I'm Ryan Foland. The Ginger behind the Stick Figures.

My Approach

All my life, I’ve been inspired to share ideas in a visual way. Sometimes it’s a simple idea or life lesson, a person whose story moves me, or my own experiences. 

Lines and Circles

It always fascinated me how a few basic lines and circles can come to life in stick figure form. I draw them all the time!

New Designs

If you want some daily Stick Figure motivation, check out my Instagram for my latest ideas and insights. You might discover a design for your next creative project, book, or business!

Creative Ideas

I’m constantly on the lookout for my next Stick Figure inspiration. If you want to get someone a special gift, email me, and I can create a custom MFT just for you!

More Than A Business

The Stick Figures Store is a passion project of mine. I’m always open to collaborate and share new ideas, so feel free to email me if you have ideas on a fun way to partner…

Early Drawing Days

Ever since I can remember, I’ve drawn Stick Figures. Growing up, I spent a lot of free time on a boat or on Catalina Island, so most of my drawings were of sailboats and marine life.  I also remember being obsessed with drawing 🦎’s.  

In high school, I got brave and submitted a Stick Figure design for the class of 1999 graduation t-shirt, and to my surprise, I won. At that time, I didn’t think much of it, or have dreams of becoming a professional Stick Figure artist.

Instead, I became a professional speaker and personal branding expert, who uses Stick Figures to communicate simple and powerful ideas.

I Was Afraid Until I Tried

I can personally share that my life has been a series of good, bad, and ugly circumstances. I was afraid to share my story until I started. Stick Figures was how I started to share. There is something universal about seeing humans in Stick Figure format.

When I draw, I let what is in my mind translate to lines and circles.  With each experience, I learn. Along the way, I have enjoyed translating my thoughts, emotions, feelings, fears, and inspirations through Stick Figure format.

I feel like each drawing helps me to do my part to change the world for the better, one Stick Figure at a time.

The Sticks Went Social

As I became more serious about building a personal brand, I knew that I needed to be on social media. Honestly, I didn’t understand social media. I had Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but I didn’t ever use them.

The reality I faced is that to gain more connections and create a powerful digital footprint, I would need to leverage social platforms. I didn’t want to just post what everyone else was posting, and because I didn’t know what to post, I defaulted to not posting at all. 

That is until I resolved to draw daily stick figures.

Built Over Time

When I first started, my plan was to draw one Stick Figure a day. I used to struggle thinking of what to draw. Now I come up with multiples ideas every single day which I jot down in my phone, or on a Post-it, and it adds to my queue of awaiting Stick Figures.

It just goes to show that small efforts stack up over time, and – as I’ve said before – bricks become buildings!

Sticks Figures Joined Me Onstage

As I started to work towards becoming a professional speaker, I knew that I had to distinguish my brand from other speakers.

When I got invited to speak in Portugal for my first international gig, I was super nervous. I remember looking at my slides the night before, and they just felt so plain. So I grabbed a Sharpie marker, and drew them out, then took pictures of them, and used my drawings in the keynote. The positive feedback I got was crazy. I soon realized that I was the only person hand-drawing my keynote slides. From that day, on I was hooked.

Even though my first two Tedx Talks had no PowerPoint presentations, with my third and fourth talks I decided to experiment with Stick Figures as a visual representation of my speech topics. This again was doubling down on what seemed to be working, and thus further solidified my brand alongside my Stick Figure drawings.

Making Startup Lessons Stick

When I was brought to the University of California, Irvine, to run their first-ever undergraduate entrepreneurship program, I worked with students who had big, bright ideas but were very intimidated with business concepts.

To help them get started and learn how to grow their business, I would grab a dry-erase marker and work some whiteboard magic. I used Stick Figures and visual aids to sketch out dynamic business processes in terms that students could understand and easily visualize.

In speaking and consulting with startups across the world, I’ve found my Stick Figure drawings are a great way to guide the conversations.

Visual Communication Wins

When I received a promotion to communication manager at the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at UCI, my first task was to do an audit of the existing social media strategy.

Defaulting to what I know best, Stick Figures, I mapped out the improved social media strategy in Stick Figure format. This visual approach helped people from across departments easily recognize the new system, as well as their roles. Now as new strategies develop at work, everyone knows to expect a Stick Figure visual diagram to go along with it.

Creating New Opportunities

After drawing Stick Figures for five years, one thing has become clear: people are drawn to them.

In fact, I’ve had multiple requests for illustrating books and have done so, including What Everyone Can Do, a children’s story called Falling Rock, and my book, Ditch the Act. My Stick Figures translate to many things in my life, including when I’m a guest on TweetChats, to my blog, or creating videos on YouTube. I even was hired recently by the Orange County Transit Association (OCTA) to draw Stick Figure safety signs about wearing masks in the workplace. 

Over the years, many people have asked me if I can print a Stick Figure on a t-shirt, hat, mug, and most recently, a mask.

During the pandemic, I decided to build and launch this store to share my love of Stick Figures and to bring some simple and powerful motivation to the world.

Each one of my drawings starts as circles and lines that connect to form representations of the human experience. I can’t imagine my life without Stick Figures, and if you need some in your life, you can buy them in NFT format.