Matt Ryan, freelance cartoonist/illustrator


Matt Ryan has been producing quality work and lessons for over fifteen years. He has created character designs and comics for large and small companies, published his own comics, painted and illustrated for gaming cds, package designs and has taken his lessons and workshops to a larger audience. Located in Tariffville CT, Matt does his freelance work, teaches groups and privately in comic themed workshops and classes as well as hosts special art events there. Matt’s philosophy is to produce a quality product. To bring life to a new visual rendering of the client’s vision, be it either package design, character concepts, sequential art or any other task at hand.

Suitable for grades K-4, the Comic Construction Assembly and Lecture is an introduction to the medium of comics and graphic novels using a Construction Site Theme. Steve and Matt wear their construction outfits and guide students through the creation of a comics page, the construction of a character, and the life of a comic from script to press. The educational and entertaining performance encourages participation from the audience as Steve and Matt create the characters from a list of solicited characteristics and construct a full comics page with the aid of the students. Students learn the basics of comics mechanics, the basics of drawing from simple shapes, and creating a story with a beginning, middle, and ending. The assembly is best followed by workshops with smaller classroom sized groups, where students can put the principles they've learned into action by creating their own written and drawn pages. A proud participant in the Hartford Performs project and Connecticut Humanities.
From the Free Lunch Studios in Tariffville, Connecticut, along with his freelance illustration and design services, Matt Ryan offers courses in drawing, cartooning, and creating comic strips and comic books. From penciling to inking and lettering, Matt is here to help you achieve your artistic ambitions! He also offers classes in character design, monster drawing, finished comics and other various medias. Free Lunch Studios is a place to test your skills, with special events like guest lectures, 24 Hour Comic Challenge and weekly Monday Night Kids Jam and Monday Night Jam sessions. Matt has also taught in other programs and locations including The YMCA, New Britain Museum of Modern Art, The New England Air Museum and a variety of other businesses, libraries and locations. Call Matt Ryan at 1.860.305.6621 or email to book.

Cartoon Anatomy

Cartoon Anatomy is the basic 4 week course that will teach working lines and simple shapes, creating the foundation of character design, form, gesture, expression and a couple sneaky "tricks" we've learned along the way. Courses include our "Free Lunch" named after our comic company and studio. That will be pizza and soft drinks, served before this class. Taught by Matt C Ryan
Limited to 8 students per class, classes are $125

Mad Science Toons
Take Matt Ryan's newest cartooning class! Learn to draw using simple shapes and gestures and then create your own cute or creepy new creature! Creativity is encouraged in this class series! Perfect for you and your little ones who love to create strange creatures!
4 classes, 2 hour sessions, Free Lunch at the beginning/conclusion of each class (depending on time of class) Class is $125 per pair, (adult and child) ages 7 and up

Comic Book Worlds
The perfect follow up to Cartoon Anatomy, Comic Book Worlds focuses on creating mood, environment, and detail to the storytelling process. The goal of this 4 week series is to take the ability of making characters, and place them into dramatic settings, convincing surroundings and exciting stories. Course will include the ever popular, "Free Lunch". Taught by Matt C Ryan
Limited to 8 students per class, classes are $120

Comic Book Storytelling
Create a finished comic strip or page in Comic Book Storytelling. This 4 week course for the student who has finished Cartoon Anatomy. Work from a script or create your own story to work from in this exciting class. Dealing with slice of life, slapstick humor, elements of horror or the most intense action, make all of your pages works of art. Free Lunch and drink served before or after this 2 hour class.
Limited to 8 students per class, classes are $125

Character Building

ne of the most exciting creative tasks in comic books, video games, or role play games is the process of character design! Whether it’s a clean cut space hero, a mysterious princess, a fuzzy sidekick or a beast from a forbidden forest, Matt will guide you through your creation. You will investigate gesture, posture, emotion, reference and detail each week in this four week course.  Pizza for lunch (before the afternoon class).
Limited to 8 students per class $125, 4 classes

Drawing and Painting for Teens
Take Matt Ryan's popular Friday class, Drawing and Painting for Teens! Come and develop skills in a relaxed atmosphere while working on individual projects. Components of drawing and painting will explore pencil, charcoal, watercolors and acrylic paint, working from photo reference and the imagination. Emphasis will be on creativity and individual expression. Experiment with a new medium, try something new! Best part is it works with your schedule! Miss a class, no big deal...
10 classes, 2 hour sessions, Fridays from 4 - 6:30pm.
Rolling enrollment! Running Fridays since September 11th 2009!
Class is $225, ages 13 and up


Every Monday night, Matt hosts the Monday Night Kids Jam and The Monday Night Jam out of Free Lunch Studios.

The Monday Night Kids Jam is every Monday Night 5 - 6pm. Join, Matt Ryan on a new creative mission every week! Perfect for ages 7 - 13! Always includes The Monday Night News and Share time! A successful drop in event that's only $5!!

The Monday Night Jam is 6pm – 8:30pm Drop in and work with comics creators from throughout CT and MA! Work on your projects! Get feedback from like-minded creators! Portfolio reviews from professionals! Find new collaborators for your projects! Artistic exercises! Penciling! Scripting! Inking! Coloring! Painting! Sketching! Lettering! A place to work. A place to play. See old friends, make new ones. $5!