While we are enthralled by the artists and inspirational creations that Erin Loechner features on her site, it must not be overlooked that Design for Mankind itself is also an incredible work of art. From the design to the photography to the honesty that comes through Loechner’s writing, Design for Mankind is simply ingenious. Here at Best Friends for Frosting, we were lucky enough to get a chance to speak with Erin about the evolution of her website, her young daughter, Bee, and what she likes to do for fun (when she’s not blogging, of course)! Read on to learn more about Erin from our exclusive interview.
The reasons why you blog have changed many times since you began “web logging” in 2001. Where do you see your blog in 5 years? Do you think your reason for blogging will have changed from what it is today?
Oh, I think my reason(s) will change drastically, yes. The evolution of my blog has led me down so many varied paths, and I think it’s really important for me to look back and realize how much those detours have shaped me (I actually wrote about this recently!). I can’t even imagine what my blog might look like in five years, but I think I can safely say I’ll still be chugging along, if for no other reason than the amazing connectivity it affords.
Design for Mankind has been featured in multiple big-name magazines and websites and was listed as one of the London Times’ top 50 design blogs in the world. Did you ever think your passion for writing would lead to this type of attention? Who has been your biggest support system?
Oh goodness, not even for a moment did I think my passion for blogging would lead anywhere! It’s all been a very organic ride, full of learning and doing and trying. Hands down, my biggest support system is my husband, Ken. We work together often (he produced our HGTV.com show for two years), and he’s as inspired as he is inspiring. I owe every ounce of my success to him, whether he’s snapping a few photos for the site, acting as a sounding board for my ideas or taking over Bee duty so I can sneak in a few hours of uninterrupted work. He’s truly an amazing man.
You have a nine-month old daughter, Bee. How does she express herself at this age? What qualities in yourself do you see in her?
Oh, Bee. And actually, because I’m answering this email so late, she’s 10 months old now! She expresses herself by pointing at objects, almost as if she’s willing us to explain everything about how this particular item works and exists, and then before we get a chance to open our mouths, she’s pointing to a new object and then another one and another one again. She’s a total firecracker – it’s like you can see the wheels turning in her head. I think she gets that from me, this crazy curiosity to know and do and learn.
Every year, you make a list of goals and non-goals, which are things about yourself that you like and want to stay the same. When did you start making this type of list? Would you encourage others to do the same?
I started my non-goal list about five years ago. I’d realized there were things about myself that deserved celebration, rather than the typical New Year’s Resolution to change the things you dislike. Since then, it’s become one of my very favorite traditions, and yes, I’d highly encourage others to do the same! There’s something beautiful about acknowledging the things you love about yourself while still making room for those parts that might need a bit of fine-tuning. ;)
Is there one artist, designer, photographer, or creative expert who stands out to you for being particularly inspiring?
I have such a deep love for Miranda July’s work.
When you’re not connected to the Internet, what types of things do you do for fun?
I love long, lingering dinners where the conversation is as flavorful as the food, whether that means visiting with my husband and daughter or entertaining neighbors and friends. Visiting coffee shops for a bit of solitude, relaxing in our sauna at home or taking stroller walks with Bee are all pretty high on my list. And of course, there’s something so cozy about a quiet afternoon with a good book or guilty pleasure TV time. :)