Matt Maranian is a bestselling writer and designer who lives in Southern Vermont.
Through the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, he worked as a Los Angeles-based actor who was seen in a number of national tv commercials, arcane short films, and a couple of network tv sitcoms.
As a writer, a predilection for the outré and his insatiable appetite for the darker and lesser-known corners of Southern California led to his small press publication credits, including Harper’s, Wired, British Esquire, and Boing Boing, which focused primarily on themes of fringe culture, as did his monthly column in the Los Angeles magazine Glue, and his pieces for the Los Angeles Reader. His first book, L.A. Bizarro: An Insider’s Guide to the Obscure, the Absurd, and the Perverse in Los Angeles (St. Martin’s Press), co-authored with Tony Lovett, was a #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller. The all-new second edition of L.A. Bizarro was released in 2009; the books made the Los Angeles Times bestseller list for a combined total of 32 weeks.
A lifelong interest in design and his prior work assisting art directors such as Allee Willis, led the way to his critically acclaimed Los Angeles Times bestseller PAD: The Guide to Ultra-Living (Chronicle Books); a pioneering design book celebrating outsider and visionary style, urban DIY design, and the emerging culture of upcycling. The success of PAD led to its follow-up, PAD Parties, which elaborated on the theme. He became a popular return guest on shows for the Discovery Channel, HGTV, and the DIY Network, and served has a guest on several NPR programs. His design features appeared in ReadyMade magazine, Budget Living, Make, The Washington Post, and the cutting-edge quarterly Craft, for which he was a regular contributor. He wrote about DIY design for his satirical column, Maker Mayhem: Low Moments in How-To History, which appeared on the tech and culture blog, Boing Boing. He was a editor for Wink Books, and served on the Advisory Committee of the Vermont Performance Lab. Other projects have included contributions to the special editions of Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Gay Talese's Frank Sinatra Has A Cold (Taschen), JFK: A Vision for America (HarperCollins), the Smithsonian American Art Museum's exhibition American Visionary: John F. Kennedy's Life and Times, The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy (Rosetta Books), and the New York Historical Society museum's exhibition, Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
He relocated from Los Angeles to Vermont in 1999.