I'm Ryan. I'm 1 of 4 boys. In High School I wrote these books for a fun little game my brothers were working on called Myst. It turned out the game wasn't so little and ended up selling over 12 million copies worldwide. By the time I was enrolled in University my brothers started working on a sequel and I wondered why I was in school, studying something I didn't care about. So I left school and started cleaning bathrooms for Cyan. (We all have to earn our place.)
I eventually designed worlds and puzzles, I wrote histories and characters and dialog, and I edited sound and videos and images. I even dressed up in a Moiety Scout costume and "acted". I helped to create video games for over 10 years.
During my time at Cyan, my wife and I had our third child and we needed a birthday invitation for her. I made one. My wife liked it. So, we started a company called Mango Ink that sold invitations to other people who might want them. That was over 13 years ago. It still rocks out holiday cards every fourth quarter.
While at Cyan and doing Mango Ink on the side, I wrote some books. The first was a fiction book (Inkarri) and the second was a non-fiction (The Naked Fruit). I had an agent but no one jumped so I started to publish books myself through Mango Ink. Why not? I wrote a third non-fiction (Everything Breathes) a little later, another (Cleaning Church Toilets) after that.
While at Cyan, a church - New Community - offered me a job. That made no sense, unless you know my story. I was raised by a pastor who liked to move. I moved 6 times by my Sophomore year which meant I a) ate alone in the cafeteria and b) saw a lot of diverse worlds, met a lot of diverse people, and had a lot of diverse experiences. Oh, I also became a bit addicted to change and challenge. I was familiar enough with the church world to know it could use a lot of innovation but not be scared by the religion of it. Yet. So I took the job and became a leader of a different kind. The chance to be creative in another venue - speaking - seemed fun. My first year was like being thrown in the ocean and told to survive. I did. I actually loved it. Well parts of it.
In 2010 I, along with some other people, began a different kind of community, Branches. I cleaned bathrooms there quite often and also talked about life, faith, humanity, and the divine. I also met and talked to amazing human beings every week from each and every walk of life.
Church evolved a bit.
In 2014, I took some wall art - centered around air travel, airplanes, and airports (more things I love) from Mango Ink and moved it to its own site where it could live and breathe and thrive without holiday cards all around it. That site is called 08left. It's been around 4+ years and has been featured in Flying Magazine, among others, and was a design finalist for Martha Stewart a couple of years in a row.
In 2016, I couldn't help but put some designs on some shirts, to try to speak a message and support some cool non-profits who are trying to bring more equality - I called that Republic of Equal. It was a few month experiment project that is now evolving and growing with new owners.
There's been some other projects and passions, and I figured it would be nice to combine them all into one spot.
So, here it is.
One more thing. I just quit my job at Branches with not a lot of ideas about what is next. That change addiction is for real. And the idea that church needs some serious evolving is real. In fact, so much change that, sometimes, you just need to start with something fresh. Fresh as in, pour gasoline on the place, throw in a match and walk out the front door without looking back. What's next? Hopefully liberation, inspiration, creativity and more evolution. And some more graphic design. And this thing called Lights Like Us.
I have an amazing wife who I've been married to for over 23 years (and I still really really like her) and I have 3 pretty astounding kids.
I'm Ryan. I do have two middle initials. And this is my site.
If you're doing something cool in this world. Please tell me about it.