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Why I Started Create! Magazine
Photo by Emily Grace Photography

Photo by Emily Grace Photography

I started my first magazine from a tiny studio apartment six years ago out of a desperate need for a creative community. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, and since I didn’t have the funding to start a physical gallery space, this was the next best thing I could come up with, and I am so thankful that I did. This desire to connect with other artists and empower them on their journey has been a constant over the years, and continues to inspire me to grow Create! as well as venture into exciting new projects that will support the growth of the emerging artist community. While I was developing my painting practice, there was a missing component of human connection and support on this unpredictable journey.

Back then, I had no money, no design experience, and all I had was a random idea that I decided to execute after working numerous minimum wage jobs. It took lots of Google searches, studying every publication I could get my hands on in Barnes and Noble on my lunch break, and teaching myself how to build websites, design magazines, and do basic business. I was discovering how to find artists and took lots of trips to galleries and museums to promote my humble publication. There was a period of time where I even walked into galleries in person to introduce myself and handed out free copies of the magazine. As you can imagine, some were super supportive and kind, while some were suspicious or disinterested.

It took many years to build a strong community. Over time I became more and more brave and started partnering with galleries and organizations that were so out of my league, it wasn’t even funny. This forced me to level up, increase the quality of the publication and stick to my commitments. Years and years later, the magazine became my actual job. I am now proud to work with a small team of four incredible women. We work together virtually, so we don’t get to see each other very often in person, but I know each one of us is driven by the love of art and the desire to support fellow creatives, especially those new on their journey.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from starting a creative business so far is that we are so much more powerful than we think. Taking responsibility for our own luck will speed up our success rate faster than waiting on some “expert” to come validate us. From my experiences, being bold and starting something will bring support faster than by wishing for it. We are definitely not meant to do this alone and there will be people on this journey that will help push your career forward, but remember that they also human and had to start somewhere just like you at one point in their life.

I used to approach influential figures in the arts with the notion that they surely must have something I don’t. I used to give myself excuses such as “I don't have rich parents, “I didn’t go to a fancy private art school,” “I don’t know how to do business” or even “I am not attractive or cool enough.” But when I took a chance on myself and got started, things began to shift, and the right people showed up with support.

The entrepreneurial path is not easy, but at the same time it’s open to anyone willing to find missing information, to fail over and over again, to have days where they have no idea what theу are doing and to try again and again until something sticks.

Building a business may not be for everyone, but I encourage you to contribute to a cause that you often think about. Maybe you found a way to do things better in the art world and want to make improvements by launching a better version of what already exists. There is more than enough room for new contributions, and I am excited to see what you create.

More than anything I want you to know that this magazine is for you. I may not get to work directly with each artist, but please know that you are always at the forefront of my mind with every new launch, article, or podcast episode.

Thank you for being a vital part of our community.

Cheers,

Kat

P.S. If you enjoy this content check out my podcast Art & Cocktails or subscribe to our glossy, colorful publication.

If you are an artist looking to get your work published, we always welcome submissions to our free blog and open calls.

Stress Free Tips For Writing Your Artist Statement

Does the thought of writing your artist statement make you wake up in cold sweat at 4 am? You’re not alone. I am currently writing an updated statement for a solo exhibition, and I feel your pain. After receiving tons of messages asking me to give me insight into crafting this important part of your portfolio, I decided to give you a few easy hacks to make this a simple process. 

You don’t have to be a great writer to have a clean, easy-to-understand description of what your work is about. We often overthink what an artist statement actually is. It should be a genuine, honest snapshot of what you care about and how you do what you do. It doesn’t have to be long; a paragraph or two is usually enough. 

Look, we DO need to have professional, easy to read statements, but at the end of the day, if you’re an artist, you probably don’t spend the majority of your life working on becoming a best-selling author. In general, people will know this and will not expect an award-winning essay. They just want to learn more about what you do!

