of like, like, why am I not drawing something I used to draw all the time. Now I just do like logos, which I love doing logos. But like, I mean, I’m doing this design work, which is fine. But like, I’m not doing anything that I want to do. Yeah. And then I started doing that also. So I’d come home after the long drive, you know, it’d be like seven o’clock, before I had kids. And then I would like draw something, I would draw something like it didn’t matter, like something. And then eventually, like I was really into screen printed posters at the time, like clay knows which I still am. But at the time that was like, a lot bigger than it is now. It’s kind of fell off a little bit. But so I would like, well, I want to make a screen printer poster. I don’t know what it’ll be. I don’t know. Like, again, no one’s gonna hire me to make one because I don’t know that I can do that. So I have to make one myself first. So I started drawing like these art prints. And I just, you know, out of my own pocket just like paid a screen printer to print them. I submitted it to like some like poster blogs. And I was like, Hey, here’s what I made. And they, you know, they posted it, people liked it. And they sold out people bought all the posters. And I was like, This is great. Like, this is awesome. Like, this is like every time when email goes off, it should be a cash register and always be somebody just bought a poster. And it was awesome. It was fun. And I didn’t make any money at it. Because all the money went to the printing of the posters. Yeah.

Dan Moyer
was the first one the underwater blue guy. Oh, and then the next one was the the red one. The red? Yeah, I have them all in the basement. Well, yeah. Well, they’re

Ryan Lynn
not worth anything. You know, they’re

Dan Moyer
priceless to me. Sure.

Ryan Lynn
So, but But what that did was be like, show me that like, hey, there is a way to draw pictures and have people want want them. If that makes any sense.

Dan Moyer
I hear like, what you’re saying, I love all this and stuff. But the amount of people who I feel like are hearing this, like, Oh, that’s great for Ryan, like, that’s awesome, whatever. But like the grit or the determination, or the whatever you want to call it to be like, I’m going to work this job. That’s a three hours of driving through like eight hours of like, doing stupid, shitty work that like I’m not interested in coming home than me, like, I’m going to spend more time doing that feels like, like a big hurdle.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah. I mean, it’s a grind. That’s, that’s a that’s a good word for it. But the difference was, it was what I wanted to do. So that was the little bit of a change, and also was illustration, whereas, you know, it wasn’t graphic design, which we talked about, there’s like a line there. Sometimes they overlap. But it was a different discipline enough that I didn’t feel like I was still doing work. You know, I mean, plus, it was what I wanted, it was awesome was like this is this is what I want to do. So, you know, you kind of hear people say like, You’re right into like someone who was like, oh, you know, what, if I could, you know, if I could stop my job, and I would I would do this next. It’s like, there’s never a clean, this is over. Now this starts you have to do at the same time. Like you have to, you know, say hustle grind, because that’s bullshit. But you do have to, like, do both, you know, somehow. Yeah, you have to like, you know, turn one faucet off as it turned the other one on because you can’t just be like, I’m gonna stop being a waitress. And now this I mean, maybe but you kind of have to do both. Yeah,

Dan Moyer
was it? Was it like part of the master plan to just start doing these posters and then the posters gonna lead to something else? It was like, no, no, I’m just gonna start drawing at night. I’m just going to do that. That’s what 100% I had never thought that you didn’t have the plan. Totally figured out like you’re ready to go like

Ryan Lynn
me not having a plan. What No, but like the

Dan Moyer
point of The what I think is funny about like the jab at that is like, many people will be like, I need the list of all 10 steps to get from A to B. And they don’t even take any of the steps because they can’t see the whole plan. But it’s like, no, no F that. I’m just gonna, like, you’re just like, No, no, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this one thing, I’m just gonna start drawing, because I like that the evenings, I can do some shit. And then not even that it’s gonna lead somewhere. It’s just like, let me just do this, because it’s fun. And

Ryan Lynn
it was that it wasn’t like I was standing on one side of the river. And I needed to get to the other side. It’s like, we’re on the rocks, I need to jump on to get to the other side wasn’t like that. It was just good

Dan Moyer
analogy. Right? Right. Damn it, that was good. That’s gonna be the highlight for Instagram, right?

Ryan Lynn
There’s the t shirt. But the it was, it was more like, I’m just gonna do this. And, you know, I, maybe someone I want to make enough money at it to like, pay for the printing of making more of these things, I kind of want it to be like more of an artist because I was like, you know, as graphic designers know, after a while, it’s just like, you’re, you’re kind of nameless, in the whole process. It’s like, you’re executing someone else’s vision, usually. And I kind of got tired of that. It’s like when I make my own shit. And eventually, like, that kind of led to you know, I had a website, I was putting this work on the website. And that’s when, you know, the art director for the agency that works for Miller saw my first poster, like, it was like, kind of like, poetic justice or whatever. But the like, the very first poster that I released was in like the, the, the creative brief of my first Miller project of like, on their inspiration kind of mood board that they have that they like, the first page of the of the brief is like, here’s what, here’s the vibe we want. Yeah, and like, in there was like my first poster. I was like, shit, like, this is a direct line from like that, to what I do now. It was like, and that doesn’t happen. If I don’t like, do what I want. On the side after work. Like, again, no one’s gonna pay you to make something that they can’t see that you can do. Yeah, that makes any sense. So, you know, by putting that like, you know, screen printed poster on my website, the art director, whoever, whoever how they ever got, they got there saw it and like, Well, this guy can make posters. We need a poster. Let’s hire him to make a poster. Yeah. And, you know, have a look back. Like it’s that was that was like, it snowballed from there. And then I got so much work for Miller that I left the design world. Well, I mean, agency, yeah, world. And now I just do it for myself. And it’s still going strong. I it’s just to get more clients. And the more work you do, the more you know, different kinds of work to do, the more the clients see that you can do other things, and then they hire you to do those things. And that’s just, you know, just how it is. Yeah, it’s awesome.

Dan Moyer
How many? How many posters did you do before you left the company? Like for yourself? Because I’m thinking like,

Ryan Lynn
there’s a lot like art prints? Yeah, I

Dan Moyer
don’t know. Like, it wasn’t like, I’m gonna create this first poster for that. And then somebody’s like, oh, well, we need to hire you for Miller Lite. Like, yeah, you put it out there for a while, maybe, like,

Ryan Lynn
less than 1010 or so. But, you know, screen printing posters is like a process and it takes a while and I had to, like draw it. And you know, it wasn’t like, it was like, it was a while years. Yeah, um, yes, yes. A couple

Dan Moyer
of things. There’s, we have four of them downstairs. And this is the customer. There’s a bunch of them that we don’t have, but like he were downstairs in the basement where nobody goes, that’s where they’re hanging on the wall. That’s where the playroom is. So the kids see them. And they’re inspired by them every single day inspired to come back upstairs. So yeah, we have these like, you’re doing this work. And it’s not like you make it sound like sort of easy, where it’s like, oh, I just like did this stuff. And then it happened and blah, blah, blah. It was like you were like hustling for a while. Yeah, there was a bunch of posters that you were just putting out and selling and that was cool. And then like something trickled in for for Miller. But you also did like something for like a festival like a big

