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Meet Mila Ryk of Art & Beyond Studio in Morton Grove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mila Ryk.

Mila, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Raised in a country that prohibited ones basic freedoms, there was very little chance to make your dreams come true. Unable to explore who I was and express myself creatively, I was forced to keep my dreams deep inside and lived a life that was not mine. Suddenly, all that changed in 1991, when my family and I were lucky enough to have been able to immigrate to the United States. A country I have only dreamt of, a land far-far-away, where dreams came true and where freedom was possible. Starting a new life in a country I was not familiar with and a language I did not know proved to be very difficult for my family and I. We worked very hard and had to learn how to live a new life, but slowly, step-by-step I was walking toward my dream, a dream I never knew could become reality.

When I was young, while I was going to school, I enjoyed collecting magazines that were brought from foreign countries. They contained beautiful photographs of skyscrapers, highways, bridges, fashion shows and Vegas-like entertainment. I was amazed by the quality and design of those publications that were beautifully created by graphic designers.

Art has always been my passion but never a part of my everyday life. It was my dream I held onto for a long time and after putting myself through school again, this time in the United States, my dream was finally realized when I was offered a job at a publishing company as a graphic designer. It was a chance to show my creative ability to a wide audience. Shortly after I was promoted to Art Director and was responsible for the design and layout of numerous publications and marketing collateral. I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be able to work in a corporate environment and for several years of my life, I absorbed, learned and gained valuable professional experience. After the company was sold my position was eliminated and I began reflecting upon what I had accomplished, what I wanted to do, what I was capable of doing and what my strengths as a designer were.

It wasn’t too long after that I decided it was the right time to start my own business, where I would be able to combine both my passion for art and graphic design. My company Art & Beyond Studio, Inc. was born in 2003 in Morton Grove, IL.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wish I could say to build a business from scratch is easy, but I am never disappointed or discouraged when things don’t always go as planned because I am thankful every day that I am able to do what I love.

Art & Beyond Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Art and Beyond Studio offers a full range of graphic design services from logo design, print collateral, book/cover and magazine design, publication design, packaging/product design, trade show graphics and web design, to anything and everything our clients may need.

In addition to graphic design services Art & Beyond Studio offers art classes for children and adults. And finally the most important part is the new line of business I added in 2009 – marketing and promotional services for artists in form of both Art & Beyond Online and Print Edition Magazine. Since 2009 I published 45 Issues of the online magazine and 10 print editions. The magazine was created to help artists promote their art and distribute to galleries, museums and art consultants. In 2015 Art & Beyond become the official media partner for Redwood Media Group the organizer of Spectrum Miami, Red Dot Miami, ArtExpo New York, Art Santa Fe, and Art San Diego. In 2016 we become the official media partner for Art! Vancouver International Art Fair. In 2015 the Art & Beyond Summer Print Edition Magazine was presented at ArtMonaco 2015 to promote published artists. Art & Beyond Studio, Inc. is also the publisher of the fine art books; Living Artists of Today: Contemporary Art. Vol. 1, 2 and 3. These books can be found for purchase on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Living Artists of Today has also received the highest industry attributes including registration with Library of Congress.

Beginning in 2017 Art & Beyond is offering additional exposure for artists at the International Art Fair Spectrum Miami in December with the Art & Beyond Winter Print Edition Magazine. Information can be found online at http://www.artandbeyondpublications.com. As of today Art & Beyond Online magazine has reached over 90,000 readers and its numbers are growing every day.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
It’s difficult to define success in just a couple words. As someone who grew up in Ukraine until moving to the United States in my early 30’s, I come from a different environment, different culture, different way of learning and pursuing your goals. From 1991 until today every day has brought new obstacles, challenges and paths toward success and I feel that I still have a long road ahead. My idea of success is not only to have achieved my goals but to have helped others achieve theirs. When you define a goal you have to put everything into it, your intellect, your soul and belief that every act will help you reach success. I do not believe in the term “starving artist,” especially in today’s world – everything you do is a choice and if you have chosen to be an artist the road to success may not be the same for everyone, it may be difficult or an easy journey but if you do something with a purpose and a goal in mind you will achieve success. One thing I have learned is to never sit and wait for someone else to help you or discover you without doing anything – you have to be proactive and put hard work into everything you do.

Contact Info:


Image credit:
Mila Ryk with artists Paula Smiles, Steve Gal, Elana Ashley, Anna Ivleva, Leon Oks

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Helen Kagan

    June 29, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Beautiful Mila! Wonderful Magazine! I had an honor to be presented in “Art & Beyond” Magazine and website, and and a privilege to become friends 🙂
    Will recommend Mila’s “Art & Beyond” Platform to all and any beginning and established Artist with no reservation. Thank you, Mila!

  2. Alina

    February 6, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Great article!! Congrats!

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