INDIE-MAGAZINE : CREATIVE ENTERPRISE JOURNAL.
After my first creative enterprise lesson I had no doubt what I wanted to create this year. I was already planning on starting my project soon thus having the opportunity to do this within my university module was a dream coming true.Making my own indie-magazine with the design layout principles by the various upcoming magazines was a challenge I was willing to take on. I immediately started my research and looking around at different stockholders who provided a variety of different independent magazines. I spent hours in bookshops, absorbing the content and researching their displays. Soon I released that Bristol consists of various head quarters of a couple indie-magazines, for example Cereal Magazine, Another Escape, etc. I hoped to get them to talk to me and give me an idea of the insides of the new medium. Therefore I emailed several times, both magazines. (Link Emails)
With no response, I gather some confidence and took off to Bristol to walk in the Cereals office that is located next to the train station. Sad to find out, they don’t have a walk in office and the address is only a photo studio that is not used everyday. They have no public number and with my fourth email, I concluded I would have to aim for smaller business. That said I have not given up on the idea of the Cereal interview.
I decided to look for equally as nice magazines that haven’t had the huge amount of readers yet. My first contact with an independent magazine was “The Atlas”. Finding this beauty of a magazine in a small local bookshop in London called Artworks Bookshop.
One of the editors was Olivia who I contacted to ask if she was up for an interview about the magazine. She enthusiastically replied and on 20th of January we spoke over the phone about her magazine, her inspirations and dreams for the future. ( Link Interview and Screenshots , ISSUU)
At this point I had started to work on developing my own magazine ideas. My first project proposal stated I would create a lifestyle magazine that would consist food, architecture, art, design, coffee shops, travel, new places and shops to visit, etc. I had planned several photo shoots that would fall within this category. My first challenge was to take lifestyle photos of doughnuts and include research on the loved food snack. (Photos and Recipe)
Finding a name that was visually stimulating and not yet taking by someone else had me pondering for a few weeks. I wanted a short name that was not a made up word. I created some flash cards with multiple words on to then display to friends and family. With each word they had the option to lay it in the NO, YES or MAYBE pile. The exercise produced the affect that with each person, I found which ones were my favourites and which one just didn’t feel right. The word TIDE was the word that spoke to me the most. Even though the magazine is not linked with the concept, to me this term posses a mysterious level as it speaks about the rise and fall of the sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the moon, sun, and the rotation of the earth.The next step was to create the graphics for the magazine name and perceive a certain theme and design to would portray my ethic views for the project. (Photos options Names, and Photo Design)
To help with inspiration, I created mood boards for ideas that I had on various photo shoots. I thought this would help with developing the right visuals. (Link Mood boards)
I made a selection of my own photos, which could be included in the magazine. (Photos)
I set out with a photographer friend to go to beautiful places around Bath to take some shots for my magazine. One of our stops was the lovely town Corsham, where we spend hours walking around and capturing the sites. (Photos)
When still in the pursuit of a lifestyle magazine, I went on an adventure to Clifton Village in Bristol. This trip introduced me to my all time favourite store in the world, Papersmiths. This cute wooden interior bookshop has a huge collection on independent magazines. After spending several hours in the shop, the manager and I went in deep discussion on magazines and furthermore I explained her about my project where upon she informed me that when the magazine was finished I should get back in contact with her and she would promote and display the product. The trip had giving me photos that would have been part of the lifestyle magazine and a very positive feeling that made me keen to develop the magazine further. (Photos)
Business cards needed to be developed and designed. MOO provided my cards that I would take with me anywhere I go. These designed business cards have given me a professional attitude. (Photos) When been asked about my job description it took me a long time to find a suitable status. In discussion with my mother, she called me a creative researcher. From that moment on, I have described myself as an art curator. This let to the turn in my project the decision of making my magazine a collection of artworks. I wanted to create a platform for young artists to display their art and the opportunity to explain their works. This was the start of my search for people who’s work inspirited me and who’s art made me excited to show off. The idea was to have artists that were close within my world, friends, family and people who I encounter everyday.
I developed a tumblr blog for the magazine.
This site would feature the artists writing a designed website, I found myself reblogging endlessly. (Various tumblr design )
Researching brought be to a beautiful Belgium magazine ‘Oogst’, I contacted the leading creative director Fredrik with several questions about his magazine and how he developed the magazine.
One of the artists I have included in the magazine is the color green. He is based in New York City and creates doodles stickers and made his own little Zine of his artwork. When in contact with him, he sent me one of his t-shirts he co-created with artist Joe Capon. When I received the T-shirt I took a picture and posted it on my Instagram, which he reposted upon his page and gave me a shout out. As I really enjoyed his work I included him in my own project to give him some awareness at the other side of the ocean. (Screenshots)
A major learning experience was the process of being in contact with artists and the frustrations when people don’t get back to you. When asking around if I can use their work in the magazine, people are very willing to help and keen to be part of my project. Yet when it comes to actually sending in their work, people are quick to forget. I found that the closer you are with the person the more it slips their mind you are working with a deadline and need to have the work in as soon as possible. After several messages, I started to feel like a stalker, who was creeping up as a reminder that they need to send in their work. That said, a few artists were most professional and met my needs for communication. They responded with enthusiasm and set a date when they would send in their work and met those demands.
