Ryan Pancoast was born and raised in Stratford, Connecticut where his favorite childhood toy was a pad of sketch paper. His interest in art was encouraged by a supportive family, which allowed him to follow a career in illustration. After earning a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York) in 2005, he started his career in the editorial field before finding success in the publishing and gaming industry. Ryan started painting exclusively in oils in 2008 and is primarily self-taught in the discipline, learning by studying the work of old masters, 20th century American illustrators and his contemporaries. Although his work ranges from traditional illustration to high fantasy, Ryan’s primary focus is historical fantasy. His inspirations include the romantic ideals of the American West and the early colonies of his New England home. By merging elements of true history with familiar fantasy tropes, he infuses his imagined world with realism and believability. Ryan lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife Shelly and their son, Noah.