Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a freelance graphic designer and now a new mum. I publish Extra Curricular, a magazine about getting creative with your spare time – I started it five years ago and it has evolved a lot since then.
I am lucky to work with a growing and ever-changing little network of talented writers, photographers and illustrators who put so much passion and hard work into what they do. My right-hand lady is Sonya Nagels – a fantastic photographer who also writes, edits, illustrates and gives pep-talks like a champ. We are all curious (nosy) about the processes and spaces of creative people, and Extra Curricular incorporates a love of design, illustration, photography, print and paper – all rolled into a compact A5(ish) package that feels nice in your hands.
Judging that your friend gave you a tea set when you were 30 I’m assuming you're an avid tea drinker like myself.
What’s your favourite tea?
I'm a spice-lover, so it's chai, all the way. Preferably the proper milky version. I down an awful lot of peppermint as well. To be honest though, a good strong long black wins for me!
What led you to start a magazine?
Like every design student, ever, I had always dreamed of publishing a magazine. I am a notorious procrastinator, but the year I turned 30 I realized if I didn't just make myself do it it would never happen. In the end it was a natural way to bring together all the creative types I knew and admired, and to get more involved in the creative community. I am a serial hobbyist, and I love having creative side-projects on the go – ceramics, jewellery, sewing and screen printing have been among them – so that's where the concept for Extra Curricular came from.
It was scary – I had no idea if anyone would like it and I had to sink a chunk of cash on the initial print run of 500. I wanted to put it out there and then hide under a rock, but you can't really hide under a rock if you are trying to sell something! It is still nerve-wracking every time an issue goes to print.
What stock do you use?
It is all FSC certified stock - Advocate Linen for the cover and Sumo Laser for the rest.
How do you choose your content?
I am constantly gathering ideas for possible content. Each issue has a theme and the content slowly comes together around that – I skulk around the internet, meet people at markets or through friends, contributors pitch content and readers email me too. It's a mix of stumbling on cool things I want to feature and seeking out content that fits the theme.
There is so much out there I think it's important to be true to the things that really fit what you're trying to achieve. It is hard to say no to people, but if Extra Curricular isn't the right place for them there will definitely be somewhere that is.
What magazines are you currently addicted to?
So many! Apartamento is my ultimate magazine store indulgence (luscious Spanish mag featuring real, lived-in homes and their eccentric residents). I also love Uppercase (Canadian mag full of design, illustration & typography), Wrap (illustration mag which includes pull-out sheets of wrapping paper), and Offscreen (a behind-the-scenes look at the people behind web-based businesses, but you don't need to be into web developing to read it!) All independent publications that have really taken off without having a big publishing house behind them.
What advice would you give to someone who’s wants to start their own magazine?
Have a point of difference – there is a steady stream of new mags out there. Talk to retailers once you have a solid concept and at least some of the content, but before you go to print. Get their advice on pricing and try to pin down some pre-orders.
Get several print quotes and go in and talk to the printers. They can give advice on paper stocks, quantities needed to make an offset run worthwhile, and sizes and numbers of pages to avoid paper wastage – they may even be able to give you a print discount in exchange for an ad.
Above all, do it for love, not money!
Extra Curricular cost $14 Nz dollars which works out to $10 Can / US