Thursday, 29 April 2010

In the Editor's Chair - Bec Brown

Finding out what you want to do when you are in your teens is a pretty big ask but sussing out your vocation at the age of five is pretty good going I say. That is what Bec Brown did when she put together her first every publication while most people were barely learning to write and read. I guess you could say that an editorial star was born. Fast forward 25 years and we have Bec as editor, publisher, art director and designer of Blanket Magazine which is a publication which covers art, design and photography. Based in Manchester, Bec also runs a successful freelance design business called sixheads. I caught up with her to find out about what life is like running your own magazine.

How did you get into journalism?
I am actually a designer more than a journalist. My background is photography and graphic design but I have always had a keen interest in writing as well. I guess that's why starting my own magazine was so appealing - I could combine all my interests in one neat package!

Describe the concept of Blanket magazine.
Blanket is an online PDF magazine that uncovers emerging and established artists, designers and photographers from all over the world. 

The design is very glam, how did you decide on the art design of the publication?
Thank you! Obviously because of my background in design and because I want to appeal to other visual creatives the design is always my top priority. I am a little bit of a perfectionist as well and I pay extra special attention to the small details that most people probably just flick over (but I know they are there!). For instance I always choose a different featured font for each issue, and I choose a specific colour palette for each issue. All of things are quite considered and I do spend a lot of time working on the design so that I can create a cohesive, beautiful and unique design each time.

Who is behind Blanket Magazine?
I originally started Blanket with a friend back in December 2006 but since 2007 I have been running it on my own.
How many members of staff work on the magazine? 
I have a regular team of around five to seven contributors who help with writing and design for each issue. We email back and forth and discuss ideas and then they send me their articles every two months. Blanket works more like a virtual office because my regular team of contributors are based all over the world - Australia, US and I am based in the UK. I communicate with them mainly via email or in the instance of my editorial assistant we talk via skype. We haven't actually ever met in person - so as you can see it's not very traditional! Although I have recently taken on a intern who comes into my studio once a week and it's been wonderful to have someone who I can talk with face to face! I do probably get less work done now! 

Describe a day in the life of Bec Brown. 
Everyday is different of course because I'm very hands on with the whole process of putting the magazine together from start to finish. I think the majority of my time is spent emailing. As Blanket is a bi-monthly publication I spend the first month emailing and gathering story ideas and interviews, then the next month I start collecting, editing and then designing the magazine. In between I do everything else - such as updating the website and social networking sites, emailing subscriptions, marketing, advertising, writing and designing. If I had to describe my favourite day then it would be when I am designing the magazine - this is when I am in my element and at my most happiest. 
Which blogs do you check out regularly?
A lot of art and design related blogs such as 

What magazines do you read? 
There are a pile on my desk right now which include:
Creative Review, Computer Arts, Monacle, Real Living, Living etc, Frankie and Dazed and Confused

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
I guess I have learn't from experience that you have to go out and create opportunities for yourself. Before I started my own magazine I couldn't get a job in the magazine industry because they said I didn't have enough experience. Obviously I'm not saying that you have to go out and start your own magazine but you need to show that you want to be taken seriously. There are a lot of opportunities out there and if you really want it then you will find a way.

The April/May issue of Blanket Magazine is out now and you can read it here.

You can follow Blanket Magazine on Twitter.

2 cool comments:

Tonia {Chic Modern Vintage} said...

Thanks for the interview. I will be reading her magazine.

Lucy said...

HEY great little interview - and thanks Bec so much for the mention! :)

Lucy x