The cover for Mighty Kind’s fifth issue, with artwork designed by Ryan Pooman (credit = courtesy of Mighty Kind)
Local Tattoo Artist Lands Magazine Cover
By Leah Morningstar
Ryan Pooman has been making art for as long as he can remember. “When I was a kid, I was always doodling and drawing and making crafts,” he says. His papers and assignments were always covered in little drawings.
As a teenager, Pooman loved skateboarding and found the whole scene to be very accepting of his alternative style and artistic ambitions. The graffiti style of art, often associated with skateboarding, really resonated with him and he began incorporating it into his own creations. The graffiti art in skateboarding led to an interest in tattooing, specifically the more classic, old-school designs.
Pooman went from an artistic and curious teenager on a skateboard to a young professional tattoo apprentice on a skateboard. He’s been happily tattooing for several years now, currently employed at High Tide Tattoo Parlour, and continues to improve. In late 2020, Pooman was approached by Mighty Kind magazine about designing cover artwork. Mighty Kind is a Latina-owned, youth-oriented magazine that introduces children to people and places all over the world. The editors and content creators at Mighty Kind strive to showcase important global topics in a way that young readers will understand, with a central focus on anti-racism and anti-bias learning. The issue with Pooman’s artwork on the cover is called Home and focuses on the many Indigenous cultures across Turtle Island, or North America.
This was an exciting career move for Pooman, as he had never done any kind of magazine artwork before. “It was great to step outside the tattoo community and get my art out there more,” he says. As an Indigenous artist, Pooman is excited he can explore the traditional Woodlands style of painting and make it his own. He incorporates his love for the graffiti-style art with what he’s learned as a tattoo artist; the result is beautiful and unique art that is simultaneously traditional, yet modern and fresh.
Pooman plans to continue working as a tattoo artist, while painting commissions and additional projects—like the magazine cover—will remain a secondary pursuit. He has a few other big projects coming up and says he is optimistic about his future as an artist in northern Ontario.
Ryan Pooman can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.