I want to experience the world and help change it for the better. I'm a writer, a creative-content producer—including web/visual/audio—and a dreamer. I have ideas and the problem-solving resourcefulness needed to execute them. My sign is Cancer. I wear contact lenses and I'm a visual person. I'm active. I'm flexible.

During high school I played soccer and was very involved in Boy Scouts, later becoming an Eagle Scout. My friends and I spent a lot of time exploring the Hilltop Reservation which we referred to as the sanitarium.

For most of 1997–2002 I was in Boulder, Colorado studying calculus, consuming alcohol, bunny hopping (on BMX and mountain bikes), learning to count cards for Vegas, and listening to lots of punk rock—Face To Face, Alkaline Trio, Thursday, Strung Out, Blink 182, and Pennywise to name a few.

Ryan Van Etten - Bunny Hop

In 2000 I studied abroad in Australia. In 2001 I started writing a novel about jaded youth. (I later attempted another novel in 2004. I never finished either, but some of my Crimson Road songs were inspired by paragraphs from attempt #2.)

Ryan Van Etten at Offshore Festival 2000

My first guitar came as a Xmas present in 2001. In spring 2002 I graduated from CU Boulder with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and rockstar dreams. Loving the internet already, I began teaching myself HTML in that same year and I've been coding ever since—later of course adding CSS and PHP. I moved back to NJ. During the coldest months of 2003 I backpacked Europe without a camera.

I started the music project Crimson Road in 2003 and in 2004 I used Craigslist to assemble the band Exitlevel—we didn't make it as a band but I made a really good friend from it, Colin, who really stepped up my music game.

From 2006–2008 I did a lot of music production using FL Studio, Cubase, and Wavelab (most notably The Spin Arounds and The Voxys). During that time I also worked various jobs—ESL teacher, waiter, substitute teacher, teleconference specialist—and traded options.

After watching the entire Highlander: The Series and getting hooked on Lost, I was reminded that I'd always wanted to take martial arts. In spring 2009 I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and couldn't believe it took me this long to start because it's amazing—I've never felt healthier.

In summer 2009 I decided to break out of recording music and instead started writing about it—I launched virtualmusic.TV to blog about online music culture. Through 2010 I did a lot of strategic and technical consulting for the indie label Join or Die Records owned by my first college roomate Mike.

Since summer 2010 I had really been looking for some change. I was seeing less meaning but looking for it everywhere—I had no clue what to do next, yet I felt like I was at a major juncture. I almost joined the Air force or the Army but then decided against it—I couldn't see myself signing for almost a decade.

Ryan Van Etten during The Snowpocalypse

Always having an interest in photojournalism, I launched the NYC photoblog AMPLIFIED in December 2010, with the idea being to curate signs of life.

Ryan Van Etten Indestructible Kokatat - 2011

In February 2011, I took a full-time job as a digital strategist at a local communication agency. There, my work involved a mix of front-end and back-end design (lots of WordPress), SEO, social media, and web strategy.

I was excited about HTML5 and responsive design. As side projects, I began developing a jQuery plugin and an HTML5 WordPress theme. These were only the beginning. In October 2011 my work at the agency dissolved and I shifted focus towards developing these and more opensource projects.

Follow me @ryanve for what's next.