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Erin Loechner | Guest Curator

I am so pleased to introduce you to Erin Loechner, one of artmuse.com’s new curators. The fabulous Erin is a writer/stylist/designer and the woman behind the well-regarded Design for Mankind blog which garnered the praise of the London Times as one of the top 50 design blogs in the world. An avid collector of artwork, Erin has an eye for design and is a style trend-spotter.

In addition to cultivating and maintaining Design for Mankind, Erin is busy writing, speaking, styling, and consulting. She currently hosts a renovation column on the HGTV.com where she shares her own unique interior design ideas, some of which can be seen in her own home. She and husband, Ken, chronicled the renovation of their home on the blog.

Erin’s work has been featured in Glamour, Lucky, Dwell, Readymade, Nylon, Print Magazine, Apartment Therapy and The Huffington Post.

ABOUT ERIN

CC: Where were you born and raised? Tell us a bit about your background.
EL: I grew up in a small, rural town in southern Indiana. I remember creating scrapbooks and making “tear sheets” with my mother’s catalogs at a very young age — I had no idea I’d be doing this for a living 20 years later!

CC: What did you want to do or be when you grew up?
EL: A marine biologist or a receptionist. Ha! I loved ocean animals, but hated science. And the receptionist thing? Well, I still think it’d be awesome on some days. I love office supplies!!!

CC: What was the pivotal thing that got you into the art/design realm?
EL: I moved to Los Angeles shortly after college for my husband’s work and found myself an ad agency copywriter. When the art director quit, I raised my hand to give it a go as his “replacement.” My boss humored me, and I furiously began researching art and design that night! (I haven’t stopped since!)

CC: Are any of your other family members involved in art/design?
EL: Not really, no. In my hometown, most people are either teachers or nurses. They’re all very supportive, though!

ERIN’S INSPIRATIONS

CC: I know you lived in LA and are now in the midwest. Do you find that where you are living greatly affects what visually inspires you?
EL: You know, I think it does to some degree, but the Internet has made location completely irrelevant for me. It’s a beautiful thing. I think I’d feel very isolated otherwise.

CC: You and your husband, Ken, recently renovated your home and chronicled the process in your HGTV column. It looks great! What are your top three design/style tips for someone on a budget?
EL: Oh, there are so many, and to be honest, we’re learning every day. Here are my favorites:
1. A can of spray paint can transform anything for under $10.
2. When you can, invest in lighting. Less-than-stellar lighting can ruin even the loveliest of spaces.
3. Take it slow. Collect, curate and edit. Your home is never finished, so don’t sweat the empty spaces. Consider it a lifetime hobby!

Erin Loechner from her HGTV column

Photo Credits: John Francis Peters

CC: You mention you like Scandinavian design. What or who influences and inspires you?
EL: My husband has Finnish roots and introduced me to the sauna concept. (We have one in our home!) I’ve been very into Nordic traditions since. I so admire the simplicity they strive for.

CC: From your perspective, why are art and design essential components in a home?
EL: I’m a believer in surrounding yourself with things you love, whatever that may be. There’s something to be said for spending time in a space that you’re inspired by. I think good design can affect your mood as much as a sunny day can transform your week.

ERIN ON LIVING WITH AND COLLECTING ART

CC: You collect art. What is your favorite acquisition to date and what is it that draws you to a piece of art?
EL: Oh, dear. A favorite. I have a very small Marieke Auer print that makes me smile from ear to ear. I’d say that’s a winner.

CC: You chose artmuse.com artists Ian Carpenter, Lene Foss and Amy Farrier as your faves. What about their art appeals to you?
EL: They’re all so different, but I love their ability to edit. There’s a simplicity and seemingly restrained composition in each of their pieces.

CC: What are your thoughts on the availability and value of affordable art?
EL: I love the idea of making art attainable for everyone and affordability is a huge part of that. I do, however, believe in the worth of the independent artist. I’m not opposed to paying more money for a small print if it means I’m supporting the livelihood of a fellow creative.

CC: What advice do you have for someone just starting their art collection?
EL: Buy prints that you love until you decide what makes you tick. Then focus on the originals to diversify your collection (if you so desire!).

ERIN’S ENDEAVORS

CC: Do you have any special projects in development for Design for Mankind? And what are your long term goals for the site?
EL: At the moment, I’m just trying to keep myself afloat. It’s been a busy year, and I’m looking forward to hibernating this winter and taking a few deep breaths. Long term goals? As long as I’m doing something that I love in 15 years, I’ll be thrilled with myself. I’ll always blog — it’s an extension of myself and I find it extremely therapeutic and introspective.

CC: You’ve got the modeling moves, you are cute as a button, AND you share your daily outfit and personal dance party with the world. Is there a performer in there waiting to get out? And what do you attribute your enthusiasm to?
EL: Ha — you are so funny! You know, there is definitely not a performer in here, although my mother would argue otherwise. The dance parties and outfits started as personal challenges to myself: (1) I wanted to get up out of my chair and move for a few minutes a day, and (2) I wanted to get dressed every day.

Both of these goals stem from my freelance life of pajamas and general laziness. I found that if I didn’t share my progress publicly, I wouldn’t hold myself accountable. So, unfortunately for my readers, they’re sort of stuck in the car with me.

Hmm, my enthusiasm? I suppose that comes from being a generally joyful person. I can always find something to be grateful for.

CC: You are part of the design/style blogger sisterhood. How has blogging brought you together with other women and to what do you attribute the wellspring of goodwill that seems to emanate from this community? It seems to be a pretty incredibly supportive and fun group of gals.
EL: Oh, I’m so blessed to be involved in such a supportive community. I think blogging can be a fairly isolating career, so I’m fortunate to be able to reach out to a handful of close blogging friends when I need a pep talk or helping hand. You truly get what you give!

CC: What advice do you have for aspiring bloggers and other art and design mavens?
EL: I have lots of advice! Practice daily. Whatever you do, practice daily. I think that’s true for every aspect of life. A few other tidbits? Get involved, support your community and find a way to give back with whatever means you have. Design blogging wouldn’t thrive without the support of each other and our readers.

ERIN’S TOP 5

CC: Define your personal style in five words or less.
EL: Eclectic, abundant, irreverent, evolving, inconsistent.

CC: What is your personal credo or motto?
EL: The Golden Rule for sure – treat others as you’d like to be treated.

CC: Favorite food?
EL: So many! I love olives/cheese, anything fried and lots of bread. I have a horrid diet.

CC: What is Living Artfully to you?
EL: I think it’s being proactive about what makes you happy — finding it, doing it and continuing it.

CC: If you could have one super power–what would it be and why.
EL: I think I’d want to have trapeze artist abilities. That’s gotta be a super power, right?

written by Colleen Cassady, artmuse.com contributor

Buy your limited edition prints of Erin’s artmuse.com faves now. Here are a couple of her picks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Carpenter | Anchorite
Print: $25 / $75 / $200+
Framed: $135 / $220 / $395+
Free U.S. shipping for all framed prints!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Farrier | Rumi’s Field
Print: $25 / $75 / $200+
Framed: $135 / $220 / $395+
Free U.S. shipping for all framed prints!

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Jad Fair | Paper Cutting Artist
Jaime Derringer | Guest Curator
Michelle Lohr | Painter

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