Amelia’s Magazine 10th Anniversary Kickstarter Special

 

When I found out that Amelia’s Magazine was coming out with a new printed book, I could not contain my excitement! For those who are not familiar with the magazine, it’s a treat indeed – it’s a big tome filled with lots of illustrations, eye candy and made with love and dedication by Amelia Gregory. Ever since it stopped its print run a few years back (although it still exists as an online magazine), I was pining for the day when it would be brought back in its tangible, physical form.

And that day is finally here. To celebrate Amelia’s Magazine 10th year, they’re holding a special Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a limited edition book with the theme That Which We Do Not Understand which runs from now until 29th November 2014.

I sat down and wrote to Amelia to ask her some questions about the exciting new campaign:

Hi Amelia! Congrats on celebrating 10 years of Amelia’s Magazine! Could you tell us what’s in store after a decade of being such a big part of the illustration industry?

Thank you! It’s very kind of you to say I’m a big part of the illustration industry, but I feel as though I operate on the fringes, offering a forum for artists of all kinds to showcase their work. Many go onto much bigger things, which I hope is in part due to the exposure that I offer them. I hope that my 10th anniversary limited edition artists’ book, themed around That Which We Do Not Understand, will be a reminder that the printed medium can be an enormously important and influential way to share art with the world. After a few years of working entirely online it’s really exciting to think I will once again make a tactile object.

I’ve always appreciated that your magazine is a work of art – truly. The incredible amount of detail and work that goes to each issue is phenomenal. How did Amelia’s Magazine get its start?

It began life 10 years ago in 2004, after much deliberating and research. I wanted to make a magazine that was a very personal affair, unmuddled by the demands of advertising and big corporates. At that point I could not design so I persuaded a graphic designer to mock up a few pages of the magazine and went in search of a print company and paper merchant who might support me in my dream. Luckily I found Principal Colour and they have been an integral part of Amelia’s Magazine ever since. I’ve used a variety of high quality papers over the years, but now I am excited to be working with Antalis, who are providing beautiful recycled stock for my upcoming book.

 

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Tribal Cumulus by Mateusz Napieralski for Amelia’s Magazine That Which We Do Not Understand. 
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Shamaness by Essi Kimpimäki for Amelia’s Magazine That Which We Do Not Understand.

What were the problems that you’ve run into during the publishing of Amelia’s Magazine? Why did you decide to end its print run?

I always said I would create 10 issues and then see how I felt about continuing. By 2009 I was exhausted with trying to find the advertising to support the print costs (I was never very good at doing the required networking) and wanted to concentrate on creating daily online content instead. I also wanted to try writing some books and knew that I could not do everything so something had to give. On the website I no longer take advertising, which is not very sustainable as I currently have no income. But I am desperate to get back into print properly, and if all goes well with the campaign to raise funds for That Which We Do Not Understand then I plan to relaunch the website and print magazine, and have plans to make them self sustainable without advertising.

Why have you decided to use Kickstarter to fund this book?

I want to ensure that all costs are met and I don’t overproduce or get into debt. As any small publisher knows, it can be very hard to anticipate demand and I have had a lot of issues with storage and distribution over the years which I really want to avoid this time around. To secure a copy of the book a pledge must be placed because I will basically print a run to suit demand, with only a few spares destined for key bookstores such as the Tate. It’s going to be very beautiful: printed on high quality thick paper, with gold spot printing throughout. Kickstarter is completely nerve-wracking because you have to raise the entire amount or you don’t get any of it, so it’s a very good indicator of whether people like what I do.

When I got that email from you about a special edition printed book, I knew it was going to be good. Could you tell us why you chose the brief “That Which We Do Not Understand” for the edition?

In the past year I’ve had two late miscarriages and they have inevitably led me to think about things we don’t understand. We don’t really having a decent comprehension of why certain things happen to our bodies, or why certain events occur in our lives… and I wanted to explore the many ways that humans try to make sense of the world. It’s a very wide open theme and has already produced some amazing and very varied work. As well as opening the brief up to artists, for the first time I have also invited people to submit creative writing. I am super pleased with the response I’ve had so far! There are still a few days to get involved if any of your readers would like to submit work. (Amy: The closing date for submission is 16th November, so hurry!)

http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/art/that-which-we-do-not-understand-amelias-magazine-10th-anniversary-open-brief-for-illustrators-and-writers/2014/09/17/

I love that a big part of Amelia’s magazine is about collaborations. Tell me, has the collaborative process changed from when you first started, to this current day?

