Inspiration: Art

For the Birds

by Chris Piascik 8

For the Birds | Doodlers Anonymous

I first discovered Ryan O'Rourke's work at the Hartford Art School Faculty show. At the time we were both adjunct professors—so I was surprised I had not seen his work before. His hand-painted birdhouses are nothing short of fantastical. Rumor has it that Ryan's grandfather would build these birdhouses by hand and then give them to Ryan. After he had acquired the equivalent of a small birdie housing project Ryan decided to paint one of them—one turned into many. Ryan often makes custom birdhouses on commission as well. The one shown on the top right was actually made for my other friend Ryan (coincidence?) as a present for his wife Jessica.

Besides making birdhouses and teaching, Ryan works as a freelance illustrator. Some of his clients include: The Wall Street Journal, The Hartford Courant, The L.A. Weekly, Travel and Leisure, Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe and PBS. He is also finishing up the illustration for a children's book called, "One Big Rain," which should be available soon!

Ryan's website is filled with a plethora of illustrations and birdhouses—I highly recommend a visit! Given my weakness for hand-rendered type, how could I not love his work?

Chris Piascik

I am an artist / designer residing in Cambridge, MA. I post daily drawings on my blog. I have a small apparel company called Print Brigade and I am a designer at Alphabet Arm. Basically I do not sleep.


  1. These birdhouses are fantastic. I have been doing a show of bird dwellings for October and now I'm feeling completely turned on my head...

  2. I am very inspired by your bird houses and your other art. I love your design sense and colors.

  3. I can confirm the rumor: the first birdhouses in Ryan's collection were made by his grandfather. I know this because Ryan's my cousin, and his grandfather is also my grandfather. :)

  4. They're some lucky birds who get to live in them!! I think a nice colourful Kingfisher could happily complement one!!

  5. Haha they are very nice :) I am very inspired by your bird houses

  6. Fantastic design! Do you have more? I maybe want buy one for the birds in my garden.

  7. wow. you make me want to make more work.

  8. very inspiring indeed!

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