In a progressive village riddled with colorful tie dye clothing, one artist separates himself from the pack.
There’s a sense of both bubbling spontaneity and precise deliberation in the work of Frazydesignz.
Photographer and graphic designer Ryan Pietraszek is the mastermind behind the business, which is known as “Frazy” around New Paltz.
An overlay of photos and digital design, often taking form in trippy, hexagonal patterns and vibrant colors, line the tables where the young artist vends at SUNY New Paltz every Thursday.
Pietraszek graduated from the college in Spring 2017 with a BFA in photography. While photography is his main forte, he took a few graphic design classes and has been combining the two ever since.
“I started adding the colors to enhance the images in high school, but I would say I really just found my style about a year and a half ago where things are starting to look like they come from me,” he said. “The T-shirt that I have on is basically my take on tie-dye. I composite images on top of each other or I just add colors to where I think the colors belong.”
Originally from Syracuse, Pietraszek fell in love with photography at a young age. He says he always knew he’d gear his art toward some kind of business, whether it be a photography equipment store or a storefront of his own creations. He started Frazy a year and a half ago, staying in New Paltz after graduation to build the business up while also taking freelance gigs on the side.
“I wouldn’t have had as much success [doing this at home],” he said. “There’s a lot of people that appreciate it here. Being able to share my artwork, vend and have places to show it is a huge thing.”
“Frazy” not only offers different size prints, but clothing and accessories, as well. Pietraszek experiments with printing his designs on all different items: lighters, tapestries, cosmetic bags, T-shirts, tanks and tote bags, among even more products. Much of his art, by accident, is 3-D so he also has 3-D glasses available when he vends.
All of his pieces start from a simple photo or set of photos, but one could never tell from the intense end result that he sells. Some of the landscape prints still have remnants of the photo’s original form, but a tapestry comprised of eight different photos tells a different story.
Pietraszek says many of his wilder pieces begin as simple sketches late at night, a time when he is least critical of himself. From there, he overlays patterns, composites images and has fun with it.
“I like photographing liquids a lot, like bubbles and all sorts of paint and water and soap,” he said. “So the background patterns, like these colors are just liquid and then I made it look like space up there with stars. It’s all fun.”
The creative mind is also heavily inspired by electronic dance music. After vending season, he plans to work on the business even further and look into selling at music festivals. Recently when he vends at night, he sets up lights that shine various colors onto his work.
“You gotta switch it up and experiment,” he said. “You gotta be uncomfortable with it to learn and grow.”