Stratford native and our first CONNartist art contest winner Ryan Pancoast has drawn the 2016 and now the 2017 Igor’s Dream labels. He answered a few of our questions about the label and what he has been up to in the art world.

What was your inspiration for the newest Igor label?
The inspiration for the label illustration largely came from this year’s aircraft. The Sikorsky H-34, shown in the middle of recovering Alan Shepard after his Freedom 7 spaceflight, inspired a feeling of adventure and innovation. The bright colors and Mr. Sikorsky’s profile, raised toward the horizon or the future, also helped set that mood.

Being a Stratford native, how do you feel your connection to being from Stratford, home of Sikorsky Aircraft, has had an effect on your label art?
As a Stratford native and the son of a Stratford business owner, I have a special passion for these illustrations. It’s important to me that Mr. Sikorsky is portrayed accurately, but it’s also important that his aircraft are as lovingly rendered in paint as they must have been painstakingly engineered. They are representative of Stratford’s contributions to the country and the world.

Can you give us some insight into your process (methods, materials, etc)?
I do a couple rough sketches in pencil, then work with the Two Roads team to determine which concept is right for the new label. I transfer the sketch to a 16”x20” masonite board coated with a primer called gesso. I do the final drawing directly on the board and apply the oil paint over the drawing. At first, I work with thinned down paint to get the colors right, then progress to thicker layers of paint to render all the details.

What do you want people to take away from looking at your label art?  
With the swirling colors of the sky and sea, I hope people enjoy this year’s label art as a change of pace from last year’s which, by design, was more mechanical. I also hope they pick up on the small detail that is different on the label of each variety of Igor’s Dream.

What else are you currently working on?
I’m currently doing illustrations in the gaming and publishing industries, as well as working on personal projects when I can.

If people want to check out other pieces of art, where should they go?

Instagram : @rpancoast_illustration

Twitter: @rpancoast_art