Ryan Lynn
O. Fish. The band fish? No, no, there was that. But

Dan Moyer
it’s also like, some kind of music festival that you did like a big sign for or something for Miller. I feel like there was like, those were some of the early things. But then I remember the big thing you got really excited about was you had to do a poster for every single football team. Right? That was that

Ryan Lynn
was that was when I was like, see you later agency. Like this is for real. That was the that was the Yeah, so I’m doing similar stuff again, at home after my job. I had gotten a job closer to my house. That’s right. So I had more, you know, three extra hours to do other stuff. And I didn’t have kids yet. Or I just had a kid. So it was like not Yeah. And have two kids. I have two kids now. So the time is like, not as much but um, so yeah, the first Miller stuff. They were like, hey, we want you to draw like a dragon for like, whatever you said music poster. And I was like, Okay, I’ve never drawn a dragon before I don’t know if I can do that. Oh, was it the dragon sitting at like the on his lawn chairs like Ross like blowing fire on a big chicken? Yeah, it was it turned out really cool. But like at the time. At the time, I was like, I was like, I’ve never drawn a dragon. I don’t even know if I can’t. Like I still had this like very narrow like syndrome. Yeah, that that never goes away. That’s That’s chapter two of this story. But the I was like, I don’t know if I can even draw a dragon. But I said, Yes, I’ll yeah, I’ll do it like, sure. Let’s draw a dragon and then like it worked. It was cool. And then like that, for that was familiar also, it was, was it just like a I don’t know if it was like for anything specific, it might just be like a summertime picture or something. And then they were like, Hey, we need something for that think this might have been the Falcons, Atlanta Falcons. We need something for that. Can you do that? And I was like 100%. And then again, I was like, kind of working on this, you know, at night, but sometimes changes would come in and maybe I would work on I’m over lunch. Or just, you know, kind of turn my computer screen away from my boss. Don’t come over here. Don’t come in the conference room. I’m definitely working on something. But and as far as you’re concerned, it’s it’s for here for the agency, not for my own thing. I would put I would try to do that at home because I you know, a nice cover. Yeah. Yeah. If you my boss, former boss, listen to this. Everything was great. And I never worked on anything at work. And anyway, but um, so and then, and then after I did that one, they were like, Okay, now we want something from the Packers. I was like, okay, and I kind of that only was able to, like, make this shit like, as quickly as I possibly could, because I was like, I’m gonna get them. I’m gonna get a sketch tomorrow. Like it was like I need to first of all, I’m a huge NFL fan. And it was like anything working on like the NFL. I was like, I’m not going to let this go up. Like I am going to jump on this and attack this and I’m going to make them never want to go anywhere else because I only want to be the guy to do this because this is awesome. Yeah, so like, it was like the first four were like the they had for start it was like the Falcons packers. Lions maybe and Bengals I forget who the other four. Like first teams were and I like, and when they I would draw like sketches. Give them full color sketches. Like, I’m also figuring out my workflow of like, just like unusual

Dan Moyer
for the Oh, yeah. For the day.

Ryan Lynn
I Yeah. And I would give him some full color. And they’d be like, Wow, this looks done. I’m like, well, it’s not. But you know, and I would just like, attack this these things. Because it was so cool. It was like so like, exactly what, like, you can just kind of tell it’s like, this is what I want to do. Yeah, like, I want to work on this only. So I’m like, you know, have the agency job during the day. And then it was like, I have a jealous Atlanta Falcons picture, which is so cool, like at night.

Dan Moyer
But I want to come into that though. Because you were like, like this is happening. And you just said like, I want to attack this thing. And it’s like, again, like you’re, you’re just like making your own locker like you’re just making like your own hustle. It’s like, alright, like, I’m not gonna, like I know what the industry standard is maybe for illustrating like you do like, like, no, it’s like, no, I’m gonna attack this with me. I

Ryan Lynn
know that from a design perspective. Like, here’s another thing I pride myself in that I thought that that maybe helped with like them picking me as the guy. It was, like, when I gave them files, these were the cleanest goddamn file. Like, like, I’ve seen other illustrators files where it’s like, you see their layer palettes, like layer one. And just like, you know, Illustrator, and all these shapes, like no mind is like that tiger light has its own layer, the eyes of the Tiger have their own space, you want to like move them, every little, every single thing was layered and like, named and like behind the tiger, like the background would continue. So if you ever wanted to move the tiger over for a billboard, or just use the tiger, you could do that in the background was like, so I would spend so much time drawing shapes that you never even see. The whole time. The whole background, I will draw the whole Tiger even though you don’t see it, you know, off the frame, because, you know, maybe the one who’s on Miller Light Box, or a poster or a sign or something. So you need to have that vector Tiger. Anyway, that’s what I probably missed. That’s the design part of it that would bring in from just being a graphic designer and knowing what printers want knowing what, you know, files work. So back to your point is I had, I had no idea what an illustration standard was. But I knew what a designs stand standard was for like a clean file. And that’s what I did. And so I’d give it you know, I’m working with these agencies who work with Miller Lite. And I give them these like really awesome clean files in like, a couple days because I’m attacking this. And they’re like, Wow, this is awesome. We don’t have to do anything. Yeah, any kind of cleanup or any kind of whatever, let’s just have this guy do the rest of them. And then they were like, we have like 15 more teams to do or do you want to do these? And I was like, yes, all of them. And I was like let me talk to my boss and quit real quick.

Dan Moyer
They quit really quick. They

Ryan Lynn
were like, we might have 15 now and I was like okay, I’m gonna need more than like a minute before I like accept and I never told them I had another day job. They probably knew why are all your calls at night and what anyway doesn’t matter. They were like three hours behind so it was like really quick. I’m gonna

Dan Moyer
go back to like you being like, I’m gonna do all this extra shit. Like I’m gonna do all this extra clean up all these files are gonna be good like what’s the, what’s the game behind that? Like, yeah, you know, what, what, like you saw from your graphic design perspective that like, maybe there’s some reason that you draw the whole Tiger so it can be used elsewhere. But it’s like, you don’t have to do that, like, that’s adding so much extra time. Like, you’re not getting paid for that extra stuff. Like, what’s the point? Well, the

Ryan Lynn
point was, is to deliver something that they would be impressed with. So it was make their job really easy, right? Because that because as a designer, or from the other side, like I’ve been on the other end, where I have, like, you had to art direct a designer to do to make something and it’s like, then you get the files, and you have to give those files to the printer, or whatever. And it’s like, man, but the printer, you know, it’s not the files are in the right color way, or whatever it is, the colors are off, like I had, and I knew what, what they would want from a file perspective, or from a setup perspective. And like, so I just did that. And it was like, you know, again, I didn’t want them to have to go anywhere else. Yeah, but me. Reason for that. Yeah, you don’t need to send it to another guy to change it to PMS, colors, whatever. I’m the guy who can do this. And I’m still the guy who does this. And it’s awesome. And, but that doesn’t happen unless I like, like, like we said before, like attack it be like, you know, give them everything that they maybe don’t even know that they want. Yeah, but then, you know, it worked out and I still work with them today.