Ask yourself this: what do you want your viewer to know about you, your process and work that is not immediately evident just by looking at it? We all want our work to speak for itself, but each person’s perception is completely different based on their life experience, culture and interests. They may fall in love with your art even more once they get the right information.

Take a deep breath, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and try these easy tips that will take the pain out of the process. 

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Remember this:

“An artist statement is a concise arrangement of words that acts as a bridge to connect your audience to your art.”
— Vicki Krohn Amorose
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Here are five stress-free steps to help you get started:

1. Brain dump.

Make a list of things that you are thinking about when painting, sculpting, photographing, etc. Are you looking for a specific mood when creating? Do you like telling stories? Ask yourself these questions and write down your unfiltered answers on a piece of paper. If you are looking for more questions, Vicki Krohn Amorous, author of Art Write, offers a few great ones in her book.

Question Examples

Why did I make this?

What do I believe in?

How did I make this? (Materials, Location, Etc.)

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2. Read. Read. Read.

It’s a great exercise to check out what everyone else is doing. Start by visiting the websites of artists you admire and see how they approach this part of their studio practice.

Get a sense of how diverse, vast and unlimited your possibilities are! You don’t have to sound like a robot, and at the same time you don’t need to reinvent to wheel. Be clear and straightforward and your audience will respond. 

Invest in art publications to develop your vocabulary. Take a few moments each week to read the art section of The New York Times, Art News, Frieze or any other material that inspires you.

(This goes without saying, but please, never copy or try to replicate anyone’s work in art or writing. Take cues, but never steal!)

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3. Jot down thoughts throughout your day. 

If you are walking to grab a cup of coffee in your favorite neighborhood and suddenly you get a random idea, write it down! Sometimes hearing inspiring song lyrics or listening to a podcast will give you the words and phrases you need to describe your work. Inspiration is everywhere!

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4. Put it all together.

When you are ready, sit down and write your first draft. It may feel pretty rough at first. Put it away for a bit and come back to it with fresh eyes. Reading your writing out loud is a big help. You can catch mistakes and odd sentence structure more easily when you hear it spoken out loud. Repeat this two or three times and then have someone else read it for typos and grammar mistakes. 

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5. When you are done, ask yourself the following:

Does this make sense to me?

Would someone with no knowledge of art understand this?

Is it true?

Does it reflect what I want the viewer to know about my work and process?

P.S. If you still feel uncomfortable with your writing, there are tons of affordable options to have a professional edit it. A friend is usually happy to help!

You can also connect with our editor, Amanda, here: ashrawder@gmail.com.

If you want someone to help you write, artist and writer Michele Kishita offers this service at www.michelekishitawriting.com

If any of these tips worked for you, let us know and share them with a friend! If you have another topic you want covered, email your ideas to info@create-magazine.com

From Internet to Paper: Printing With Vincent Hulme

Via Art Connect

A snow man is breathing glitch fire next to a naked couple having an intimate moment in bed; there are flowers everywhere. Pink letters are forming the words “I loved you for too long” above them. Artist Vincent Hulme’s Tumblr feed is as ironic as it is aesthetically pleasing; it’s also his biggest source of inspiration. His contemporary style can easily be recognised in the feed. He’s a lithographer, serigrapher, writer and performer or as he explains on his website: He’s doing his best to spread the word of Vince.

Vincent lets us into his apartment with a shy smile; it’s a Monday morning and we’re all tired. The colours of his prints, hanging in his room, immediately energises us though. They are perfectly printed in purple and green. When making a print the first step for Vincent is always to create a prototype by playing around with different images, colours or shapes in Photoshop. The printing can finally begin after he’d gotten it back as an offset plate from the plate maker. “I always go back to printing. That’s the one thing I do recurrently”, he explains.

Before moving to Berlin six years ago Vincent was studying Fine Arts at Concordia in Montreal, specialising in screen printing. Now he spends his days working as an art teacher, scrolling Tumblr for inspiration and practicing his own art. Which means, spending a lot of time by the offset printing press in his studio.