Ryan was born and raised in Southern Alberta, growing up mostly in Red Deer and Innisfail. Although he was raised in a Non-native community he is reconnecting with his Blackfoot roots (Siksika Nation). Art and storytelling are one of his modes of exploration. Ryan Willert has learned the art of black ink drawing and sales from his father Richard (Dicky) Stimson, another well-known Siksika Nation artist. Ryan is a storyteller that has had his stories read in front of hundreds of people, including those who attended Calgary’s Aboriginal Awareness Week at Mount Royal College in 2008. Along with his initiatives in art, Ryan has been invited on several occasions to speak in front of youth and adult classes for life skills students through the Personal Support & Development Network and other special initiatives; including 2008’s Future Aboriginal Business Leaders Symposium in Pincher Creek. He has been sought out as an important role model in the community, especially for youth outreach and inspiration.
His films and artwork have been showcased at the Glenbow Museum in 2009, and his art had been used for the city of Calgary during their smoke free Calgary campaign website in 2007.
Ryan received artist of the year through the New Tribe Magazine in 2010.
He did a art installation for Victoria B.C’s Ministry of Casual Living’s window located downtown on the date of Dec 21 2013, On January 31 2014 he did a presentation in front of a very large audience at Victoria B.C’s Roxy Theatre for the All Art Is Anarchy show, he talked about his art, showed his films and tried to inspire other artist by talking about how he has managed to survived off his art for many years !
On February 22 2014, Ryan was the featured artist and did a live performance telling one of his story’s, singing and playing the drum for The House concert in Victoria B.C. He helped raise money for the Unistoten Camp/Blockade.
On March 8th 2014, in VICTORIA B.C. He once again did a live performance telling one of his story’s, singing and playing the drum to help raise money for the Unistoten Camp/Blockade. His performance was for the Discipline for the Revolution and Celebration of Resistance at Solstice Cafe.
On September 2016 Ryan completed the first Native themed mural for the Mount Royal University and Is the first mural for the main hall way of the University MRU.
Ryan in 2016 just had his art published in the Blackfoot cultural Colouring Book called Colouring It Forward and half the book is his art and some of Ryan’s story’s.
At the moment Ryan is currently doing art workshops for youth at the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre and is a full-time artist living in Red Deer Alberta.