The magazine God’s are speaking to me and I can’t be sure what they are saying. Let’s start at the beginning and we may be able to decipher this together.
I’m a 18-year-strong magaholic. There was two things I can remember buying for myself when I first earned that elusive ‘pocket money’ in my primary years. That was music; cassette’s to begin with and then CD’s not long after (yes, you’ve just worked out my age) and secondly, it was magazines. It was around the 1995 mark when I became overcome with the need to know all that was popular in the world. I wanted to be able to recite the Top 40 singles from the charts and recall the past years ‘Hottest Man on the Planet’ titles (does anyone remember Dean Cain aka Superman?!). I brought TV Hits and Smash Hits to begin with and as I progressed into teen life, my hormones changed and the need to read the bibles of my generation came to the forefront. I chose Dolly for my monthly dose (and education) of Dolly Doctor and Girlfriend so I didn’t have to let go of my celebrity and mainstream pop culture. As junior high passed and the first kiss became less relevant, I graduated onto Cleo and Cosmopolitan as they took me into the adult world (sealed sections and all).
Career and travel littered my young adult eyes as my dream to find a Bachelor of the Year at my local pub grew smaller and smaller. Jobs changed, relationships began and finished. My tastes matured once more and I began delving into the world of fashion magazines. As expected Vogue made its debut as well as random and usually once off purchases of magazines beyond my still ‘youngish’ years; Harper’s Bazaar, Fashion Trend, Madison etc. I quickly realised that these target markets earned a lot more than I did and although I had also begun my journey into fashion school, reality and personal taste began drawing me into the alternate, vintage, even pre-hipster culture of Yen, Frankie and street press realms like X-Press Fashion. All my stimuli and inspiration were being fed but with ‘celebrity’ and ‘high-end fashion’ lagging once again, I realised that my monthly mag habit was still not complete. There was room for a weekly.
Gossip mags seemed like the obvious choice though I could usually only stomach them when travelling for some reason. Holidays always meant escape and these mags certainly removed my conscious mind from reality. I was never into these types of mags outside of that scope. The front to back crapola and assumption was a little too much on a regular basis. That’s when Grazia came along. It had a light layer of celebrity want-to-know, was pleasant on the back pocket and had the perfect mix of accessible and high-end fashion. I had filled the void.
My magazine purchases have never been consistent. I fall into the category of ‘can’t live without them, can’t subscribe to them’. My interests change regularly and my timing and cover choices sporadic and whimsical. I quit fashion school and tried my hand at the real world. I loved the industry but became worn out with its succulent needs. Oh, and I can’t sew to save my live. Suddenly I realised my magazine norm was not challenging enough and began enjoying my boyfriend’s Monster Children more than my own boundary pushers. Vice became my new hero, Oyster and Russh my fashion spreads of choice and Acclaim the guilty pleasure to condone all my filthy habits.
Then one day (after 9 gruelling months of hard work), I released my own magazine with an amazing team of volunteers and it was one of the biggest highlights of my life. All 100 pages in their raw and often wonderful glory gazed back at me from my lap. It was a pinnacle moment in this thus far 16 year-long journey. I rode the high for months, even close to a year before spiralling into magazine guilt, unable to back up my own works with another due to time and money constraints.
I recently laid my magazine to rest on the coffee table along with all my past favourites. It had been months since my last magazine purchase. I hadn’t gone this long without a magazine since uni days when Mi Goreng filled my cupboards, and hopes and dreams fuelled my petrol tank. I was having a serious bout of magarexia.
Then this month something changed. I stood in the newsagent and had an overwhelming sense of urgency to buy a magazine, actually more like a handful of them. I grabbed one after the other, deliberating, selecting, returning. It is an intuitive process and always has been. Vogue was back on the map, Women’s Fitness made a debut (shit, what’s happened to me?!) and Grazia was my low-risk, good times-guaranteed kinda read. As I unleashed the latest stash on my bed at home, I poured over my chosen selection. Vogue March 2013. Why does that ring a bell?
When I moved from Perth to Melbourne a few years ago, I had to let go of a good chunk of my magazine collection that I had hoarded for so many years. What made the cut? Absolute favourites, collectables, one-off buys, and striking covers. I scanned over my culled collection to see which other Vogue’s had made it through. Vogue March 2010, March 2011, March 2012. Weird. I hadn’t noticed this when I packed them up and certainly not before today’s purchase. Turn’s out my Vogue movie is called The March Edition. I guess it makes sense with all the fun and brightness of the Spring/Summer Collections from around the world. I turned to my Grazia for some spooky-shit relief and not much more than the eighth page was turned before I realised I had picked up the last issue…ever. Grazia had come to an end. My ol’ faithful had completed its chapters and wad ready for the final dance. I can’t believe I missed the large fact on the front cover but was glad for its auto-purchase even more. Any freaky breakthroughs with Women’s Fitness? Well I haven’t opened it yet so there’s still time.
My loco magazine week concluded back at the supermarket later this week. An item I was buying 100 of was scanning at an incorrect price (event related Easter eggs, another story for another day). As I waited for the Store Manager to re-scan all 100 (surely there was a simpler way?!), I began flicking through the magazine rack. Not in any need to buy anything this time but simply to kill time before I killed the bad service offenders in front of me. Nothing really took my interest, all monotonous copies melting into one another. My only regular had come to an end and maybe it was reflective of the next chapter that was about to begin in my life anyway. My need for celebrity dwindled as my continual journey to find entrepreneurial success, egoless states and stable happiness grew. I noticed a shorter mag behind a stack of tall fashion matte’s. I’ll do my bit and put it in the correct place so some other unknowing purchaser is given the chance. Its good magazine karma.
The title on this short mister’s badge read “Messenger COLLECTIVE”. I don’t recognise it nor the healthy and happy looking blonde on the cover (turns out it’s the one and only Lorna Jane!). Not even the byline’s twinge my attention but as I place it in an empty space on the rack and prepare to head back to the ‘egg saga’, four tags above the title catch my eye. “Game changers / thought leaders / rules breakers / style makers”. I pause and without question, my mag intuition kicks in and this seemingly new kid on the block is added to my conveyor belt of chocolate goodness. This ‘Messenger Collective’ has single-handedly nailed everything that I occasionally am and always aspire to be. It has summed up my career goals in an eight word eye-catcher.
Today I sit at a crossroads, not sure what path to take in my creative future. Not sure whether to continue to pursue my current passions without the time and financial returns afforded to my industry fellows or how to combine a well paying full time job and a passinate hobby into one. Under my wing sits a blog, a website, a Facebook page and some Twitter accounts filled with opinions, events, style, music, action sports, fashion and more. A creative store where I hang all my favourite pieces. It is mostly a labour of love but with little return, often just simply a labour. As I read through Messenger Collective, I feel like another magazine chapter has begun in my journey. Here I have found an equal filled with new inspiration, information, people to look up at and places to escape to. The magazine God’s are speaking and I am eagerly listening and hoping to find some answers, make positive changes and move into bigger creative realms in my daily journey. Stay tuned.
The First Casualty xx