Ryan McCutcheon Creates ‘Ghost’ in his Art

Artist’s work 'stems from a passion I have to create without rules'


Editor’s Note: The <Art / Code> event will bring together 15 digital artists to show off their cutting-edge work at the Aria Stone Gallery on July 27. The event is curated by David Rodriguez (aka Dr. Gorilla) and hosted by Digital Dallas. This profile of artist Ryan McCutcheon is one in our series of artist profiles.

Ryan McCutcheon [Photo: Jennifer Robison Photography]

Ryan McCutcheon [Photo: Jennifer Robison Photography]

Artist Ryan McCutcheon will be exhibiting a three-dimensional sculpture called “Bitter Sweet,” at the < Art / Code > event July 27 at the Aria Stone Gallery in Dallas, that is created with unique two-dimensional shapes.

McCutcheon says his work incorporates a “ghost” character that stay constant while each sculpture may change.

“As I learn to use new tools and equipment, the sculptures evolve,” McCutcheon said. “The shape I create for each sculpture may change, while the ‘ghost’ character stays constant.”

He said his sculptures may not speak for themselves, but speak differently to everyone.

“There are many underlying meanings with ulterior motives for each shape,” he said. “The ‘ghost’ is a representation of myself also having many meanings, from a ‘ghost artist’ for many years, to wanting a way to say thank you to all those who have supported my work with small acts of kindness.”

“There are many underlying meanings with ulterior motives for each shape.” Ryan McCutcheon

He says it’s intended to create a conversation about who he is.

“I see this body of work as a way to break my silence and continue to learn more about who I am, and how I’m evolving as an artist,” McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon’s background includes graphic design work with many ad agencies creating everything from signs, promotional items, print ads, and media applications most for television and print products such as magazines and newspapers. He also has a background in public art, and worked on many murals and sculpture.

He has a degree in telecommunications with an emphasis in computer animation, McCutcheon said.


The artist said his work “stems from a passion I have to create without rules.”

McCutcheon said, “I believe in order to produce works that are truly unique, an artist must abandon social convention and allow the full scope of his or her creativity to take flight.”

He said that creativity has no room for limitations.

McCutcheon said among the highlights of his career are his work on a National Endowment of the Arts project and work with many nonprofit art organizations. Recently, he said, he has worked with a company called Apex Events in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Also, McCutcheon said he was able to design and create many different projects, including a mural using 200 feet of EL-wire.

“I am always challenging myself to move forward and try new things.”  Ryan McCutcheon  

“My work has changed quite a bit over time,” McCutcheon said. “My paintings seem to be tighter, a lot easier in a way with more detail and have a greater presence. My sculptures seem to evolve into sharper, more complicated designs while some elements seem to be easier.

“I am always challenging myself to move forward and try new things,”  he said.   

McCutcheon is a full-time artist and he said his client base has increased each year, and that he’s taken a number of challenging projects.

Included among those are a Vertical Salad Wall created for Hilton Garden Suites, a set prop for an airport, and “a couple of unique centerpieces.”

What’s his advice for other artists?

“My advice for other digital professionals here in Dallas is to create a team, a group of supporters and patrons,” he said. 

“You can not deny one’s passion without regret,” McCutcheon said. “My worst fear is regret, I know on average you only have 4,000 weeks to live. So, my advice is to live doing what you want to do even if you have to work two or three jobs.”


McCutcheon added: “You can only fail so many times before you succeed at what you love. “

The artist said he’s not sure he follows many trends other than a lot of new technologies have become less expensive and more readily available.

“I have experimented with different types of LEDS, I have worked with EL-wire (AKA Tron lights),” he said. “I have used Laser technology. Most of these have been around for many years, but again, they are now easily assessable,” he said.

“I am most excited about being able to use technology to scale my work,” McCutcheon said. “My designs start on the computer, then come to life using many tools such as CNC (Computer Numerical Control) equipment.”

McCutcheon said he’s looking forward to learning more about the Dallas art scene.

Digital Dallas <Art / Code> Event 

On July 27, the worlds of art and code will collide from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Aria Stone Gallery, where Dallas’ top digital artists will show us how they’re taking digital design to new electronic heights. Drinks, food, and music from Digital Dallas’ roster of DJs will be provided. The gallery is 1617 Hi Line Drive, Suite 310, in Dallas. Check it out here.


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