Ryan grew up on a farm in rural Hamilton, IL, surrounded by rows of corn, soybeans, wheat and plenty of wildlife. That's where he grew to love the outdoors - hunting and fishing with his dad, younger brother and other friends and family. Ryan graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL with degrees in Graphic Design and Multimedia. Upon graduation, Ryan moved to South Carolina to work for the National Wild Turkey Federation. After seven years as a graphic artist in the outdoor industry, he launched out on his own as a wildlife artist and moved to Huntersville, North Carolina. He now spends his days pushing paint in his studio and listening to Johnny Cash on Pandora.

More comfortable in the woods than in his own home, Ryan has a true passion for wildlife and the outdoors. He enjoys all aspects of hunting, especially bowhunting for deer and chasing spring turkeys."My heart always skips a beat at the first sight of any wildlife when I'm hunting. All of us hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have images burned into our memory of scenes from the field - encounters with a deer we'll never forget or the way an early morning longbeard strutted up a fencerow straight to our decoy - impressions that will stay with us the rest of our lives. Those same memories are what inspire me and that's what I try to convey in my paintings," he says.

Ryan's artwork has already raised tens of thousands of dollars for conservation groups, including the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Quality Deer Management Association, whose missions of habitat conservation and hunting heritage preservation are close to his own heart.
In the coming year, Ryan plans to settle down and establish a studio in Boone, North Carolina with his fiancé Kim and black lab, Georgia. You can see more of his work and new work in his studio at www.ryankirbyart.com.

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All images on this website are © The North Carolina Wildlife Artist Society and the respective artists. Artwork images are courtesy of the respective artists.