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Ryan Patterson’s Dark Designs and Illustrations

by Jason Thibault

This week I’m going to do a multi-part feature on all of the components that make up Optimum Wound Volume One. The book is out in limited distribution but we haven’t spoken a whole lot about it unless you’ve happened to run into us at Canadian comic convention.

We’re going to turn up the volume a little louder this week. The book is something we’re very proud of. It took us four years to get this off the ground. It’s with great relief that the book has finally found its’ way onto the other side of the printing press.

Towards to the end of the book is the relatively unknown creator Ryan Patterson. Unknown at least in the comics and illustration worlds but certainly not in the underground music realm.

ryan patterson bikers Ryan Pattersons Dark Designs and Illustrations

Ryan Patterson is a killer designer based out of Louisville Kentucky. I noticed an increasing number of designs by him showing up on t-shirts, album covers and posters. He is the lead singer and guitar player for the punk / hardcore band Coliseum and runs Auxiliary Records and Design.

When the idea for an anthology was percolating in my brain I wanted to find a way to include his art. The black and white, high-contrasted images are a pretty damn good fit with the theme of our first volume. On top of that, I hadn’t seen his work featured in any other print publications and I hadn’t come across any interviews with him online.

ryan patterson killer Ryan Pattersons Dark Designs and Illustrations
I emailed him out of the blue and he agreed to do the feature. He graciously sent me a lot of high-quality artwork to use for the book. I ventured down to Seattle to see Coliseum play with Napalm Death back in May of this year. While I did get to see the band I unfortunately did not get to meet Ryan. I did however buy a copy of “No Salvation”, their full length on vinyl.

I asked him a bunch of questions for his feature in Volume One. I specifically asked what he did when coming up against a creative block. His response -
“I hit creative blocks very often… Sometimes just for a few days or week, sometimes to an extent that I want to leave behind doing music related art and design entirely. When creating art becomes a source of income, it’s often very hard to balance inspiration and imagination with deadlines and projects that might not get your creative juices flowing. While I always give every project 100%, I almost always feel that I could’ve done better in hindsight. Since so much of my work is collage based, it often just takes a long trip to the library to scour over some forensic books or seeing a visually stimulating film or record cover… Ideas come from so many different places, it’s hard to force them to emerge.”

ryan patterson oilage Ryan Pattersons Dark Designs and Illustrations
Here’s a clip of Coliseum playing in a club in Tokyo, Japan. Ryan is on guitar and vocals on the right.

You can find out more about Ryan Patterson at his website and check out more of Coliseum on MySpace.

And you can pick up Optimum Wound Volume One both at our big cartel e-store and on Amazon Ryan Pattersons Dark Designs and Illustrations.

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