Editor's Note: In addition to kindly allowing us to use one of his works as our Spring Edition graphic, featured artist Ryan Case also agreed to an interview with Menacing Hedge alumna (and current fiction editor) Amanda Gowin. You can click the images to get a larger viewand see more of his work at casetronaut.com.
An Interview with Ryan Case, by Amanda Gowin
Menacing Hedge: How old were you when you began painting, and how did that evolve from your childhood interests? Were you very young when you began your artistic pursuits?
Ryan Case: I have always enjoyed art. Drawing and sculpting were my first loves. I have only really been concentrating on painting for the past six years. It quickly absorbed me into an obsession. Then I actually began to get noticed and have collectors of my work. Still amazes me to this day. I can't wait to see what the future holds.
RC: That awesome idea came from Bridget, my wife. Most of the time it is unintentional but after i draw on a random page, a work or phrase sticks out that goes along with the illustration perfectly. Things just seem to happen.
MH: Your commission portraits are gorgeous. Can anyone order commissions, and do you have some info on how to do that?
RC: I love doing custom work!! Anyone can email me a good, CLEAR photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will then forward you pricing and sizes and we can go from there. Usually the turn around is between a few weeks to a few months. I won't release a painting until I am absolutely happy with it. So many times the process is longer because I scrap the first one and start from scratch.
MH: Do you have any permanent pets right now?
RC: I love my dogs. They are my fur kids. We have four dogs. Hank is our Mountain Cur mix. Fridge is our American Pit Bull. Pearl is our only female dog, she is a Pittie too, and Mr. Earl is our fifteen year old Beagle - the cranky old man of the neighborhood.
MH: Your family is very involved with Animal Recues. Tell me about that.
RC: Bridget and I started the Misfit Rescue Team (formerly Maysville Rescue Team) a few years ago be cause of the horrid conditions of the shelter in Mason County, Maysville, KY. We do our best to rescue animals who are close to meeting their ends, hurt and scared pets, animals the rest of the world has given up on. We are there to hold them, pet them, teach them that a loving life is what they deserve. Every animal we take in is fully vetted and spayed/neutered. You can follow us on Facebook: Misfit Rescue Team [or] our website, misfitrescueteam.org. We are now located in Louisville, KY. We are not a shelter and do not have a facility. We are a foster home based rescue. Each animal is placed in a temporary foster home until the perfect family comes along. It gives us a chance to get to know each animal on a personal level. Sometimes too personal. Three of of our four dogs started out as fosters.
RC: Haha! That poor guy. Veganism and Animal Rights are huge parts of my life. My wife introduced me to the concept [of Veganism] three years ago and the quest for knowledge is ever growing. Documentaries like Forks over Knives, Food Inc, Earthlings, really open your eyes. You see a hamburger in front of you, but your mind is detached from the fact that that processed patty on your plate was a living breathing, pain feeling, love knowing, sentient being. There is no such thing as "humane" slaughter. In the end it is nothing more than a life ending to satisfy your taste buds because that is what you have been programmed to crave.
MH: How much do you sleep?
RC: Sleep. When I get a good nights rest and sleep in a bit I feel so guilty. I feel like i was wasting time when I could be doing something productive. I get rest each night but between kids, dogs, art, work, and watching old horror movies... sleep really isn't a vacation like it was when i was a kid. I get enough rest to stay healthy and alert. I'll put it like that.
MH: Tell me about the rain dogs tattoo:
RC: What can I say that tom waits hasn't? Tom Waits is such a huge influence on my artwork. His music is pure madness, lightning bugs smoking cigars. His lyrics are spilled whiskey on a bar room floor and there is blood on the walls.
Inside a broken clock
Splashing the wine
With all the Rain Dogs
Taxi, we'd rather walk.
Huddle a doorway with the Rain Dogs
For I am a Rain Dog, too