Style Crush : Aaron Ruell

Hello hello!
You know...I seriously cannot believe I've never blogged my love for this guy before. I actually had to search my own blog to be sure. I've pulled up his work online so many times that I could swear I must have dedicated a post to him at one point...but alas, I have here's a little bit of long overdue bloglove for the talent saturated Aaron Ruell.

I've been a big big fan since he displayed his numerous talents in Napoleon Dynamite. Yes, he's maybe the greatest older-brother-in-a-comedy-movie of all time...the one and only Kip Dynamite. And he's the genius behind that film's exquisite opening title sequence...all those perfectly styled shots of food cleverly spelling out the credits were directed by him. To gush about that movie is almost standard procedure. It's been referenced ad nauseum and copied so so much...but at the time of it's release it was it's own thing. A brand new flavor of comedy. I remember seeing it in the theater and just thinking it was made for me. I know that I'm preaching to the choir...I'm sure that to most of you it's in the classic category. And is it weird to say that I feel proud of them...(the writers, actors, and director)? There's no cursing or boobs! A seemingly impossible feat to pull off in comedy today.

 Ok, so... Aaron Ruell ...the last thing he ever expected was to gain so much fame and recognition for being Kip. He actually never really wanted to act and considers his taking a role in that film as simply doing a favor for his friend (director Jared Hess). How tiresome is it to hear about the side projects of celebrities? Every movie star suddenly feels compelled to also be a rock star. This is not the case here. When it comes to Aaron Ruell, being an actor is the palest color on his talent spectrum.
When I discovered his amazing photography I was absolutely floored. The styling, subject matter,  color, wit, and the everpresent tinge of humor. The photographs are like tiny little glimpses into giant worlds of fabulousness. They range from strange and quirky to expansive and beautiful...and sometimes, all of that is contained in a single image. Probably what really struck a chord in me is that many of his photos rely heavily on fabulous decor...perfect vignettes that are themselves works of art. I can't help but view interiors in this way. I'm constantly looking around my livingroom, kitchen, bedroom, with one eye closed, squinting and mentally cropping out any visual imperfections...finding the perfect composition and view point. I found so much magic in Ruell's photos...they're almost visual representations of my mental happyplace. 

And oh boy, his commercial directing work is outstanding! You've probably seen and laughed out loud at many of his ads on tv. He creates such fun characters and the crazy worlds in which they exist. 

I'm thrilled to have finally shared my Aaron Ruell enthusiasm here. This is the first in my forthcoming Style Crush series. Future editions are sure to inspire...I'm mentally going over my shortlist of Crushes right now and I am so psyched at the line-up of dazzlers. Hope you enjoy!
xo, Jenny 


  1. great post Jenny. loved seeing the photos.. especially the first one.
    We lived napolian dynamite here.. my kids new every line in the movie and would recite them on a daily basis! lol.. but I have to admit that it drove me insane! heehee
    have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks for sharing! His work is pretty incredible :)

  3. Awesome post Jenny! I had no idea any of this info! (and I love ND) thanks for sharing, he's so talented!

  4. Hey pretty lady,

    You are right, he is a genius, and thanks for showcasing his work. I loved that movie and I'm so thankful someone got the 70's right, not to mention some killer sayings that we can all mimic and always have a laugh.


  5. These are so awesome! I didn't realize he was so multitalented. The first few photos are from the Madonna Inn, which is like half an hour from where I live; it's sooo amazing! Always wanted to stay there (preferably in the pink sparkly room) but so far we've only been in the lobby and bar. You have to go there if you ever come to California!

  6. Hey guys!! Oh gosh I'm totally happy to spread the love! I really cannot believe I hadn't blogged him already! Yeah I was a total ND nut when it came out... Just thought it was the greatest movie ever!

    Honestly I think it was supposed to me a modern day movie...just sort of a bizzzzzarro world! I mean Kip was in a chat room!! haha

    I really look forward to seeing more of his work! I'd love a coffee table book! :)

    Thanks for popping in dolls!!

  7. @Miss Dee....Yes yes yes! I have been dyyyyying to stay at the Madonna Inn! I saw the steak house on tv years ago and almost died! Yess..the pink glitter walls are just perfect...but I think I'd go with the Romance room...which is the the first photo. If we ever get the amazing chance guys need to meet us there for din din!! :)


  8. For sure! My husband found out that you can pay a reduced price to do photo shoots in the rooms, so he wants to do one sometime soon. If you visit, we'll have to book a room for a little while and just take tons of pictures.

  9. @Ms. Dee ohhh mannn....totally!! We re so so doing that!! :) Pinky Swear! ;)


  10. Geez, I had no idea he was a photographer. These are incredible!!!!!

  11. @Blytheponytailparades I knoow... he knocks my socks off! :) Happy to spread the love!


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