Q&A with Laura Hansen

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{Tapioca Dance Note: I had the pleasure of re-connecting with Laura after years of not being in touch. I think she is so ridiculously inspiring, and I wrote a blog post for The Bravery Board about her. You can find it HERE.}

1. Name: Laura Hansen
2. Current City: Boulder, Colorado
3. What did you want to be when you grew up? Bob Ross, a firefighter, a surgeon. None of those things happened, thank god.
4. Where are you now? At my not overly cluttered desk. My laptop is sitting on top of sketches for a new portfolio of apparel/product ideas.
5. How did you get to this point? A mix of luck, taking chances, hard work, networking, and helping others.
6. Are you paid doing what you love? If not, what would you like to be paid to do? I try to make sure I love what I’m doing. I’ve done all aspects of apparel design and production for several different companies and for the most part love all the different elements. It is NOT glamorous behind the scenes. We work very very hard to make it look mysterious and natural. I would love to get paid to take naps.
7. Current project(s): Conceptualizing a platform to mentor creatives. I’m a member of Art Director’s Club Denver and have participated in portfolio reviews and fashion shows, which are both so inspiring. I want to help creatives get organized and grow their vision and output.
8. What are you reading/listening to/watching/making: I just read “Lincoln In the Bardo” by George Saunders. I read it almost straight through! Next on the stack is “The Enchantress of Florence” by Salman Rushdie. I’ve read it before and it’s a book that I go back to for inspiration and to spark the imagination. My current spring playlist that’s on heavy repeat lately is inspired by that song on “This Is Us,” which is ‘Watch Me’ by Labi Siffre. Some good upbeat stuff like Shuggie Otis sprinkled in. I’ve been watching these super fun videos by YouTuber and activist Kimberly Clark. Part drag, part makeup, part social commentary, I’m always laughing: https://youtu.be/xrW_sSP0N5A
Lately I’ve been making watercolor sketches and I want to explore gouache. Like, what even is gouache.
9. How do you express yourself creatively? The most impactful and daily way I express myself creatively is through my outfits. I consider what clothes I combine to send a certain message or express a mood. Sometimes it’s dressy, most of the time not. This is not me being vain or caring overly much about my appearance, it is me using and manipulating clothing the way a painter composes images. I consider color, texture, silhouette as well as what I’ll be doing in any given day. I love heels and heeled boots — anything to make me taller and more mindful of how I walk and move. Or a pair of badass sneakers. Trust me I don’t wear heels if I’m going to be on my feet all day…I ain’t crazy. But throwing on a pair of shoes that makes you feel fierce is a power pose you do all day!
10. Have you ever written a fan letter? If so, to whom? I write them all day in my head to various politicians…
11. Drink of choice? Water, black coffee, hot chocolate,1% milk, grapefruit juice, herbal tea, beet juice, coconut water, lemon Pellegrino, champagne. I love beverages.
12. Who inspires you, and why? I’m inspired by women who persist, who follow their dreams and their instincts. Women who are true to themselves and give back to the world with love and positivity. My mom and my best friend.
13. Favorite tool to stay productive (for example, a set of watercolors, a specific planner or app, an exercise program…): I make good old fashioned lists. When I need to be productive for prolonged periods and have multiple projects (hi, every day, at work), I make a list of easy, short tasks. Then I make a list of longer, more intense projects, and prioritize between which items need to get done first. Then I spend 90 minutes on the first priority. The time it takes for your concentration to kick in, be productive, and not burn out is 90 minutes. I “reward” myself with a break of some sort, whether doing easy tasks, getting a beverage, or taking a walk for 20 or 30 minutes. Then I move on to the next 90 minute block. It really works!!!
14. Something you have learned this year? I learned how to craft and tailor elevator speech about myself. It’s a huge confidence booster to know you’ve got a script at the ready when someone says, “So, tell me about yourself”.
15. How can people find you? Instagram: @lauralhansen … send me a DM, I’ll answer!
16. What can people do to make the world a better place? Put down your cell phone and look around.
17. Brag about yourself. It’s okay. If you don’t, I will. I am so, so good at eating cookies and ice cream.
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