Dan Moyer
I want to clarify, like when you were making that switch from graphic designer, somebody who’s just getting paid by, you know, the person who has the vision to now I need to charge for my work. Yeah. Like, did you talk with other people? I’m just Oh, you did talk

Ryan Lynn
with other people? I I’ve actually emailed. Yeah, other other artists who also worked on Miller Lite, too. Okay. Because there’s, there’s so much work from them that I’m not the only artists, there’s other very talented artists who worked with them to so I, I would kind of talk to them Be like, Hey, like, you know, and also the agency was also I think they could tell that I was a little green there. Because they were very like, Hey, by the way, what you’re charging is way too low. All they do like sometimes or like, and I was like, Okay, well, because there’s things like usage rights and all that stuff. And I had no idea like, like rights management. Like that’s, that’s part of the illustration world. I had no idea. I still don’t really have any idea. It’s very hard to like, pin that part that that part took a while. And I still don’t know if I really have a handle on that part. Yeah, but yeah, the pricing stuff was like So such like, I have no idea like because because as a designer, you’re not involved in like, the business end of like the company. That’s what the owner does, or like the account managers like you don’t know what they’re charging. Yeah. What how is it hourly? I don’t know. I don’t charge by hour I charge about like a project, right? And, but you had to figure all that out. Like that’s as you go just figure it out.

Dan Moyer
I’m not gonna make it sound like wow, you like just had such a struggle or whatever. But there’s a lot of reasons you could have been like saying no, or like, this is a little too uncomfortable. Like, between pricing between, like, you don’t know, the licensing between you don’t know, like the industry between like, you’ve never run a business before. Like, that’s a lot of shit.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s like kind of a leap of faith, but it was like, This is what I want to do. Like this project, these projects are awesome. Like, once you work on some for like the Atlanta Falcons, it’s hard to go back to the back trifold brochure. It just first first bet like National Bank or two brands, which I’m not knocking those kinds of jobs. That’s great. And like that’s, like, you know, first 10 years of my career, we’re doing that kind of stuff. And like, you know, again, like owning those things and paid your dues, right? But it’s like, man, they want to see like your like, picture on like, you know, the wall at the Falcon stadium. It’s like, damn, like, I just wanted to do more of this all the time. Yeah. So it was almost like my thought process before I quit my job and health insurance. And yeah, and the friends and you know, I love my job. And I still, you know, talk to my friends from there. We still work together now. Like, you know, one of the things but, so it was very hard to leave that job, but it was like, I can always go back or get another job. Yeah, but I, I will never be able to forgive myself if I passed on NFL stuff. And like hell yeah. And like thought, Oh, what, you know, I wish I ever I wish I did that. But I couldn’t because I didn’t have the health insurance, which I you know, whatever. But yeah, it’s important, but what I would, I guess my, my point was, I would rather do four NFL projects and have nothing ever happened after that, and have to find another job. But knowing that I like did these four projects and like went for it. You know, like no regrets. I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have regretted. You know, trying and failing, but I would have regretted not doing it. That makes sense. Yeah. Hell yeah. That’s, that’s the second T shirt. This is a long t shirt. Yeah, but

Dan Moyer
yeah, there’s a lot of I’m terrified to fail people just like not wanting to take a step unless they see that whole process but feel like we’re on that and I want to like continue moving on down like the journey path where you’ve got these four projects, they say, Hey, we want to do these 15 I really want to get to the thing that like everybody texted you about and you know when you still see it, okay, six years later at some point, but you know, So you’re doing a bunch of projects. They come to you and say, hey, you know, we want to do 15 Eagles or 15 posters for the rest of the NFL. And like, I’m quitting my job scanning those

Ryan Lynn
the list of of teams like we want these 15 teams. I’m like, please be eagles, please be eagles. Was he goes on there. Oh, he goes was on there. Was that the one? I did? Yeah. Yeah. The bird. Yeah, I saw that one. I was like, this. I have to like, like, this is a huge Eagles fan. And I had to do it. Yeah, I had to, you know, that wasn’t a part of the reason why I was like, see, later job. I know. It’s great. But I can’t not do this.

Dan Moyer
I can’t. What was the conversation with? Wait, did you have first son? Then when you’re doing that?

Ryan Lynn
I this was I had two kids at this point. Okay,

Dan Moyer
so you have two young kids, and it’s like, Alright, I’m gonna give up health insurance. I’m gonna give up all that. Was Michelle working like at that point? Like, um, yeah.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, she had a job, too. Yeah, it was. Yeah, she had a job. And it was like, the Miller stuff was enough money that it was like, made it worth it. Or it was like, it wasn’t like, not, it was like a pretty decent amount of money. So you know, because once I figured out like, the rights management and stuff like that, it you know, it’s, it’s a price to make it and a price to use it. And if they use it past one year, it’s that price again. Yeah. Which is awesome. So like, there’s, there was years where this NFL stuff, and I was making like, like as much money as I made in my agency job just for the renewals of these illustrations that you’ve already done, already done. And by doing nothing, all I had to do was send an invoice. That was the work I had to do, which was cool. And like, That’s not typical. I don’t want to be like your job illustrator. But, you know, the rights management stuff was like, real. And it was like, you know, we’ll be okay, if, if we only do these four projects, we’ll be okay for a little bit. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll probably go back or work somewhere else, or, you know, whatever. I’ll figure that out later. But I have to do these. I have to do this project. Yeah. And then the 15. Yeah. And then it was then it just kind of kept on snowballing from there. And now it’s, you know, did the teams and then they had baseball, and they had some, you know, just other brand stuff. And then eventually, they wanted to start replacing the NFL ones with new NFL ones, because they have been here for so long. So I’m like, I’ll do the other one. I’ll do the second one. It’s, and it’s and you know, and that led to other, you know, other clients and other jobs. And that, you know, I don’t just work with Miller, but they’re my main, my main client. Okay,

Dan Moyer
so then so I want to talk about the the Eagles one that’s like literally everywhere, because, like, if there’s a lot of people who listen to this podcast that are in and around Philly, and if you’re, you know, alive within the last, you know, five or six years, even now, like I can still drive around, and I’ll take a picture of this illustration, but like, it’s still around, and it’s just like, eagle flying away from the stadium with like, a miller cannon, its talons or whatever. Yeah. I mean, that was the OG that was like, the first thing you did for the Eagles. Right?

Ryan Lynn
Yes, exactly. And that was like one of those times when it was like, I think, like, I had to do that project. Right around the time. They’re like a family member was getting married. And like, it was like a wedding. That was like a destination wedding. And I was like, Hey, I can’t go on this to this destination wedding. I gotta work for the Eagles right now. And it was like, so my wife and kids went to that. And it was like, you know, I wanted to go, but like, that was the whole like, you know, grind like, like, I’m gonna get him a sketch. I’m gonna get to him tomorrow. Yeah, or the next day because I this is for the Eagles and you gotta cancel the wedding to work on the Eagles. You have to and this was this was 2016 that I did that one and we all know what happened in 2017 they won the Super Bowl so working on something for the eagle correlation that year that yeah, I want to say that I helped win. But I mean, it was out in around in the city and and billboards and fly Eagles fly in my picture. So like players maybe saw it when they were going to the stadium picking Yeah, I am gonna win. So, so many billboards? Yeah, yeah. And other things

Dan Moyer
on several wedding days. I remember like stopping getting out of my car, taking a picture of it. And like, Look what I got.

