Thursday, 31 May 2012

From blog to Plog...

In anticipation of the next issue of Plog Magazine, and our general excitement over being 'in print', we thought we would return the favour and find out a bit more about the publication, and its founder Son Emirali.

Still at University, amazingly, Son manages the design, marketing and distribution of Plog whilst studying Graphic Design at Winchester School of Art. And we complain about juggling our day jobs with running our own business, we cannot imagine trying to do something like this while studying for a degree!

We managed to catch Son briefly to answer of few questions about the magazine and his motivations after graduating...

What was your motivation for starting the magazine? Why now, why not wait until after graduating?

Well I started the mag in my first year at university, we were in the process of making a magazine cover for one of our briefs, throughout the project I was really getting into blogging and archiving all the students work that was inspiring me. I realised I didn't want this work to just sit in my bookmarks, I wanted to have a physical piece of it so I remembered it. I think that alone was the key motivation, to be surrounded and inspired by great work.

At the time, waiting until I graduated wasn't even something to consider. Being so passionate about others work I couldn't resist to start gathering it all, with the intention to inspire other students whilst we were actually studying, so we could feed of each others work.

What support did you get, if any with the initial set-up?

In terms of motivation to get the idea going, quite a bit. I got great support from the students I was selecting to feature, and a great deal from my tutor at the time, James Branch. He really helped to encourage me to follow through with the idea, and stressed how important side projects are.

When it comes to the technical stuff of printing, financing, websites and building a team - not much, just a few people to bounce ideas off were enough. It was mainly down to me to work out the kinks along the way. It was all pretty easy until issue 3 went nationwide, then it became a lot harder, finding a distributor and really stepping into the publishing industry.

Was there a quite a bit of research involved or was it something you felt passionate about and wanted to do regardless?

Initially, not much research involved at all. As I started the mag literally when I first stepped foot into uni, I still had a lot to learn about how to develop an idea, and how important research is. But I think this naivety and passion is what lead the magazine to take off so quickly, and for me to have so much determination to make it work.

Is this a collaborative effort? Friends, family or a solo project?

Indeed it is! Don't know where I would be without the rest of the team. Initially there were three of us, myself and two other friends, but as time went on it turned more solo until a few other friends of mine started to jump on board.

At the moment there's myself, Adam, who helps design and art direct the issue with me. Kieron, who takes charge of our online content, and Ben who helps go through all the submissions we receive. We all also do various other little jobs, as I'm sure you've guessed, we don't exactly have a marketing team, project manager or a PR assistant!

One thing we do have though are a lot of guest contributors which I'm happy to say are contributing well to the mag! We've recently had Anneka French and Nick Reading writing for us, as well as a whole batch of studio guest bloggers, students who blog about the live work going on in their studios.

Can you give us a sneak peek at what we can expect in the next issue?

In the next issue we've been lucky enough to have a bespoke cover designed exclusively for us by KOKOMI, directed by Spiros Halaris. Something that we think will really pop off the shelves. Look out for a little preview of that soon!

We've got valuable interviews from artists within the industry, and of course a great catch up with yourselves which I'm sure our readers will be excited to hear about. As usual you can expect to see a wide variety of student and graduate work, from thought provoking photography to witty illustrations.

Biggest achievement to date?

That's a hard one! I would say the magazine, but I still feel like we could and will achieve a whole lot more soon. So instead I think I'll go with persuading my parents to let me completely redecorate my room to then have three people throw paint balls all over it as part of an art project. And yes it's still like that to this day!

What's the future plan after graduating, will the magazine take centre stage or be a side project to your own creative endeavours?

Another hard question! I'm a bit unsure at the moment, I think if the magazine doesn't take centre stage, then it'll be a pretty darn big side project. It's hard to say as I've got such a passion for many areas, whether it's publishing, design, technology or even creating installations, who knows where I'll end up!

The next issue of Plog Magazine is out in June...

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Jewel-like qualities...

We were always a touch sceptical about social media and especially Twitter, a few tentative tweets to begin with and then you gain followers, and the confidence to build a business network.
One of our most recent connections was with Nicky Hadjithoma, the founder of new jewellery emporium Neony. Having a common interest in supporting and promoting up-and-coming jewellery designers, Twitter bashed our business heads together, and she kindly invited us to her new store launch in London last week.

Set a jewel-encrusted stones throw away from Tottenham Court Road, the store was already buzzing with people and flash-bulbs as we approached. It was cosy to say the least, but we were still able to enjoy the stunning mix of perfectly curated collections Nicky had put together.

We managed to catch Nicky in the midst of her mingling, a little overwhelmed by the turn-out and realisation that all her hard work had paid off. She was cautious to use the phrase that she had 'something for everyone' but from the queue forming at the back of the store to pay, we'd say there was definitely more than a few happy customers!

With collections on show from Ruby Feathers, Francesca Villa, Daphne Dasque and Origami Jewellery to name but a few, the wall-mounted gilt frames showcased the work perfectly, with the store itself having an Alice Through the Looking Glass quality...

Of course, we couldn't go away empty handed ourselves, with both of us walking away with our very own pieces of Origami Jewellery, and can't wait to go back to get lost in Wonderland...