April Artist – Ryan Calloway

When I asked Ryan to describe himself, he said, “I’m a dancer and I play jazz clarinet.” If you know Ryan, you’d recognize what an incredible understatement this is.

His bio:

Ryan Calloway is a San Francisco-based artist, dancer and musician. These combined interests inform and allow an intimacy with his subject matter: traditional jazz and dance icons. With both reverence and a modern eye for construction and layout (Ryan makes his living creating and painting 3D characters for ILM), his fine art renderings of jazz musicians and dancers from around the world are a fresh take on classic portraiture.





Israel Gorman

Name: Ryan Calloway
City: San Francisco, CA

How long have you been dancing: Almost nine years. I picked Lindy Hop up back home in Michigan as a way to get out of the house. There was also part of me that thought it would be a good way to meet girls (turns out it was!). Fortunately, I had some great guidance, encouragement, and inspiration as a young dancer and I’ve stuck with it ever since.


Bunk Johnson

How long have you been doing art? Ever since I can remember. My mom is an artist and art therapist and she had me playing with paint, crayons, markers, pencils, and so on as soon as she could. I distinctly remember her sitting me down at the kitchen table when I was about seven years old and having me draw her portrait. The catch was that I couldn’t look at the paper as I drew her. It’s what is called a blind contour drawing, and I still do them all the time for training, fun, or to just get creative juices flowing.



Alphonse Picou

What inspired you to make art: Simply put, there is inspiration everywhere and I’m easily inspired. Creatures, monsters, robots, people – all things that inspire me to draw, paint, and sculpt. Willie Humphrey, Johnny Dodds, George Lewis, Tom Sharpsteen – all clarinetists who inspire me to pick up my horn every day. My dancing is largely inspired by the music I listen to, both modern and old school, whether it’s jazz, blues, hip hop, funk, or anything else that can move me. Generally speaking, I’m inspired to create by things like nature, other creative people, bookstores, coffee shops, and museums.

Similarly, I’m driven to create by a desire to share myself with the world, whether it’s playing music, dancing, or making art in public places, or sharing photos on Instagram. I’ve always felt like a large part of why I’m here is to inspire other people. That’s also what I like about teaching dance.


Ryan sells prints and originals and is happy to do commissioned pieces. Please email him at ryan@doyourecall.com.

Contact: If you have a few moments, check out Ryan’s Website, follow him on Instagram, get lucky and become his friend on facebook, or immediately head to Etsy and buy something for your wall!


Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the Art!


Jo (& Kevin)

What do you love about this? What strikes you the most? Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook  page, or find us on Twitter us @Kevin_and_Jo and we’ll retweet your fabulous art! Don’t forget to tag it #aprilartists !!

P.S. Just so you all know, Ryan is also a very talented sculptor as well. Here’s a work in progress that I thought was stunningly good (picture from Instagram):

Calloway - Manning head
created by Ryan Calloway

2 Responses to “April Artist – Ryan Calloway”

  1. Breanna says:

    That sculpture is freakin’ KILLER. And I love love love the Bunk Johnson portrait! (I just really dig Ryan’s aesthetic, in general.)

  2. zak says:

    What a bamf.

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