Ryan Lynn
I get a lot of blurry texts from people driving by. look cool. Yeah, I see it. I know. Don’t Don’t lie.

Dan Moyer
It’s everywhere. It’s like it was on billboards. It’s on like coolers it’s on the side of like Miller light boxes. It’s like

Ryan Lynn
in bars. There’s like scientific signs of it. Yeah, it’s cool. And that’s not not just the one that we see. But every one of these teams I did this for their market has that in their market so I you know, I would get texts from people who are traveling like I’m in Chicago. Is this your your bear? I’m like, That’s my bear. That’s my bad. So yeah, it’s been wild. And now I work that actually transitioned me to working for the Eagles actually, like, full season as a client now not not to the not through Miller Lite, like as a licensed kind of thing or however they do it. Yeah. But like now I like, do projects for the Eagles like and it’s awesome. And it’s not about beer or anything. It’s just like, you know,

Dan Moyer
did the Eagles just like come to you? Because you were doing some work for Miller Lite and like, how did they How did that content I

Ryan Lynn
saw the eagles they do this like poster series every season. They get different artists to do posters for each game and it’s awesome. And like other teams have copied them because it’s so cool. Yeah. And I even I found the art director or the creative director on LinkedIn, I think or here’s what it was one of the one of the artists who was featured they do like local artists. I like kind of new and like have a little bit of rapport like with I never met him, but like an online stuff like that. Yeah. So I was like, Hey, who’s the guy who you talked to? I got, I got an email address. And I was like, hey, you need to hire me won’t do one of these things. I love the Eagles. I I have done stuff for the Eagles. You probably have seen this billboard around. And he was like, oh, yeah, like I have seen that around. So that led to like, yeah, we’ll try. Like, why don’t you do a an illustration like in the offseason and pressure and right but again, this is like the the grind of like, once you see something you want to do, when you’re working for yourself, like you have that freedom to do that. You don’t have to be like, Oh, I sorry, I can’t I have to like work on this other thing. Like, it’s just like, This is what I want. I’m going to do this. And I came up with like, a whole like concept of like, throughout the season. Like not even just like one poster. I was like, what if it’s like a series, because they wanted me to possibly do the away game illustrations while they had the home game guys do like each each home game would be printed. And it was like a poster that they would hand out before the before the game. Yeah, but the weight game ones were just social media posts. So they needed someone just to do those. And I was like, I’ll do those. So it was like six, you know, away games or whatever it was. And I just like, you know, did one and it was cool. People liked it. And you know, what’s what’s interesting about like, doing like a social media kind of thing is you can very plainly see if people like it or don’t. And if you know anything about Philadelphia fans, they’ll tell you when they don’t like Oh, interesting, I think about oh, yeah, so eat back. Oh, yeah, I would like click on like, you’d see like, how many likes that got on like their, their Instagram, whatever. And I was like, click on view comments. And I’d like please like it. It’s like, fire emoji fire emoji. And then you get some people who are like, you know, tell you like, what they think their game, the game plan should be for that day, which like, whatever. Like, we scroll past and like people seem to like these so. So I that was like, three seasons because my third season working with Eagle, so I work with them on other projects off and on. But again, that doesn’t happen. Unless I do like the Miller stuff. Unless I you know what I mean? Like, it’s all it’s like a talk about like rock rocks over the river or whatever. Like, you know, you have to jump on the one rock before you get to the next one. So yeah, I don’t I you know, there’d be no way I could just quit my agency job and just start doing stuff for the Eagles without all that stuff in between of like, starting drawing for yourself. Then someone sees it, and then you work for them. And then you know, then you quit your other job and then you know, it’s it’s it’s it wasn’t something like you said, like I had planned out like first I’m gonna do this, that I’m gonna do that. Then I’m gonna it’s just like, jump on the rock. And then you hope there’s another rock after that. We’re just gonna, we’re just going to do this river metaphor all day, by the

Dan Moyer
way. Yeah. Just take the first step that you can like, I don’t know. I mean,

Ryan Lynn
maybe someday the rocks are gonna run out and then we’re gonna get to the other side of the river. I don’t even know

Dan Moyer
there is another side what other like rocks? Do you want to jump on yet? Like, like, just whatever comes your way? Whatever it is. Yeah. Is it by feel like, like, it’s just like, Yes, this is what I want. Like, this feels right.

Ryan Lynn
Like, I’m not a guy who plans out or like tries to make a plan because like, like, except for the best man species plan that right? Good. Hell yeah. But like, who has a plan for like, five years and like, everything goes to plan and you don’t to make any changes, like so what’s the point of even planning that far? In my you know, which? This is not? I just don’t Yeah, I don’t even know I’m doing next week. Like, it’s just like, oh, I you know, I have, I shouldn’t say that I have I have projects, I know till the end of the year. And then I’m done for the year. Pretty soon. But I don’t know what’s coming in 2024. I don’t know if anything’s happening. I haven’t had it. But, you know, whatever. We’ll figure it out. Which might scare a lot of people and probably does. But that’s just not how I just have to, you know, I have to see something before I get

Dan Moyer
by feel that you’re like, alright, like this feels right. I’m gonna go after that. This feels good. I’m gonna go after that. And we were talking sort of, like, you know, in the kitchen when we were making coffee a little bit ago, because Fun. Fun fact, this is like the first and I think, except for maybe two other episodes, which were with the dad typographers my cousin Ryan and I are sitting in my office at my house rather than doing this on Riverside. So that’s kind of fun. But we were talking about, like saying no, is is like the best part about running a business. Yes. Right. Like and you know, it’s

Ryan Lynn
the part that I can’t go back. I don’t go back from like, someone’s offers you a job that you just don’t want to do. Like when you’re an agency guy. You have to do it because they’re paying you. Yeah, it’s so nice to be like Sorry, I don’t have the time or I just don’t want to like yeah, I’m over is that for me? That’s so sick having to be able to do that. But there’s no

Dan Moyer
ego behind that. Right? Like, like, as we were talking about this, you’re like, you know, like, I’ll get stuff from other people and like, Oh, can you like clean up this logo for me or whatever? And you’re like, No,

Ryan Lynn
I just don’t want it. Yeah, yeah, it’s not an ego thing. Like, like we talked about, there’ll be times when I maybe have to take those jobs. But right now, I don’t have to, and it’s awesome. It’d be like, I don’t design websites anymore. I don’t want to I hated it. Like, website design is not what I want to do. I did not like it. Yeah. And it was like most of what I did at my last job.

