My studio is in my home in the greater Chicagoland area, west of the city. Our house is tucked away in a little cul-de-sac in a small tract built in the 1970s that butts up against the Fermilab territory (Google it). It’s a nice place. Cheap, too. Ivan Albright grew up here. There’s lots of forest preserve surrounding us too, so that makes it peaceful. 

I’ve settled into a spare room of our house for drawing purposes and work on paintings down in the garage. The drawing room is outfitted with our works on paper collection, and the walls are entirely covered floor to ceiling. There’s a drawing table obviously, a couch for visitors, and an adjacent table with a turntable, SP404, sound system and laptop. I have four windows that look out onto our street, and during the summertime, you can hear children playing outside. It’s comforting.

The garage is cold, dirty, unremarkable, and mainly used in the fair weather seasons. I spend most of my mornings having coffee, listening to music and picking away at drawings. Then I will usually head to the garage, paint throughout the day, hang out with the family, then return to drawing until bedtime. Come by if you are ever in the neighborhood. —Ryan Travis Christian

Photo by Joey Garfield // Ryan's exhibition, Cryin Ryan, is on view at Western Exhibitions, Chicago, through May 29, 2021