The youth are in the kitchen, can you smell what’s cooking? Some of most creative work you’ve been seeing lately has been done by some of the youngest creatives in the field, you probably don’t believe me do you? Well you should… you the mainstream eyes keep a solid stare on the underground for these types of creatives; ones that shine like the moon in the black, night sky. As of recently these creatives have been coming out of their caves to change the world one step at a time, and some have achieved their biggest goals early in their careers. One creative for example is Ryan Antar, founder of Arvada Creatives and Creative Director for record label Cutthroat Records, has been doing his thing the way he wants to leading him to the path of success he’s seen in his daydreams. Recently I got the chance to speak with Ryan and get more of an insight on who he is and just what it is the young creative does for a living. You can read below!


young Ryan Antar in the flesh

young Ryan Antar in the flesh

Who are you?

Ryan: I’m Ryan. I like creating things and capturing moments as an expression of how I feel.

How old are you?

Ryan: 18

Where are you from?

Born/raised in Colorado, Currently in Maryland. I’m from Lebanon, and speak Arabic as well.

What is it that you do?

Ryan: First and foremost, I’m in college majoring in biology and on the pre Med track. I’ve been doing photography for quite some time. Ever since I can remember I always had a camera in my hand. Throughout middle school, I would make beats and take pictures for people and I think around that time is when I knew the whole music and art thing was mine. Early in high school I did a few things here and there, I had a clothing line I designed that didn’t do so well my freshman year. I gave up. I ignored myself but I kept making designs. I just wouldn’t show anyone. I had a blog called Arvada, named after the place I was born in Colorado. That name always stuck with me, and it embodies my creativity. Anyways, I would write about music and review stuff, post my pictures and art. It was only for myself. That soon died off and I totally dedicated my time to school and doing well with that. Then my senior year, I really started to take photography seriously, getting a name around the area, and just doing awesome ass shit with my friends. That’s when Arvada really started. Time after time, after many bumps in the road, heartbreaks, things I couldn’t get myself through at the time, got out the way… that’s when I had to start what I wanted. Now i have my own company, Arvada Creatives & Co., and basically the goal is to promote creativity among the youth. Empower kids to express freely and feel no restrictions from society or from people that will always talk down to them, the same way they talked down to me.

So how did you originally get into photography? What was it that made you pick that camera up the first time?

Ryan: I can’t really remember. I really just started taking pictures on my iPhone as a kid and working on my editing skills, you know ? I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I’d put stuff on Instagram. Show my mom, that’s it really. I wasn’t serious because it was natural to me. It wasn’t till I got older that I delved into the specifics and started buying cameras. I think the music scene also really influenced me as well.

When you were at that young age did you ever think you’d be taking your work as serious as you do now?

Ryan: I always knew I wanted to be great. I knew I wanted something unreachable I thought at the time, to answer that, I guess I would say yes I did know, I just didn’t know how things would turn out, but no one ever does and that’s the beauty of it all.

MTV Labs collage Ryan did for MTV

MTV Labs collage Ryan did for MTV

What would you say your inspiration to keep working they way you are is?

Ryan: I’m going to be generic. Kanye, Kanye, & Kanye. He really opened the door for me. I hate how this is all cliche and been heard a million times but it’s the absolute truth to nearly every creative my age. He showed me how to dream, gave me confidence in myself, but also humbled me. He really is a role model to so many kids, because he does everything with such passion from music to fashion to trying to design hotels, etc. It’s crazy. He’s insane but that’s just we need. In terms of specific art inspirations I go to, I have to say it’s Keith haring all the way…

So let’s go back, you’ve had your hands in a lot of different creative ventures, do you think this had an impact on your creative process and style now?

Ryan: For sure. 100%. Everything I do builds upon itself. Things I did when i was 12, 14, etc all gave me what I have today and I attribute any venture I do now to the things I’ve set up for myself, all the lessons I had to teach myself.

