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A quick word with ... Ron Hanson

Artist turned editor Ron Hanson lives – and thrives on – the principle of chance.

Ron HansonMy first job was… what is referred to in southern Minnesota as “walking the beans.” I grew up in New Zealand but my dad is from rural Minnesota. From time to time as a kid I would head back and experience some of my farming heritage. This included the tradition of walking all day through lines of beans with a hoe and pulling out weeds.  It’s back-breaking work – some of the weeds are pretty tenacious and the weather is usually in the 30s with high humidity – best described by the country singer Greg Brown in his song Walking the Beans.

And now the title on my business card is... Funnily, I don’t currently have a business card but if I did I guess it would say “Editor.”

Which really means...  Either I’m still operating on a shoestring budget or business cards aren’t that relevant to the way I do business – probably a combination of both.

My day starts with... Coffee, emails that have come through during the night and a bowl of Hubbards cereal.

And ends with... reading in bed.

And in between, I... listen to music, read, write, send emails and, in general, digest voluminous amounts of information.

My first artistic memory is... Winning a talent quest at school as a five-year-old singing You’ll Never Get to Heaven, which my grandfather taught me. I won a king-size bar of chocolate which, frustratingly, my mother administered sparingly.

If I wasn't doing this, I'd... be a completely different person. There have been times when I’ve considered taking a safer option, but my heart just isn’t in it.

I'm inspired by...  people who chart their own course and find new ways of doing things rather than slotting into predefined roles or following convention. Essentially, I’m inspired by people who are courageous and determined enough to explore the full extent of what they can do and who they can become. 

I can't live without... Stimulation and surprises. I live by the principle of chance. As soon as I know exactly how something will play out, I completely lose interest and motivation.   

True 'style' is... a constant negotiation with the external environment, morphing by the moment and goes beyond the limited purview of self-expression.

My work in three words is... a complete obsession.

Ron Hanson is founder of White Fungus magazine