St. GEORGE —Set on top of the rolling green grass at Vernon Worthen Park lies a white booth, and what’s in it is anything but ordinary.
From cartoon animations to a graphic novel, artist Ryan Bangerter is drawing up fans at the St. George Downtown Farmers Market by showcasing his designs on T-shirts, stickers and more. And his inspiration all started from one person – his mom, who also is an artist in many forms, including painting, drawing and ceramics. He said she also taught art for most of her career and her talents inspired him to discover his artistic side at a young age.
“A lot of my art comes from things that I like or have a strong connection to,” Bangerter told St. George News. “Certain characters that have had an emotional impact on me in the past or that I relate to.”
In high school, Bangerter said he participated in an off-campus art program, where he learned various art forms. The program helped him realize he could turn his talent and passion for art into a full-time career. He went on to graduate with a multimedia degree from Salt Lake Community College then attended Utah Valley University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in game design and animation.
After working for various animation companies, he made the move from Northern Utah to St. George, where he worked as a screen print artist. Continuing to pursue his own artistic dreams, he began selling his designs at local markets on the side.
“All you can do is put it out there to the universe and hope that people like it,” he said.
His business, Ryan Bangerter Art, has been shown at many markets and conventions across Southern Utah and Las Vegas. His “permanent” location is now the St. George Downtown Farmers Market, where he offers art as prints, T-shirt designs and stickers. He said he plans to expand to conventions in California and Colorado next year.
“Starting my own art business has been a hard road,” Bangerter said. “Getting out of the normal 9-5 working environment and being able to figure out that people actually like your art is probably the hardest step – getting that confidence you need to actually sell your stuff.”
But Bangerter’s art of expression doesn’t stop there. He’s also an aspiring author who just finished writing a graphic novel, complete with his artwork throughout.
The Young Adult Fantasy novel, “Emy & Herald,” is based on a young girl named Emy who is bullied in school. She decides to seek her revenge by summoning a demon to destroy them, but what she gets instead is a small imp named Herald. The comedic book is available for preorder and can be purchased here.
While he currently does freelance graphic design for a local company, Bangerter’s goal is to create a full-time career selling his own art.
To purchase current artwork by Bangerter or commission a piece of your own, visit his website or contact him on Facebook, Instagramor TikTok. Purchase art in person every Saturday at Vernon Worthen Park during the St. George Downtown Farmers Market.
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