Dan Moyer
Yeah. When you when you feel comfortable saying no, is it because one like, I’m assuming there’s probably other things like one, you know, your financial bases are covered, because like, the posters and like all the work you do for Miller Lite is, you know, paying you good money in the RE ops for the license stuff. It was like, there might be situations where, you know, you have less work, it’s like, Alright, let me do some of these, like, little jobs here and there. But it’s not like, like, is there well defined boundaries that you’re saying, like, Okay, I’m, I’m not doing this, or that, again, sort of by, you know, I do kind

Ryan Lynn
of have like an internal, like, sort of internal like, bar, I guess you would say, like, if this project isn’t going to, if I’m not going to like it enough to put it on my website, I don’t want to do it. Like, I don’t want to do a project just to do it. Or, you know, because it doesn’t help anybody like you. If it’s not awesome. And I’m super happy with it. Like, I’m not gonna do it. Because I’ve, I’ve done too many, you know, decades of work of like, yeah, like this brochure for this thing. It’s cool as college brochure looks great. But like, I’m not going to put on my website, because it’s not, you know, me, I guess, I don’t know. So yeah, it’s like, the kind of internal questions I asked myself is like, will I be proud of this at the end of it? And will I want to show other people this? While I wanted to put it on my website? And if those answers are no, then I probably won’t do it. Unless if I don’t have to, because it’s like, you know, I don’t know. It’s not, that’s the best part about being your worker for yourself is being able to say no, yeah,

Dan Moyer
there’s in the photography world, there’s so many photographers who like, they just take everything, and they’re like, Oh, I, you know, they’ll put in a Facebook group. They’re like, I’m so tired. I’m so burnout. I’m not doing my editing, I’m not doing this. And then they’ll like, you just see it, they’ll posted like their story. It’s like, Hey, everybody, sorry. I am so behind on emails, like, here’s like, the things that are coming up. Here’s the, you know, this shoot, and these sneak peeks are coming up. And there’s like this list of like, 1015 weddings, like, Oh, I’m super behind in there for months behind him, just like, you gotta find boundaries somewhere like, like hustle and all that stuff. But I’m, at some point, you’re just burning the candle both ends, even if you’re chasing, you know, a whole bunch of money and whatever. But, man, it’s just seems like it’s really hard for people to say no, like, really hard.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, that’s true. And like, I’m pretty fortunate to be able to say no, I, you know, don’t get me wrong. Like, I rarely say no, let me say like, if it’s because my clients now are so curious that like, every job they want to do with me, I want to do also, like, I don’t, they’re thinking of you specifically, I’m gonna hold on a random this, like, you know, sometimes, but so I’m always the guy who doesn’t say no, like, I’m always like, even tell them when I do have to say, No, rarely, I’m like, hey, you know, you know, I want to do it. But you know, I can’t, for whatever reason, schedule, whatever, but, but if all you’re doing, if you’re letting all the shit that you don’t want people to see, like, take up most of your time, like, you’re never going to get to that stuff that you can put out there that other people are going to see to hire you to do that stuff that makes any sense. So it’s like, if I spent all my day like, sending emails and invoices or whatever, you never get to draw that picture that you put on your website that some other client sees, and says, I want one of these to, you know, you gotta like, make sure you’re still creating something you’re proud of, not just taking the job to take the job. So, you know, that’s easier said than done. But you do have to make sure that, like, you’re putting out what you want people to see that you can do. At the same time when you’re taking the jobs that you have to take to pay the bills, like it’s a super easy thing to say. Is that is that yeah, do

Dan Moyer
are you an anomaly in that like, like, this is your path? And how happy because I feel like everybody’s like, Oh, well, if you’re designer, you don’t like a post on Instagram every day, you know, show up there, you know, do stuff for them. It seems like there’s there could be that way and I don’t know enough about your industry. I know the photography world is like if you’re a coach, if you’re a photographer, like just got a post on Instagram show up there. Versus like yours seems more like, like a roundabout way of networking. Like, you know, like there’s, there’s like you’re putting this work out and like sort of in this community over here of illustrators and posters and, and then once you’ve got into some context here, it’s like alright, well, I know this design, I’m going to talk to them and I know this designer has this contact for that person. It’s more of like a people’s opinions don’t change your view, unless you do something wrong. Right. And so like, you have these people who that are other designers who are like fine to help you out. You have these like good contacts that Miller co oars and like, you know, the Eagles and stuff and they’re happy to help you out. And then assuming they talk with other people, it just seems like it’s more of a, like a relationship building thing rather than, like, I’m gonna post this one time. And like, hope that somebody sees it and goes back, you know, I mean, like,

Ryan Lynn
like, I think we talked about this off pod, but I’ve never I’ve never gotten like, an Instagram like, lead for like a job that was like, legit, maybe, maybe sometimes, like, the Instagram stuff is there to qualify you to someone who’s like, maybe wants to hire you like call check out his Instagram, like, oh, look all that. Because that you can you can update that stuff way easier than you can a website. So. So a lot, there’s a lot of projects on my Instagram that aren’t on my website, just because it’s like, then you’re behind the hatches or whatever. So that stuff is there just to prove that you’re legit. But I don’t think I’ve ever gotten like a huge job from Instagram in my DMs. Yeah, like sometimes, but it’s always usually just BS, or like someone who’s like, not familiar with how it works, or just like know how much it costs. And they’re like, Oh, I didn’t realize it’d be more than $200 it’s like, yeah, dude. So, you know, the Instagram stuff was, there’s people who all they do is that yeah, and they’re good at it. But that takes that takes like so much time. Like, like, I’m just trying to do like a process video for this Eagles poster I’m doing now. And it’s like, I don’t have the hard drive to like record 40 or 50 hours of 4k, digital drawing, I just don’t like. So it’s like, you know, the people who can do like a procreate drawing, you know, and make it a snappy Instagram real, like, that’s their job is that like, it’s hard to do the real work. And also like, at least for me, anyway, to also like, keep an eye on like, oh, I should record my screen for five minutes. So I can cut together like a process video, which is like doesn’t really show the process? Because it’s like, you can’t Yeah, and every one of those you’ve ever seen is like highly curated, and they probably draw on it a couple times. And then, you know, so you know, so the Instagram stuff, I don’t usually do it as much as I probably should. Because there’s people who are like, super good at like, being an illustrator on Instagram who have like 20,000 followers or whatever, but like, how much work are they getting? I don’t know. I have a question.

Dan Moyer
I’m wondering. Like, I mean, you probably see like, when you post stuff from the Eagles, whatever, like, are the Eagles people liking the posts and stuff versus or is like just coming through their social channels, right? Like, I can’t imagine that, that most of the art directors and whatever, they’re, they’re humans, and they’re probably also addicted to their phones, like the rest of us and they’re scrolling through Instagram. I can’t imagine they’re going to designers and like looking for on Instagram.

Ryan Lynn
I don’t know, I think that’s how I get some jobs like, because the Eagles when they when they post an art piece from an artist, they shout out the artists Oh, right and tag them, which is awesome. Because it’s about the art. It’s not right. Don’t try to say this is from us. This is like look at this artist we’ve worked with. And I’ve gotten word work from that. Right. So I guess I guess from that point of view, Instagram, I guess I have gotten jobs. But my point is I’ve never like posted a picture on Instagram and then got a DM from like, somebody crazy. Like it’s been like an email. It’s the credibility from the eagle saying we worked on this. Email is where like, for me, the real you know, if you’re serious about doing work, you’ll find my email address, which is which is easy to find. Like an Instagram DM does not usually happen because it’s just because it got so many and it’s just like you whenever. So if they’re serious, they’ll email you and then it’s like, okay, this is a real, like the PGA Tour. I did some T shirts for them. That was because of the random stuff. Yeah, yeah. Right. I had to like learn about golf. Like before the call. I was like, I don’t, I don’t know.

