It's a liberating feeling leaving work knowing that you've organised something a little different for yourself. Last Thursday I chose Shoreditch, and the dimly lit rooms of The Book Club, to attend my very first (but their forth) Printout! event.
Run by Jeremy Leslie , Creative Director at magCulture and columnist for Creative Review (among many other things), Printout! promises to be a night of industry talks and magazine browsing, with a well needed Thursday night pint thrown in.
Printout! is held in The Book Club's basement under a lightbulb clustered ceiling, which gave the effect of seeing frogspawn from the underneath - like frogs! - which was fun, and kind of cosy.
|Magazine library provided by STACK|
The guest speakers for the evening were Les Jones (Elsie magazine), Gareth Main (Bearded magazine) and Cathy Olmedillas (Anorak & PLOC magazine), who all gave an interesting account of what it's like to start up a publication.
What I was most interested to hear about, being very much an 'internet girl' (Social Media Exec right here) was why they chose print, when the web is so readily available and so much a part of how we share information. Les (Elsie) spoke for most of the group, explaining:
"It's about longevity and structure, about having something tactile to keep on your book shelf or coffee table".
Cathy added that the internet was an increasingly crowded place, and that "it had to be print" to reach the young readers of Anorak and PLOC. This was interesting, and I had to agree. Page links circulate, and they can have a wide reach, but ultimately they die, whereas a magazine is something physical, it has to be physically thrown away, and is far less likely to be lost amongst the retweets and the reposts that the internet churns out daily.
Overall, the talk reminded me just how much of a struggle it can be to pursue a creative venture, such as starting your own press. Bearded magazine is no more, and many of the guests spoke about full time work being hugely important for providing financial stability. I discovered the independent magazine's being produced are much more about a passion and a drive to create something long-lasting and beautiful, rather than financial gratification.
Nostalgic reasons surfaced for making the publications themselves. Childhood memories and experiences form a lot of the content for Elsie magazine for example, with Les telling a wonderful tale of sticking a pin in a map and going on self initiated travels to produce content.
Print is about the senses then. About the touch, and even the smell, of paper, and about capturing moments and a thought process, in a way that would out-live a web page.