What would you say the hardest lesson you’ve had to teach is so far?

Ryan: To be comfortable with myself. It took a lot of courage to come out and start Arvada publicly and to start doing things with artists. I was shy my whole life and it was hard for me to express myself or show any passion to these art things because at the time I didn’t think this “artsy” shit was so cool to people. Being weird was looked down upon, now it’s something they admire and it’s totally messed up man.

Being yourself in this era of music we’re in right now is hard. You have a lot of people stealing similar swags and playing it off as their own. How do you think the Arvada style is different from anything we’ve seen before?

Ryan: It’s different because there’s actual passion and meaning behind this. I don’t want Arvada to be a clothing brand, which it isn’t by the way. It’s much more than that. I want to start a charity/non profit and help fund things through the works of fashion and art. It’s much more than what I’m doing now, I want it to be philanthropic and meaningful in the world, not just some collective, group, or streetwear brand.

What do you see in the future of Arvada right now?

Ryan: Currently trying to expand. I don’t want to ever try hard. I want it all to be natural progression. Natural processes that I’m happy with, because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Am I happy ? Is everyone else happy? But yeah, I really would like for it to become grand scale, especially among the music scene and charity-wise I want to start to enter that realm soon. Right now, I have artists with us, more music is coming soon. Not a record label or anything but, they have their own groups but under Arvada they have free creative expression and have any support they need. Artists: Reem Unknown & YTK, in part of Set Sound Collective as well. We’ve been able to fuse a music collective with a creative brand to form a really good partnership. The future is bright man.

Quick peek at Arvada's merchandise

Quick peek at Arvada’s merchandise

Have you noticed your progress from when you first started your work seriously up till now?

Ryan: Tremendously but I’ll be honest. My works remained the same, I look back at old designs and yeah I’m much better now and I know so much more but I’ve remained consistent and stayed true to myself, never switched because of trends or what was “popping” and the progress is apparent through the various artists I’m working with and just the growth we’re having as of late.

How often do you find yourself thinking or planning about your creative work? Is this an everyday venture for you or does your school work also have a factor on time?

Ryan: Oh man, school is number one priority with me. That’s all I have, that’s all I care heavily about my future. I have passions and I have aspirations that I will accomplish but I will also chase my intellectual dreams with school man. It takes dedication and lots of time to balance the heavy pre Med school work with this creative process I have and running a business venture. Not to mention the constant pressure and expectations from both school and the art aspect. There’s been times where I’ve had to study for exams the next day while trying to meet an artists deadline for work they need from me and it’s stressful.

As a student how do you find that balance between your school work and your art?

Ryan: I have no idea man, it’s insane for me. School always comes first and if people don’t understand then we part ways because I can’t have that. I opt out of parties so I can make things and make sure we’re winning. I enjoy myself but I make sacrifices. I’ve been left out my whole life so nothing is different. Except now I make my dreams into reality.

What would you say to someone who looks at your for inspiration to work in your field?

Ryan: “Thank you”. My whole life I’ve dreamt about inspiring others. It’s one thing that i want, and it’s happened and I’m so proud of myself bc I made it happen. I want to inspire a whole generation. But if I inspire one person then I’m happy and satisfied with my own creative work. I hope my work and expression helps someone express themselves , hope that isn’t redundant or at least makes sense.

Anything to say to the fans that’s will read this?

Ryan: Thanks for always showing love when there really much being shown in the first place, every promise we make we come through with it. Be on the lookout for more things in the future and always make sure you’re happy and making sure your on the path you want to be on. If you’re not, change it.

To see more of Ryan Antar you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram to see his solo work, don’t forget to follow Arvada Creatives on Twitter and visit their website! Below is also a gallery containing many different pieces by Ryan. We hope you enjoy!

About The Author

19. Editor/Writer/small time Photographer & Videographer | Stundent @ University of Kentucky | Twitter & Instagram: @phakehawaii

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