Dan Moyer
Golf balls and like a club by

Ryan Lynn
like, was googling scrambling like Wikipedia, like what is golf? Like, I don’t play golf. I don’t know anything about it. But like, you know, like, figured out the PGA Tour pretty quick. And I worked with him a couple times. But it’s been awesome. But like that, that doesn’t happen unless I do the eagle stuff because they’ve referenced that stuff where they see the eagle stuff on my website. Again, working on stuff I want to put out there. Like it’s not going to make the website probably not going to do it.

Dan Moyer
You you sort of like mentioned imposter syndrome is like Part Two I’m curious about you know, we can dabble now we got time still, you know, you’re doing all this stuff. It’s like, you know, you said before, like I don’t know how to draw dragons. You’re like Alright, I’m gonna go look at how to draw a dragon. I don’t know anything about golf. Let me go look, look at that. Is there the pressure of like, holy crap, I’m designing for this football team that I’ve been watching for, you know, my whole entire life My family loves like, do you feel like you have earned that spot and like, or like you’re able to do this stuff? Or like, all of a sudden you’re gonna like put the pen to paper and be like, shit, I’ve got nothing left or like, any of that stuff hit you.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, all the time. That sentence you just said is like, my whole shit is like, you know, I’ve done like, I think Over 20 or so, pictures or illustrations for the Eagles at this point? Yeah. And I’m like, I’m amazed every single time that I finished one that I was able to do it. I’m like, holy shit like I had I banged out another one. I don’t know how I did it. But you know, I’m working on one now where it’s like, like, like, this is like maybe the 21st one. I don’t know how many of it’s been through season three of this. Yeah, like, at some point, I’m going to run out of ways to draw on Eagle. And then every time I start a project, it could be anything. I’m like, is this a project where I turned back into a pumpkin this is, this is all over. And then like, but that’s everything. And then you get through that and then you do a sketch and like, okay, it’s this isn’t bad. Like, I don’t hate it yet. And then you will hate it. And then, and then you’ll think it’s, you’ll keep working on it. And then about, okay, it’s, it’s pretty cool. And then you’ll get sick of it and think like, it’s, it’s, I’ve been working on it too long. Do I think it’s cool anymore? Or is it just because I’m sick of looking at it? And then you put it out there and everybody likes it. And it’s awesome. And you’re happy with it later when you go back to look at it? Yeah, like, like, here’s the test is like, I’ll work on something on like a Friday. And on Monday morning, when I turn my computer back on again. All I’ll either like it or the shit like this is awesome. Because you haven’t seen it for a while. Or I’ll be like, Oh, no. But then like, the things you need to change are blaringly obvious when you don’t look at it, you gotta like step away. Like, like, like, it’s, it’s, you know, if you work on something continuously, all hours the night like, you’re never going to see, you know, the little things you have to like, update. Whereas if you like walk away for a night, you know, the next morning, I’ll be like, Wow, this face looks nothing like Jalen Hertz. What, like, what am I looking at? So that’s kind of part of the process of like, the imposter thing is like, this is going to be bad. Everyone’s gonna hate this. But then like, you just work through it. It’s just like, I look, I look at every project, almost like a, like a mountain. Like, you gotta you start at the bottom. It’s like shit, I gotta get all the way up there. But you just got you just start, you just start you just do it. And you power through and hopefully at the end. You like, yeah.

Dan Moyer
I’m curious about your creative process. Because I feel like what you said about like, you’d like it, you hate it. You like it, you hate it, you really hate it, you really like it, you really like it. And then like, it’s the same thing with like editing or whatever. It’s like, wow, this picture is amazing. I crushed this, right? And then you come back to it. And you’re like, oh, like actually, I’ve been working on this for way too long. Like this is kind of boring. And then you’d like to step away. So you, it sounds like if I’m hearing you correctly, it’s like, Alright, you got a new job. And it’s like, Alright, let me just attack this get like some drafts done whatever. Like, here’s, here’s my thoughts, like just stream of conscious, like, make some stuff. And then you step away for a while and come back to him like, Okay, this is like the one that works. Let me adjust this work on this, you can get it to push it to the finish line. Yeah,

Ryan Lynn
it also helps if there’s like, if the timeline is like super fast, like with this eagle stuff. It was I was doing like a game day poster or illustration. And it was like the games on Sunday, whether you finish the thing or not. So it was like, Hey, by Thursday, I gotta have like most of it done or whatever. So it’s like you don’t have time to maybe do that. I’m looking at the so long I hate it. Yeah, face. So like that kind of could help to is like, I don’t have time to think about how much I don’t like it right now the clients happy with it. Like there’s there seem to be on the right track. At the end. Hey, great, it worked, or it didn’t work, but but I’ll know now for the next one what I need to do, having like a quick timeline can can help because it’s, you know, there’s all a lot of feelings you don’t have you just have time to do. It’s like I just gotta get to the next thing. You know, Parkinson’s laws know, what’s this hit me with this? Yeah, I

Dan Moyer
got to drop some knowledge. Parkinson’s Law basically says that, like work expands to fill the time allotted to the work. So it’s like, it’s like a highway, right? It’s like, oh, well, there’s too many cars on this. On this highway. We’re gonna make it bigger. But there’s more cars to travel more people go that way. There’s like, you just never catch up. So it’s like, if you have a week to finish the jobs, like, I’m just gonna finish the job in a week, or you have six to eight weeks to finish the job. Like it’s gonna take six to eight weeks. Yes, unless you’re like, really on top of it. But like, this is our photographers work because like, Oh, my wedding delivery time is six to eight weeks. Nobody gets I know several people who get it done earlier. But it’s like, everybody just uses that holy weeks up and then like start actually editing it at like seven weeks. That’s like, if you just started earlier, or if you just set your time smaller, like you’d actually really get it done. Yeah, it’s

Ryan Lynn
it’s like a juggling game of, you know, I gotta get the project out. That’s do first.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, do it.

