Wednesday 24th October marked the beginning of our You Can Now series of talks in partnership with Shoreditch House.
Both Shoreditch House and YCN members gathered on the fifth floor for the event, which featured presentations from four speakers, each sharing their insights into the publishing industry.
These included James Brown, creator and founder of Loaded magazine, ex-GQ editor and now publisher of Sabotage Times; Matt Bochenski and Victoria Talbot, editor-in-chief and art director respectively for The Church of London's Little White Lies magazine, and successful freelance illustrator, Adrian Johnson. All delivered valuable insight into the industry.
Up first was James, whose success in publishing is astonishing. His first fanzine was created whilst still at school. He sold it for 20p an issue, hitchhiking to gigs around the country to distribute it. Since then, James has been progressing his publishing journey, magazine after magazine. His presentation advocated opportunity, risk, passion and business-sense.
Matt and Victoria from Little White Lies followed, offering insights into the process behind transforming an idea into a product. Matt spoke of the conception of Little White Lies; a magazine that would fill the gap in film publications. He recounted how a meeting with WHSmith threatened to change their publication; "It was the only time we thought we might have to put a famous face on the cover to make sales". Instead, they created an even more inventive and unconventional cover, true to the spirit of the magazine.
Victoria's role as art director takes attention to detail to a whole new level. Most recently, their On The Road issue imbued a sense of Kerouac authenticity by printing the entire issue on one piece of manuscript. Victoria told us about the time when she had to collect ash in the rain in order to create an ash typeface, and Matt chipped in with an anecdote about carving numbers into the team's back with a butter knife for the Shame issue.
A question posed by an audience member flagged up the issue of finance. How did they fund this venture? "Credit cards", Matt answered: a method that he wouldn't recommend. However, their self-funded adventure has turned an independent publication into a multi-disciplinary creative agency, working with clients as big as Google and Sony. What both Matt and Victoria put across in their talk was a sense of dedication and loyalty to creating an authentic and unique product.
Adrian was last to speak, highlighting the other side of the publishing industry. As an illustrator who works with editorial teams on various publications, Adrian advised the audience to create good relationships between the art director and artist: it's important that there's a sense of trust. Adrian explained that a collaborative effort is always much more successful than being told what to do. His talk was playful and gave an interesting spin on how to succeed in the publishing process.
A quick Q&A followed, flagging interesting questions of magazine naming ("If in doubt, use your record collection", James suggested), sourcing printers and how to deal with clients.
Written by Catherine Sarsfield.
Location:Shoreditch House Library,
London, E1 6AW,
Start:24th October, 2012 at 7:00pm
End:24th October, 2012 at 9:00pm