New Artist – a new magazine

newartistI recently got invited to write a feature for a brand new magazine, New Artist. It was a dream commission, involving me visiting galleries, coffee shops and the like and talking to the people about the pros and cons of choosing to exhibit in unconventional spaces. It opened up really interesting discussions, and gave me an opportunity to consider some unexpected sides of the arguments for and against, while enjoying spending time in some of my favourite kinds of places with some truly talented people.

I was thrilled to receive my comp copy of the magazine last week, which comes with a cover gift of a set of sketching pencils (bonus!), and is packed with beautiful practical articles designed to improve artistic skills and inspire ideas for new compositions.

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One special detail for me is that among the photos I submitted along with my feature text was a photo I’d taken in the Grant Bradley Gallery, Bristol, which just happened to include a small work of art by my mum. It made it onto the printed page, which means I now have the pleasure of letting my mum know her collage has been featured in a national art magazine. How lovely.

Print editions of the quarterly New Artist magazine are available to buy online from craft.buysubscriptions.com/Special-Issues/New-Artist, with digital versions available on iPad, tablets and Zinio. The print version of issue 1 will be on sale until early March 2016, with digi editions available indefinitely. Huzzah!

Christmas gift ideas – a different kind of subscription service

Stack magazine subscriptionsI love magazines, and there are few things better than that moment when one drops through your letter box, apart, perhaps, from the joy of that initial flick through when you get to glimpse the riches within.

But receiving the same magazine month after month is nothing compared to the thrill of getting your mitts on one you’ve never laid eyes on before.

Stack have met this quandary head on with its recommendation and subscription service, which draws together independent magazines from across the globe.

By signing up to a single annual Stack subscription, you will be welcoming in a whole host of titles, with a different independent magazine falling through your letterbox each month.

Stack magazines

Packages start from £18 for three months. You’ll never know exactly what’s coming next, only that it will offer a view from outside the mainstream.

The Plant magazineCurrent titles signed up to the scheme include The Plant (‘A beautiful, poetic and disarmingly strange magazine about plants, flowers and trees’), Elephant (an art and culture magazine, and The Gourmand food magazine, all of which cost far more than £6 per issue when bought in shops.

“When we were researching Stack, people told us that their personal tastes were creative, intelligent and independent,” says Steven Watson, founder of Stack, “but when we asked whether they read magazines that reflected those values, nearly 60% said no. Stack aims to bridge that gap by making it easier than ever for people to get hold of fantastic magazines.”

Without the marketing budgets of the bigger publishing houses, independent magazines have always had to find creative and cost-effective ways of reaching readers, and Stack is just one innovation currently emerging from the UK’s cash-strapped independents. Plus it means you’ll have the opportunity to discover titles to enrich, intrigue and inspire you. Win-win!

For details, visit www.stackmagazines.com.

Help to kickstart the Barefoot Diaries

Barefoot Diaries1 cr Stu McLellan
An old school friend of mine, Stu McLellan, is involved in an exciting new venture I wanted to share with you here. The Barefoot Diaries will be a quarterly journal of writing, artwork and photography “about living slower and deeper – in our own bodies, in our relationships, in connection to place and nature and the wider world.” Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Barefoot Diaries image cr Stu McLellanWe all need to pause, look up and take stock occasionally, and the Barefoot Journal will offer a chance to do that. Issue one is due out in early summer 2013, with contributors including bee campaigner Brigit Strawbridge and illustrator Jackie Morris, and topics ranging from summer foraging, tree-climbing as meditation (yep, I’m curious too) to the art of campfires, all printed on 100% recycled chunky paper.

You can help they get going with Kickstarter, where you can find out more about the project and your hands on original Barefoot artwork, not to mention the opportunity to send Stu on some random barefoot (literally) adventures.

To play your role in getting the Barefoot Diaries out into the world, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/352418155/the-barefoot-diaries

This week I’m reading…

What I'm readingThis week I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman, The Persephone Book of Short Stories, The Simple Things magazine issue6, and Kath Kelly’s How I Lived a Year on Just a Pound a Day. Learning so much!

The Mussel FeastAnd this morning I’ve just started reading The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke from Peirene Press. Look out for the review, I’ll post it on these pages soon!