Ryan Lynn
I’ll hit that one later, because I got eight weeks. Yep. Yeah, that’s, that’s, you know, like being a business owner or your own guy is like scheduling time blocking. Yes. And it’s like, Man, I budgeted two weeks for this and Oh, boy. But, you know, week three, whatever, and it’s part of it. But that’s, you know, you know, you can say no, if you want so if you you know, that’s kind of what I tell myself was like, Well, this is life I chose like I said, I could do it and I’m going to do it. I’m never I’m never going to not Do it because that’s not how I am. I said I would do it, you’re gonna get your picture, you know, illustration design, whatever it is. Yeah. And the time, you know, that W said, so,

Dan Moyer
yeah. Do you ever get good, go criticisms of like, work, whether it’s on Instagram or like feedback from people that like, helped you to, like, do something different or informed you? Because like you’re working, you know, versus working for like a job. It’s like, I’m working with these art directors who like, you know, they got some chops to be working for sure. Eagles and NFL

Ryan Lynn
teams. Yeah, the art directors are like, the reason why the stuff I do works, because they’re the ones who who bring the advice, or yeah, you have to have if, like, there are two different clients, like one client, like has no idea how to do this. And they’re relying on you to do it all which is, which is fine. But the other kind of client is like, they’re the expert, and they’re hiring you to execute their vision. And, and they have like edits for that. And that helps a lot because, you know, sometimes just having the freedom to anything you want is like too much too much. Yeah, it’s nice to have like guardrails to be like, hey, got to use this color green, non negotiable, and like, cool. That’s one lesson I had to think about as well agreed to make it. So yeah, the feedback helps from from art directors and stuff, for sure. I don’t necessarily pay attention to feedback on Instagram, because it’s, there’s not usually any bad stuff, people, they’re

Dan Moyer
not in the arena with you like hustling and trying to get stuff to everybody. It’s

Ryan Lynn
usually like a fire emoji. And then they are doubletap. And they go about their day. But yeah, you know, I just want to make the project the best, I’ll make the art director look good, or I want to make the client look good to their client, or whatever that’s, that’s my job is, that’s, that’s what I want to do. Because if I make, you know, them look good, then they’re gonna be like, this is the guy we hire all the time.

Dan Moyer
Alright, so in the same vein of like, feedback and criticism, and that kind of stuff, like, you know, even a designer for a long ass time. You’re like designing lots of different posters. During the third season with the Eagles. There’s like two different ways I feel like you can go you can like, go down the path of just like, coasting and like You’re like doing the stuff, you’re enjoying it, whatever. But there’s like this path of growth. How do you continue to like, make sure that you’re, you’re like staying on top. I don’t know what the correct phrase would be not staying on top of like, having a pipeline of leads coming in that but also like, how do you just continue to grow as an artist? Because, like, are you going back and like looking at old designs and like just being like, oh, like, I could have done that better? This better? Yeah,

Ryan Lynn
you always do that as a creative person. And I don’t think that’s necessarily just an illustration thing. Like, yeah, like I remember hearing, I think was like a video game designer once or something said, like, if you’re super happy, and like totally happy with your, your project, the end of the day, like, you’re never gonna grow, like you have to always wish you did something different. Or, like, you know, if you’re, if you’re, you never can be 100% satisfied, because you’ll never want to go to the next level or try something new. If you’re just like, like, Man, I crushed it. And I figured it out. I’d have to do anything else ever again. Just just keep doing the all answers. Yeah, right. Like, you’ll just never grow as an artist or creative person. Like you always kind of want to not like it a little bit at the end, which is good for me, because I never liked it at the end. So

Dan Moyer
yeah, so like, are you? How are you? Like, are you constantly still consuming other artists? Are you still Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m

Ryan Lynn
always looking at other artists, you know, art books from other artists. And I’m always, like, I’m always inspired by not necessarily what an artist makes, but like how they make it. Yeah. And be like, wow, like, this guy just did pen and ink. Just like didn’t care if he made a wrong stroke.

Dan Moyer
Oh, pen and ink. Like, yeah, there’s no tracing no redo, right.

Ryan Lynn
And it’s like, so that’s like, liberating, like, because I do a lot of my work digitally. So it’s like, I go in and zoom in 1,000% and make sure everything’s all perfect. But it’s like, what if I didn’t like that? Like, that’s, like, you know, I do stuff like that, too. So I’m inspired, like, by like, maybe the hat or the how not the what, of another artist, I’m not gonna be like, why that guy draws a horse, I’m gonna draw a horse to like, I don’t really, I look, I look kind of look at how he’s drew the horse and be like, I should apply that some of those points of view into my stuff. So yeah,

Dan Moyer
that kind of reminds me like in photography world, it’s like, alright, you know, I’m gonna get these new modifiers from my flash and start shooting, flash them and edit differently. And like, you can just play. And I think a lot of barbers do a good job of like, playing and messing around and stuff. What’s the equivalent is that the equivalent for a designer is like, Oh, I’m gonna see how this person did it. Maybe try a little bit of that. Yeah. Techniques and whatever.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah, like, like, I know, this pen and ink drawing I’m doing isn’t going to be good enough to be one of my projects, but it’s fun to do and learn something so.

Dan Moyer
So how many Wait, how many years? I’ve

Ryan Lynn
been doing this? Since 2016. So well, even before that, because you’re Oh, yeah. I don’t know. A lot.

Dan Moyer
I still like playing and curious. So yeah, like,

Ryan Lynn
you know, that’s, that’s the freedom of being your own employer, I guess is you know, you can say no, because it’s like, you know, I want to just have the rest of the We’re Yeah, after this Eagles project this year, unless something else comes up, that’s really super cool. I’m going to just spend December drawing something interesting or trying something new. Or, you know, and that’s, you kind of have to do that.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, it sounds like the thread that I’m hearing through. Like, the whole thing is like, doing stuff you love focusing on, like, what you enjoy and like, and just continuing to play and be curious throughout. Like, the whole entire process, like seems like that has been that changing moment of like, ever since you saw you know, when to your friends,

Ryan Lynn
right, and saw what he was doing. Again, that’s like, the inspiration thing. It’s like, I’m not drawing the same stuff that he was, but it’s like, I’m drawing like, wow, this guy is just doing drawings, like, why am I not doing drawings? Like I used to love to draw, and I don’t do that anymore. And I just, anyway, but yeah, that’s like, that can be you can apply that to any creative job doesn’t have to be illustration, it’s just like, you know, doing what you want. And if you do enough of it, and it’s good enough, and you put it out there, someone will see it, and hopefully, you know, over time will pay you to make one of those for them. Whether it’s a wedding, you know, photography, like you know, you know, how you’re, you have a very different, you know, specific voice that, you know, people want and hire you for. But that didn’t just happen, you just start doing that, like, you took a while to like, find that voice. And by you know, you worked for other photographers, and then you start doing your own stuff. And it’s like, that’s how that’s how you have to do it. You can’t just one day be like, and now the next thing, you just have to like, it’s like an off ramp and like an on ramp. Yeah, it’s like the faucets, you got to turn one down and turn the other one up, you know, sometimes that takes like, you know, nights and weekends and and whatever. But, you know, eventually, you know, hopefully you’re doing what you want. Yeah. And it doesn’t really feel like work because you’re doing it. And it’s like what you want to do so, you know, I don’t know. So it sounds like hustle and grind. But it’s not because you’re you want to do it anyway, you know if that makes any sense? I don’t know. No, I get

Dan Moyer
it. I mean, it sounds like I’m not saying you’re like at the top of your game. Like who knows what that top might be like, you might feel like you’re like riding this high right now. But it’s like, there might be some more levels to go up yet. Looks like we’re down or like or possible. Yeah, could go down, then go back up. But like, you know, but I think the one thing that i is, like really inspiring to me is that you’ve been at it for a really long time, you know, various different versions of like, being an illustrator, graphic designer, like all these different bumps, yet, you’re still engaging in the activity of just like being creative for the sake of being creative. Like millions of Carver’s. They only work on weekends. They don’t play, they don’t carry a personal camera around. Maybe then like, you know, we snap pictures with our iPhone or whatever. But like, we don’t, we aren’t engaged in the process of like being creative. And just even if it’s not photos, like maybe you’re just love to paint or draw or sketch. Yep. Because there’s like, when you start making money for it, a lot of people will say that, that takes away the joy from it. Like, it’s like the Dolby,

