Visual artist Perryn Ryan is catching eyes and adding some flavor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan with her newly unveiled murals. The Brooklyn-based artist hopes her public work will empower women to live their best lives.
Ryan’s murals are part of Pure Leaf iced tea brand’s latest installation of its “No is Beautiful” campaign. The program is timed to what the brand deems “NO-vember” that encourages women to embrace the power of “no” and say “yes” to a more balanced life.
Located at Wythe Avenue and North 13th Street in Williamsburg and Eighth Avenue and 35th Street in Manhattan, the murals feature a poem by celebrity poet, author, and actress Arielle Estoria with designs hand-crafted by Ryan.
In an interview, Ryan said she’s originally from Washington, D.C. and moved to New York 13 years ago to attend Parsons School of Design.
“I’d always been pretty creative as a kid growing up, but I kind of deviated from it just because society tends to believe that careers in art aren’t lucrative or it won’t sustain you,” she said. “So I took the more traditional route for a while and I worked in tech for a few years then transitioned to the fashion industry for about 10 years.”
Ryan said she then reached a point of burnout and took a break. Taking a step back, she decided she wanted to do more things that felt good. She began drawing again as a hobby, and she started posting her work on Instagram. People soon started sharing it and Ryan received a positive response.
“It just kind of grew from there to a point where I just decided to embrace it full time,” she said. “Here I am now. I work from my studio space in my apartment and I make my art. My work primarily centers around the things of wellness and womanhood and just really exploring what that means.”
Her work grabbed the attention of Pure Leaf; their request aligned with the message she was trying to convey, creating what she calls a “perfect marriage.” She received the poetry from Estoria and she went right to work.
“It really resonated with me, this message of just making more space for yourself,” Ryan said. “Regardless of what that looks like for you, I wanted to create work that illustrated that through the female form.”
The murals feature female body figures of various types in different poses against a black background. There are accents of colorful flowers accompanied with Estoria’s poems. The murals are Ryan’s first public artworks.
“I feel very proud to have seen this from the beginning to where it is now,” she said. “I’ve spent the last several weeks working on it on a small scale on computer screens, so to see it in real life and in tangible form where people can interact with it is very satisfying. I love getting feedback from observers of the murals and just my work in general about how it’s impacting them and how it’s helping their daily lives. That’s probably the greatest joy for me.”
Ryan’s murals will be on display through Nov. 21 but she said she’s working on more projects and public works along with some upcoming partnerships in the coming year. She wants to do her first solo art show in her hometown in D.C.
“I’m hoping to take the opportunity to create more public art exhibition spaces for myself,” she said. “The root of my work really comes from my own quest to deepen my relationship with wellness and in how I am treating myself daily and am I treating myself the best that I possibly can. I use that as the source of inspiration for a lot of my work.”
To see more of Ryan’s art work go to @perrynryan on Instagram.