I love collaborating with other creatives, and you are right, this is what has made Amelia’s Magazine what it is! There are many challenges involved with working with so many people, such as keeping on top of multiple conversations, dealing with deadlines and giving very concrete instructions to ensure that submitted work is right for publication. Since the magazine’s inception the internet has changed dramatically, and I have had to keep apace with the myriad ways in which we communicate. Luckily I love social media, and am so thankful for the way it has enabled me to collaborate with people across the globe.

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Thanks so much Amelia!

To be a part of the campaign and to get your copy of the limited edition book, head over to Amelia’s Magazines’ Kickstarter campaign!

Book review: 50 Years of Illustration

50 Years of Illustration

 

Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegan & Caroline Roberts celebrates illustration and illustrators throughout five decades. Rather than padding up its pages to include engravings of eighteenth-century artists; the realistic traditions set by the great Victorian illustrators and the stylishly academic (although no less avant-garde) works from the 1920 to 1930s – the book begins in 1960; where cultural revolutions in the East and West began to stir.

Just like art that chronicles each decade with aesthetics that define the times, so it is with illustration – along with its illustrators. The past 50 years has seen many changes in technique, details and ripples within the profession itself as it hinges on relationships with many other industries that are changing still. From the heyday of the Madmen era to the introduction of the Apple computer that forever changed how graphics are created forever; illustrators more than ever need to be quick on their feet; and to think of how they can fit in with the world at large.

While it is no secret that there are diminishing opportunities within traditional illustration outlets, there are new opportunities as well, as we become more comfortable in the digital age:

For the new wave of illustrators, working in the digital domain was second nature, having grown up with a computer in the bedroom, playroom and classroom, and having trained in the studios of art schools where digital and analogue technologies sat alongside each other. For these new practitioners, the challenge was in the crossing of boundaries and territories, working in advertising, design, music, fashion, and publishing, as well as traversing from the commercial and to the non-commercial and self-initiated, self-publishing projects. This new breed of illustrator works globally, and yet lives locally. No longer required to live where the work is, illustrators can work anywhere, anytime and for anyone. ~ Introduction, 50 Years of Illustration


I appreciated that the given introduction to each decade sums up the circumstances and influences that spearheaded the illustrators of its generation. So while the book doesn’t tell you how the future would be like in the next coming decade, it offers you a broad, long, lingering look of what others have done before in the past. It’s up to you to connect the dots and to see how you can envision yours as you move forward. Illustrators need to be conscious and relevant of what’s happening around them – and not just of clients. They’re very much artists of the world at large; communicators if you will – who bridge the gap for people to connect visually.

And this is what I loved best about this book.

Pros: The subject matter of the book is refreshing as it concentrates on the past 5 decades instead of a longer timeline; and thus was able to showcase more illustrators – 250 of them – and their works.

Cons: This is a minor gripe, but I didn’t really like the feel of the inside paper – while it was a retrospective look at illustration, I had hoped for a book that didn’t seem to come out from the 1990s; also, there was a bit of transfer between pages (particularly for full colored pages that were bordered in black).

The book will only be out on October 28th, but you can pre-order 50 Years of Illustration via Amazon.

Doodlers Anonymous’ Coloring Book Vol. 4 Open Call

Doodlers Anonymous Coloring Book Vol. 4

 

If you haven’t heard of Doodlers Anonymous’ annual coloring books, then you’re missing out. This year in particular, in fact – because there’s an open call for entries and it ends today, the 7th of October. If you think you have got what it takes to be one of the 60 artists featured in the 64-page coloring book, then it’s time to whip out your Sharpies and doodling gear; because it’s going to get intense real quick. Oh by the way, the deadline is less than 24 hours away.

One, two, three – draw!