Ryan Lynn
but then you have to like it’s up to you to like, make it fun again, like, take pictures differently. I you know, I’m not a photographer, so I’m probably sound like an idiot, but you carry your personal camera around. Like, maybe I’m gonna shoot this black and white and like, wow, that was that was awesome. Like, maybe I should incorporate black and white into my, my workflow or, like, that’s how you like, learn and make new shit. And maybe like five years from now, all you do is black and white. Yeah, because that’s like, you’re the black and white guy now. But me, but you don’t get to that without trying stuff. You know, I mean, like, the Miller like stuff. And my point of view is like, a very specific illustration style that I’ve helped like them curate and like, now it’s in the brand guidelines of how it should look. So yeah, it’s awesome. And, but, you know, the eagle stuff I do is like a different, you know, style because it’s not, it’s not supposed to look like other brands. It’s supposed to look like, you know, my art isn’t whatever. So, you know, but I don’t get to that without trying all this other stuff. Like, you know, it was you have to like, keep trying and keep pushing yourself. Otherwise your stuffs gonna get flat. You’re gonna like it’s gonna be a job again. Yep.

Dan Moyer
Just gonna coast. Yeah. Okay, like that one that’s short for

Ryan Lynn
this. But you know, some people want to just coast and that’s okay. Like to like, that’s awesome. Like, if I know artists who they’ve, they have a very specific style. They figured it out. And all they do is execute that style on whatever it jobs come their way. And that’s awesome. And like, that’s, you know, you kind of the goal is to, like, have a style that people pay for. Yep. But you know, they also it also is kind of cool being like, you know, my style will adapt based on what the project calls for. So it’s like, oh, today it’s a dragon. I don’t know how to draw a dragon. But now I do. I learned I figured it out. And then like, you know, or this other thing is like, it’s a logo for you know, an insurance company or whatever. It’s like, well, that’s a different project than a logo for like a roller coaster

Dan Moyer
or whatever some Yeah, I just really liked that you have it’s on you to make it fun again, for sure. Like, yeah, it’s such a good point, the

Ryan Lynn
coasting downhill thing. And I know it’s funny, we joked about that, but that’s true. Like, that’s like, you have to always say, like doing shit.

Dan Moyer
There’s like, always periods of of like, I feel like the discomfort if you have that it’s like, alright, you can either there’s only two ways to go. It’s like you can either just like wallow in that, and then you maybe just, maybe that’s an opportunity for you to do something else. Like if you’re just not enjoying it anymore. Or like, get curious about that and find a new path. Shout out to the, if you go to focus photographers.com slash creativity one on one, if you’re stuck, I created this little download that you can, it’s 25 projects that like projects and tasks that like you can just do to inject some fun into your business again, or like into your photography. Again, it’s like, you know, all these different like, random little things like, find, find, like three complementary colors in like one picture, like, Oh, that’s cool, like random stuff that like you’re walking along. And it’s like, you see a bright yellow tree, and it’s like, blue sky, Boom, look for complementary colors. Like just,

Ryan Lynn
that’s the kind of stuff that gives you ideas for like, and then you bring them in your job. It’s like, wow, what if I like, you know, shot the sky? differently? Because, you know, I did it, and it worked and whatever. Like, that’s how that’s how you be creative. Like that’s, you know, it’s always trying new things. And, you know, you can apply that in any field.

Dan Moyer
Yeah, man. Yeah. All right. We’ve been at it for a little over an hour.

Ryan Lynn
How many T shirts that we come up with?

Dan Moyer
Yeah, IP? No. And maybe we can make Well, well, yeah. Who knows? We’ll think so. Yeah. All right. Final thoughts. Anything you want throw up before we wrap it

Ryan Lynn
up? Yeah. If it if you’re working on something creatively, and it’s not great. That’s okay. It’s always probably not going to be great. But the fact that it’s going to exist, is cool. Amen. So, a lot of times, I’ll be drawing something. I’m like, this sucks. But you know what, it’s cooler that it existed that are not existing. So sure, five right there. Nailed it. So, you know, there are no wasted creative projects, there is no wasted, like, oh, wow, it was a waste of time coming up with this, you know, I took this picture. It sucked. Like, no, that’s not true. Yeah. Never wanted to exist. And it’s cool. Because it exists. Just that’s just cool by itself. And you, you know, you’ve used that, to realize how not to take a picture or, you know, maybe I’ll take a different picture next time or whatever. So there are no wasted projects, or wasted creativity. It just doesn’t. It always goes to something. And if you’re doing something, I tell people who are illustrators, like if you’re drawing a picture, and you’re like, halfway through it like this. So it’s like, just finished, it just finished the face or who cares, but doesn’t look like the guy or whatever. Like, at the end, you’ll have like a pretty, you know, like at the end, like, kind of a face that looks weird. is better than half a face that looks weird. Just it’ll just exist and be cool. Like, yeah, you know, I mean, you’ve made something that didn’t exist before. And that’s cool. Yeah. So just keep doing that.

Dan Moyer
And as long as you’re like, looking at it, and learning from it, and eventually,

Ryan Lynn
that’ll be cool. Like, eventually, like, you’ll get to the end and like, it won’t look weird. But you got to you got to get all the bad projects that are bad drawings out first. I had heard something said someone I don’t know. T shirt. Number six. There was like 10,000, like bad drawings inside of you. And you have to get them out as fast as possible. Yeah,

Dan Moyer
that’s like, was that Simon Sinek? Or somebody, like, wrote the outliers. It’s like, the 10,000 hour rule or whatever. What’s that? Do you know the story of like Picasso in the park? Or like a lady comes up to him was like, Can you draw me just like season drawing? Like, can you draw me? He’s like, Yeah, sure. And he like, does like a five minute sketch. And she’s like, Alright, can I have that? He’s like, Yeah, $5,000. And she’s, that’s what it took you five minutes. And he’s like, No, she’s like, Yeah, what took you five minutes? And he goes, No, it took me a lifetime to learn that.

Ryan Lynn
Yeah.

Dan Moyer
I don’t know if that actually happened. But it’s good story.

Ryan Lynn
I mean, yeah. You know, that’s all right. Podcast.

Dan Moyer
Right. Where can people check out your work fine. On Instagram, all

Ryan Lynn
that stuff. Yeah. My website is Ryan Lynn design.com. And my Instagram is also Ryan Lynn design. And, yeah, all the cool stuffs out there. And, you know, go check it out. I guess. If you’re, you know, another football team. That’s also cool to go

Dan Moyer
have another football team was listening to this. What’s that? Maybe, maybe, maybe. Thanks for being here, buddy. Thanks.

Ryan Lynn
Thanks for having me on. Appreciate it.

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