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Paul Samples is a graphic designer from Texas who moved to Brooklyn, NY after graduating from college. Now he’s working in museum exhibition design in NYC. When he’s not conjuring up beautiful and unique museum exhibit designs, he can be found making furniture at home, playing with his dog Lincoln at the park, hanging out with his girlfriend Annie, or eating Balinese food at his favorite restaurant, Selamat Pagi. Paul has been on Pinterest from the beginning, and his love for bookmarking his inspirations has garnered him more than 400,000 Followers.

What got you into exhibition design?

Growing up in Dallas Fort Worth, I was able to go to some really great museums like The Kimbell, the DMA and the Fort Worth Modern. As a kid museums were always my favorite places to be, and the architecture of those museums are world renowned. My senior design project also happened to be a mock redesign of the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Florida. I have always felt really at home in museums.

What are you doing now?

Every day I take the East River Ferry to Manhattan where I am working on an upcoming national museum in Washington D.C. I work with 3D designers and architects to create the overall experience of the exhibits. I design how it flows, choose the colors, materials, where the information will be, where the artifacts live, and how to tell the story of the museum.

I still can’t really believe what I am getting to do for a living! During college, I never knew jobs like mine existed but boy, am I glad they do. With regard to my personal life, right now I am living in Brooklyn with my girlfriend Annie, our dog Lincoln, and our cat Krindi. I’ve been in Brooklyn for three years now.

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Wow your job sounds so cool! When did you start using Pinterest and why did you start pinning?

I started using Pinterest in college actually. One of my design professors suggested it to us as a way to gather color palettes for design inspiration. It was still in its invite-only phase back then. It was so new that when you pinned something it was immediately on the Pinterest community board. I was really excited about the format because this meant that I no longer had to create countless folders on my desktop to collect inspirations.

We love that you have a few group boards with your girlfriend Annie as a co-pinner! Can you tell us more about that?

We originally made a group board because she was starting a business and wanted me to design for her so we made a group board to share ideas, inspirations and examples for possible designs. From that experience, we realized that we both really liked sharing things on Pinterest so we decided to make more group boards and now we have six! This even inspired us to start our own blog!

Did you ever think you’d accumulate more than 400,000 Pinterest followers? Did that happen all at once or over time and how did you react when it kept growing?

It’s funny because at first I didn’t even really know how many followers I had. My friends brought it to my attention and at first I thought it was a little weird to have gained more than 400,000 followers over three years.

I was featured as an up-and-coming designer in a British publication called It’s Nice That and in a New York Post article that covered top New York based pinners. These articles helped spread awareness of my work, my Pinterest boards, and helped me gain a lot of new followers.

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What’s next on your agenda?

I want to do more illustration and woodworking. Building furniture is my favorite hobby. I’m starting a visual blog with my good friend Aleks called ‘Not Happy Not Sad,’ which speaks to our need to always see more and yet never be satisfied. I also want to create a zine with my friend Brendon. After design school is over you can lose a lot of your peer influence. We want to make sure to keep sharing our ideas with each other as a way to keep in touch and keep us both growing as designers.

Connect with Paul!