Within the future, when I pursue this type of creative research I hope to set a certain professionalism when working close with artists and have the ability to leave out the artists who did not make the deadline. This student project had not yet the power to be so strict. I did have to lose three artists who did not get back to me in time, which I regret, as I really loved their work and would have loved to see them in the magazine. I hope that when the second print comes around I can include them.
When researching to develop a website for my project, I found myself in a whole new medium that I had never set foot in. I was never taught the tools nor had I ever had the opportunity to create a website. Teaching myself was a huge learning curve. Investigating what web design would suit me best and meet my demands. It had to visually meet the principles that my magazine pursues. Furthermore, it had to be in my price range and simple to use for beginners. Here, I struck some problems, to tick all boxes is not easy. I created a list of my research of the most common web providers. (Research)
I settled with Squarespace, with a leading element that it provides fourteen days trail, which gives you the ability to develop and revise your design before buying the website and domain name. Besides it had the option of paying per month instead of committing to a long period of 6 months that requires you to pay in advance. I am still on a trail website as I wanted your feedback before I buy the website, furthermore it gave me the option to play around with different website designs for the last couple of months without committing to it. (Tide Magazine Website)
When talking to multiple people within the business I got to know a company Das Magazine, which would organise a magazine event in London in the near future. I emailed the company and asked if I could help out with the event when they were coming to London. The lovely lady who got back to me told me that they were defiantly looking for people who could help. Thus she wrote me down on the list of helpers. (Emails and Research)
The university organised a meeting that would include a board of 5 people who would talk about their experiences within the media industry and how to get in the business. It furthermore gave the opportunity to learn how to social network. A variety of people within the industry would attend and give their wisdom. I figured this would be the perfect place to meet some people and learn something of the media business. (Notes)
Eager to learn even more about the industry, I went in search of events about indie-magazines. I found a website magculture.com. They create several meetings about the magazine business. Each event provides a variety of speakers who are in the industry. As most of them only allow a small amount of people in this causes the events to be sold out way in advance which means I haven’t yet been able to one in person but I have viewed each video they posted. One of those videos was the event of Printout. I have booked for tickets for the next event in London. (Notes)
When I was back home I got in contact with the Brussels Public library, as I had work for them before. I spoke with the head librarian Leen Lekens about the possibility of starting an indie-magazine collection. I stated that in Belgium there is a small amount of places to get a hold of independent magazines and that it would be a scoop for the library to display multiple indie-magazines. When giving them my research on the industry they selected several magazines and ordered them in for the library. To thank me that I helped them out and give a couple of my own collection, the library bought me the book of Little White Lies: What I love about Movies. Furthermore they used my research text that I wrote for this module in their monthly leaflet to promote the collection. (Research and Photos.)
When searching for a variety of different artists, I thought maybe I could include some of my own pictures in the magazine. I did the photo shoot for the recipe created by Emma Norcliffe and took some picture of Emma Mortier’s artwork but I hadn’t included anything of my own artwork. Not that I see myself as a photographer, yet I do enjoy the art of it and the magazine is mine thus I figured if not in my own project where would else should I place some of my pictures. Where or what, was the first choice I had to make. I was really inspired by the Brecon Beacons photos that were featured a couple of issues ago in Cereal Magazine and would love to take some photos with my own look on it. One of my artists and me took the car and travelled up to Wales to take some photos of the beautiful National Park.
A part of this project was learning how to edit, not just the artists works but also the texts these people sent me. I had never critically analysed someone else’s words let alone edited their texts. Here I asked my personal tutor to give me a hand. He emailed me with some great advise. (Email)
When doing my university work in Society Café numerous of times, I started to be a regular customer. One of the supervisors Elliot started to follow me on Instagram and after seeing several images of his photography I asked him if he wanted to send in some of his work for the magazine. Not just did he help me with sending in his work he also offered to display my magazine in the café once it was finished. A Dutch saying encouraged me to just ask; ‘ a no you got, a yes you can receive.’ This experience has thought me that you should never be scared to ask for help and that you can get so much in return as this environment is based on verbal encounters and the pursuit to help each other out. (Email)
Next to society, the Brussels Public Library has claimed they would display my magazine. Furthermore, I spoke to the Bath spa University library and asked them if I could display my finished art magazine in their selection of magazines. This is all part of me having the guts to ask for help and to be proud of my own work.
A few people have already pre ordered an issue and even offered to give me more than the print price. As much as I was not set out to make money with my magazine or to display it anywhere, it gives a satisfying feeling that people want to show off my work and pay me for the effort. I had the aim to create something beautiful that would inspire people and me. I wanted it to get me out of my comfort zone and take on a new challenge and get me involved within the industry. I wanted something to show the business that I produced myself.
My overall reflection on my creative enterprise is extremely positive. I have gained an idea on the world of independent magazines and learned a great deal whilst making my own magazine. I understand that quality is important and research needs to be done. The making of a magazine is a slow process and takes time to set off. I started this project to test myself and be inspirited to get involved with the medium. I have been part and in contact with several companies and I have discovered that this is a world I would like to step foot in. The enterprise has opened up a whole new path I am very eager to take and it has giving me confidence to pursue this task. I learned that people within the milieu are very keen to help in any way they can. Most of all I have learned to be brave and to just do it. To end my journal I will close it with these quotes. One I received in a mail from my personal tutor for this project about the learning process of editing: “The test of a true vocation is a love of the drudgery involved.” by Logan Pearsall Smith. “Life is about making an impact, not making an income.” by Kevin Kruse.