I can’t remember when Ryan Lawrance McGreer’s pins starting popping up, but I do remember immediately wanting to know who was behind all the neat book covers, typography, and rad pictures of Diana Ross. Once I hopped over to his profile, it was obvious a pinterview was necessary if, of course, he could take some time between being a freelance designer, blogging, and releasing an album as Cloud City Cars.
Hi Ryan. First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Ryan Lawrance McGreer and I am a 24 year-old male human being residing in the forest near Portland, Oregon. Currently my main focus is working on officially launching my freelance design/illustration/consulting/etc. business, Ryan Lawrance McGreer Creative.
I just finally got my new site and blog up and have lots of things planned for them. I make music as Cloud City Cars (playing, for lack of a better term, ‘ambient drone’) and my first album, Stay Bored, came out a few weeks ago.
In the next couple of months I’ll be launching two Etsy stores, one for prints of my illustration work/other creations and one for vintage home decor. I also recently started painting seriously and I’m hoping to start showing stuff around town at some point this year. And I’d really like to break into doing some interior styling some day in the not too distant future. When I am not working on one of those projects, I am probably either out thrifting or hanging out with my niece and nephew.
Obviously you’re a creative guy; what’s on the list of things inspiring you?
My inspirations are totally all over the place… I’m the type that absorbs inspiration from pretty much everything and spits it back out in ways that don’t really make sense even to me.
Here is a very random list of things that have been floating around my head lately: the interiors and pattern design of David Hicks, the paintings of 70s minimalists like Frank Stella, the music of The Fun Years, Black to Comm, Flying Lotus, and Tyler the Creator, the works of Josef and Anni Albers and the rest of the Bauhaus school, the almost dead art of hand painted store signage, Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, Jacques Cousteau, old French and Japanese gangster films like Le Samourai and Tokyo Drifter, 80s Casio keyboards, found photos, deep space, the deep sea, Yves Klein blue, and Twin Peaks.
How do you use Pinterest personally or in your work?
Seeing my inspirations all piled together in one place is massively inspiring; seeing the odd relationships and juxtapositions between things that ordinarily wouldn’t be right next to each other.
I think my very favorite thing about Pinterest is the accidental color theme trends that tend to pop up on my pin wall now and then. I have already gone and flipped back through my pins several times to pull inspiration images for specific projects, it’s incredibly useful. It is an infinitely better system for logging inspiring things than what I used to do, which was to drag images I liked to my desktop and then promptly forget about them forever.
Honestly, my style in real life is fairly unexciting… I tend to stick to the classics, lots of American workwear style things that have been around for a hundred years. My daily uniform is raw denim jeans, a button up shirt, black hoodie, bootleg wayfarers, and Clarks Wallabees or some simple black sneakers. Nothing too snazzy really ever… occasionally I’ll bust out some obnoxiously gaudy sneakers though.
That board tends to be more aspirational than directly inspirational, I usually pin people who make me say out loud ‘I wish I was that awesome.’ Not that I don’t harbor fantasies of dressing like an 80’s b-boy/70s punk rocker/cowboy/motorcycle gang member.
And are there any fellow pinners you have a serious repin-crush on?
I could (and practically do) repin pretty much everything from TeenAngster, I’m Revolting, Kylea Borges, and †erika‡†. Also I’ll take this opportunity to give a shout-out to friends on Pinterest: Jay Fuji, Mikey Sugarman, Jake Dalton, and my sister Jen Downer. And finally, thanks to the Pinterest crew for creating this site and for thinking I’m interesting enough to interview.
All photos courtesy of Ryan Lawrance McGreer.