I came across Renee Ruin’s blog via a tweet from one of my favourite ladies, Heather Gabel, linking to an interview Renee did with her. I was stoked to find lots of my favourite things featured on reneeruin.com such as music, art, fashion and skateboarding! It’s nice (and somewhat rare) to find a fellow blogger with such similar taste in awesome. As readers will know, I’ve been interviewing some of my favourite bloggers: Gala Darling, Rock n Roll Bride’s Kat Williams, La Carmina, Little Chief Honeybee’s Kaelah and Amped+Dangerous’ Kasturi S. I’m excited to now add Renee to the list. Without further ado…
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your story?
RENEE RUIN: I’m a 32 year old chronic sleeper anti-social socialite. I grew up as a bit of an outcast in a small town and escaped to Melbourne where I have happily called my home for 14 years. I’ve always found it really difficult to talk about myself and ‘my story’. I grew up a daddy’s girl and I’m forever thankful for my dad’s attitude towards me growing up. He always taught me that there was nothing I couldn’t do and nothing a boy could do that a girl couldn’t. That ethos fuelled me for much of my teenage years and early adulthood. I was determined not to get stuck in a dead end town. I studied sociology here in Melbourne for three years then got my honours degree and went on to work in some interesting industries as well as attend a private Photographic College. I’ve always had a great love for writing. That interest lead me into the publishing industry where I have now forged a solid career for myself.
What inspired you to start blogging?
RR: I have a tendency to over-indulge and over-do everything. Music, movies, fashion, art, cooking, eating, partying and laughing. I have a serious Internet addiction and I’m the first to admit it. I use Facebook, twitter, tumblr, pinterest, instagram etc etc. I have a very bi-polar personality and it’s fair to say my indulgences reflect this.
I wanted to find a way to use this in a way that would be productive I guess. I was an avid blog reader and media fiend. Friends kept saying to me, you should start a site or a blog etc etc. So finally after a nudge from an ex-boyfriend in 2008 I started up reneeruin.com and have been blogging ever since.
How would you describe your blog/site to someone not familiar with it?
RR: A bit of everything, it’s really a bit of me. It’s full of personal writing, fashion, art, photography, music etc. reneeruin.com gives me somewhere to store all the things I see and hear so my head doesn’t implode and in the process I get to share all these things with other people who haven’t seen/read/heard of them before. It has a bit of everything for everyone. Aesthetics, interviews, babes, fashion, culture. It’s a place I would like to go to see all the things I like that I hadn’t found a home anywhere else for online.
Two of the main series the site is most know for is the Who’s that Girl? Feature and the Featured Tattoo Artist series. Who’s that Girl? is by far the most popular. It was really just about me wanting to capture really amazing talented women that I was seeing all over the internet who were just being shown as hot chicks. I wanted to talk beautiful strong women and delve beneath the surface and show people that behind the boobs there’s some really rad stuff going on. I also publish feature regular interviews with Musicians, photographers, designers and artists that I like and/or admire.
Have you always been into fashion, tattoos, skateboarding – things that are featured frequently on your blog – how did these first come into your life? Were you interested in these things from an early age?
RR: I have always been a very curious person and a slight tomboy. I have always been over interested in what’s going on around me. I think music was the biggest influence on me and I think from that my love for subcultures grew. Growing up I was always surrounded by a fairly eclectic group of people whether family or peers but I always had this yearning for something else. My obsession for pop culture and fame and fashion definitely evolved from that feeling of “there’s more out there”.
To you, what’s the difference between fashion and style?
RR: In the words of Yves Saint Laurent “Fashion fades, style is eternal”. Everyone can buy fashion but you can’t buy style. Style is something unique to the individual.
How would you define your style? Who are your biggest style inspirations and what is it about them that you adore?
RR: I think I take inspiration, ideas and pieces from lots of different designers, musos, celebs and friends. I am a bit of a collector. My style can be very different from day to day. I guess my staple fashion style is ‘rock chick’. Allison Mosshart is definitely a big inspiration style wise. I also have a great love for dark and minimalist fashion. So brands/stores like Ovate, Bloodmilk, Pamela Love, ManiaMania, Blood is the new black, Actual Pain, Bona Drag & Sisters of the Black Moon are examples of some of the stores I stalk regularly. I am completely in love with Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester and I’m in love with the latest Yves Saint Laurent collection by Hedi Slimane. Those hats!! I live and breathe black, so I like simple pieces and leather and I love whacky sleeves like winged or bat sleeves and bell sleeves much to some of my friend’s dismay. I look more to designer’s collections for inspiration than any one style icon. I adore Daphne Guinness, although god knows I do not have the money to dress like her!
