Interview, Trace Hanson Design

Added on by Christine Weir.

Interview by Trace Hanson for her website, Trace Hanson Design, July 2009

What materials do you use?

Graphite pencils (from 9H to 9B); rulers; compasses (including an extra-large one, hand-made especially for me by my husband); Arches 140lb hot pressed paper (individual sheets and watercolor blocks); paper cement; masonite-faced, deep cradled, wood panels 

How would you describe your work?

Post-minimalist, obsessive-compulsive, sci-fi based realism.

How would you describe your artistic journey up until this point?

Haphazard.  I had given up all dreams of "being an artist" after moving to NYC in the early 90s.  I didn't have what it took to do anything really interesting so I decided pretty quickly to return to grad school to study art history. I interned and worked in museums, galleries and other non-profits until I wound up with a career as an art appraiser in the auction industry.  I worked in that field for about 9 years until I quit to stay at home with my then newborn son.  A friend taught me how to knit when my son was 4 months old and I realized how much I missed working with my hands.  I was pretty burned out from the auction business but, thankfully, the thousands of artworks that I looked at over the years really gave me a new perspective on creating my own work.  Once I was able to conceptualize my creative needs, the work just started to come out.

What inspires you?

Looking at good artwork.  Music.  Deadlines.  Positive feedback.  

Which part of your work do you most enjoy?

All phases of it.  They each have a purpose and fulfill a need.

Which part do you find the most difficult?

Keeping myself in line - not overtaxing myself to get something done or biting off more than I can chew.

Tell us a bit about you, the parent?

I feel really lucky to have been able to quit my job to stay at home with my son, who is now 3 1/2.  My husband is a screenwriter so we are both at home all day, although he does spend his days out in his office (garage). But because we adults don't have to leave the house on a daily basis our family life is pretty close-knit.  If I need to get something done or want to go to lunch with a friend, Michael will come in for a little while and let me do my thing. Also, my son goes to a co-op nursery school that is about a minute walk from our house. The parents are really involved, each family has to work there one day a week, and we all have lunch with our kids every school day.  I love being able to be there with him, and to be around the other families.  It's kind of an old-fashioned community filled with creative, progressive types.  So now parenting for me is not as isolating as it was in the beginning.

Are there any other materials and/or techniques you would love to explore someday?


Where are you located?

Los Angeles

What do you find special about the area you live in?

So many things -  weather,  amazing (real) people, access to nature, good food

Tell us about an a-ha moment

Waking up at 3am and finally understanding how to simplify form.

2 random facts about yourself

I do OK on 5 or 6 hours of sleep, as long as it's solid.  

I hate shopping.

2 places you would love to visit someday

Iceland and Australia

When not hard at work, what would you most likely be doing?

Wasting time online or tending to my son.

What are you most grateful for?

My family (cliche I know, but true) and LASIK

How would you describe your inner dialogue?

I don't really have a working dialogue.  I kind of go on autopilot when I work. 

Favorite artist

Too many to detail. I'm all over the map.

Do you sell or show your work elsewhere?

Currently I am in a group show at the Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque in conjunction with the LAND/ART festivities.

Any bits of wisdom or advice you care to share?

Nothing of any consequence, sadly.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Only thanks.