Interview: Erin Hanson of Recovering Lazyholic

Friends, I have recently discovered the joy that is Erin Hanson. A local photographer and graphic designer, this girl and her blog – Recovering Lazyholic – came to me by way of a work friend, who thought I’d like Erin’s stuff. And she was RIGHT.

As you can see, Erin has a penchant for little “reminders” and visual riddles, kind of like the Public School kids. She is also a gifted photographer, focusing on subjects both haunting and adorable.

The premise of Recovering Lazyholic is a 12-step program of sorts, combating apathy and laziness through regular exposure to evocative, cool shit. I am now a regular reader and think you will want to be too, so I invited Erin to drop by Austin Eavesdropper for a little chat.

1. First things first: Introduce yourself, Erin. Who are you? And what’s Recovering Lazyholic all about?

I am a photographer from Austin that has mediocre graphic design skills, but likes to play around with Photoshop/Illustrator and pretend that I can make something halfway decent. Really it’s just an exercise in exorcising a bunch of thoughts. Recovering Lazyholic I guess is kind of my alter ego… one part self-deprecation and one part self-help. It originally existed in name as a reminder that I waste a lot of time and should try harder to do more, learn more, and in general fill my days with more than sleeping, eating, and working.

2. How did you come up with the idea for this blog?

The blog essentially came from a break up… that’s how I remember it anyway. It was a few years ago and even though there were a lot of blogs around at the time, the idea still seemed a little foreign to me. I just thought I needed an outlet, something to do, a thing that existed that would sort of prompt me to focus less on work and more on creative endeavors. Ultimately I felt I was at a point in my life where I lived a very narrow existence and that life was unraveling due to laziness and apathy. So the blog was really more for me, as a sort of therapy, than striving to strike a chord or please other people.

3. Tell us a little about your “12 Step Program” for recovering lazyholics.

It was designed as a joke, but in reality is a pretty accurate (albeit vague) system for overcoming laziness. As lame and simplistic as the second step (get out of bed) sounds, that one actually was a tough one for me to overcome and still is. I have had a love affair with sleeping since I was born and it has held me back from being a productive human being on several occassions. The other steps are pretty straight forward as well and no-brainers but I guess I like the idea of having a guide. I am addicted to making lists, sorting information, and categorizing things; it’s almost a problem. So making a 12 Step program was kind of unavoidable considering how my brain works, and being the self-conscious person I am and afraid to take myself too seriously, I tried to inject some humor into the idea. I have no idea how it comes across and I suppose the bottom line is it was a fun outlet.

4. I love your Need/Want designs. Where can we get our hands on some?

Thanks!! Ooh, well I FINALLY will have some stuff for sale through my Etsy shop. My money situation has been pretty abysmal so paying for the initial printing was hard but I am happy to say that there were will be a couple of designs from both the Need/Want and 1 Minute Photoshop series. I have no idea what people might want or if they will want ANYTHING, but I’m starting with 5 designs from each and should have them up this weekend. I also will have a few photographs as well as some other nonsense. My goal is to make enough to have my gas turned on by this winter (how’s that for a guilt trip :) ). But I joke-ish… I honestly would be happy if just one person thought something I made deserved to be up in their home/office.

5. I like the idea that laziness is a state you can addicted to…and that there is a cure for it, through visual (or other sensory) stimulation. I also enjoy the fact that you are, like me, a list person! Do you complete all the tasks on your own “prescription” lists?

Yes… and no… Lists in general are ridiculously hard for me to complete — just as one is nearing completion I have somehow started a totally different one. Sometimes I rewrite lists just to have the satisfaction of feeling like I’m getting organized, even if it’s repeated material that never got done and has been there for a while. It’s almost like a high… the best of course is truly knocking out some tasks. I have come to the realization that a list never ends, but I enjoy trying and make small goals. As for the prescription lists for the most part I do everything on them. The books I suggest are the hardest for me to get around to.

6. You follow a ton of designers, photographers, and creative advertising folks. Where do you find this stuff? Trolling the internet, or is your RSS feed just massive?

I was unemployed for over a year so I had A LOT of free time. I subscribe to a ridiculous amount of feeds. And I’m sure you know the internet just doesn’t end. You find one site that links to another that links to another and you’re in heaven/hell. On a daily basis I am finding some cool stuff, whether it’s through the feeds or their sites or locally or word of mouth. It’s great how much is out there but it hurts my head.

7. Your work has been featured in various other publications/websites. Where can we check out more of your photography, designs, etc?

Mankind Magazine, Romka, Bored?, and Carpaccio magazines had some of my photographs. I contribute to a website called Share Some Candy. I’ll also have something in Uppercase Issue #3 which is coming out in a few weeks. And I guess to throw out a few random odds and ends from some sites I really like… Paper Whistle, We Love Typography, Made In England, BuzzFeed, Draplin Design, and My Old Kentucky Blog.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: We also heart My Old Kentucky Blog).

8. Last words: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a recovering lazyholic?

To borrow from the 12 steps, I’d say don’t stop at the idea. So many times I/people say I want to do this, I’m going to do this and just procrastinate. And maybe buy a lumpy bed… something that begs “get off of me, I suck to rest on.”