What do you admire most in other women?
RR: Truth, strength, courage, honesty and I think mostly their passion and drive and their love and encouragement of other women. I have never understood why women always bring each other down. I love my friendships with females. I love to surround myself with strong, beautiful, confident women who are unapologetic about who they are and what they want in their lives.
I enjoyed the recent interview that you did with Jorma from The Bronx. As a fellow interviewer, I’d love to hear a little bit about your interviewing process. How do you approach things? What’s your preferred method of interviewing?
RR: Thank you. I really enjoyed doing it and Jorma was such a great person to interview. I like to approach any interview I do with a lot of research about the person and 99.9% of the time I am a fan so I like to put my fan hat on and ask the questions I would like to know. I’m very casual about my interview style, I like to have a more friendly approach rather than the more strict interviewer/paparazzi style removed journo. I’ve been lucky that a lot of the people I have interviewed have been either acquaintances or friends so that definitely makes the process smoother. I definitely enjoy trying to find the next person I am going to interview. I try to keep my interviews more quality rather than the quantity of them.
Who have been some of your favourite people you’ve interviewed?
RR: Without a doubt one of my favourite interviews was with Wesley Eisold of American Nightmare/Cold Cave. I was a huge fan of AN and his writing so it was an awesome experience to get to interview him for the site. Recently I interviewed photographer Ellen Rogers who I really admire and was very keen to feature on the site so that was definitely a fave!
Who is your dream interview?
RR: Henry Rollins, Courtney Love & Vincent Gallo are my top dream interviews.
What does a day in the life look like for you?
RR: Well I‘d like to say it’s glamorous and full of debauchery. But it’s just not the case.
I have a full time job in publishing which takes up my Monday-Fridays and I spend pretty much all my spare time working on the site or catching up on movies (I’m an addict) or watching too much x-files and chilling with my shitzu Bowie.
What music has been powering you through your days?
RR: Lately, I have been listening to a lot of Smiths, Swans, Danzig, Chelsea Wolfe, Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, Starred, Jack White, Plague Vendor, Tamaryn, Zola Jesus, Against me!,
Is there any community that you feel a part of?
RR: I’ve always kind of thought of myself as a bit of an outsider. I don’t feel like I really fit in to any one particular group or community. I don’t like to restrict myself to particular scenes. I am a bit of everything and nothing. Since starting reneeruin.com I have definitely been embraced and felt an affinity to a lot of the fashion community and I it’s been great to be so welcomed into other communities like the tattoo community or the music industry. The skate community particularly has been very kind to me over the years.
What are you favourite blogs and why?
RR: I follow far too many blogs and the list of them I follow seems to grow regularly. But a few of my faves are:
Gnarlitude.com – Jen has the best style and taste across fashion, jewellery, art and almost everything. I have followed Jen across different sites like Another Mag and Urban Outfitters. She always finds rad things.
Kingdom of Style – Rad fashion, accessories and style blog
Tobacco & Leather – Amazing illustrator with awesome style!
13:13 – A great blog by DJ Becka Diamond that features loads of rad pop culture, fashion, music and personal posts.
Bleach Black – Fashion and style blog I’m always ogling
Tell us about a couple of things that you’re really passionate about.
RR: I’m an incredibly passionate person as anyone who knows me will tell you. I am in love with literature and writing. I have journals and notebooks all over my room filled with writing, poetry and crazy ramblings. I’m obsessed with collecting things as well. Books of all kinds, clothes, jewellery, makeup.. I love the design of things and I often wind up buying things purely because they look good, especially makeup! I love art and I love making collages and collecting images. I am 100% a self-confessed movie nerd. I love the imaginary world film offers.
What’s been the greatest thing that’s happened to you in 2012?
RR: I think the greatest achievement for me this year has been being asked to write two short stories for an anthology for Propertius Press set to be released in the 2013 in USA. It’s definitely a testament to my persistence and I think also an evolution in my writing. It was an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to have something published out there.
What’s next for Renee Ruin?
RR: I want to keep upping the anti with the site and keep working on more and more interviews and hopefully with lots more exposure and even some more high calibre features. Aside from that I haven’t thought much more into the future. Reneeruin.com is a passion for me and I want to keep it as fun and enjoyable for me as possible. There are lots of avenues I would love to explore with the site and I’m excited to see how the site and it’s audience evolve in the coming year.
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Hugs & kickflips,