We asked Lara Cory of Motif Magazine to tell us a little bit about how Motif magazine came about and just what it takes to launch a great online magazine.
When Tegan and Lara started their online endeavour MOTIF Magazine, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. What began as a bit of fun and a seemingly achievable way to get their work ‘out there’ became a rollercoaster ride of emotions and adventures.
‘Magazines are so full of insidious advertising and disingenuous content these days. We wanted to create some thing that we would read ourselves, something our friends and peers would respect and enjoy. We always wanted it to be themed, but it wasn’t till we got started that we realised we also wanted it to be genuine, enlightening, fun and nice to look at.’ Tegan
The Sydney cousins spent many late nights pouring over ideas for their new online magazine. Everything from the fonts, to the masthead to the content, advertisers and layout had to be discussed.
‘The smallest details seemed to take the longest time. I remember we had so many discussions about the font for the text. But things like the cover art, articles and reviews seemed to come together much easier. It wasn’t until we were faced with making these kinds of decisions that I realised they were even considerations at all. We went in totally blind to the amount of work it would require.’ Lara
Securing the fashion and actually carrying out the photo shoot provided fertile ground for much of the stress felt. Trying to get brands to loan clothes for a publication they had never heard of was quite a hurdle for Lara who had to convince PR companies that they were worth the trouble.
Putting together a fashion shoot was something neither Tegan nor Lara had done before. Everything from planning the outfits, keeping the loaned items in perfect condition and figuring out how to tape shoes to learning how to direct the models, pack and unpack for the different locations and work fast against the rising sun were all things to consider.
‘I remember driving to pick up the Make up artist at 4.30 in the morning, wondering if we had not timed it wrong. I could still see the moon. How was the sun going to be rising in half an hour?’ Lara
Once the shoot was over, it was up to the girls to round up all of the articles, columns, reviews and recipes and put it all into some kind of cohesive, visual format. Tegan designed the layout and graphics for the magazine and learnt on a steep curve that online layout was a different thing to print.
‘We wanted to keep a traditional layout to prevent complete alienation of readers who had probably never seen an online publication. We had to really strip it back from our first attempt; include a lot more white spaces and make the reader less intimidated by the volume of words on the screen. I had to keep our aesthetic framework in mind when creating each page and using each colour and shape.’ Tegan
One of the more enjoyable aspects of the process for the cousins was getting people involved. Friends and fellow writers, designers and photographers from local suburbs to as far away as Istanbul and New York, were called upon to contribute to the launch issue of MOTIF Magazine.
‘We are always looking out for people to help. We want to have a global relevance and an eclectic visual conversation and to achieve this, it’s important to get input from all over the world.’ Lara
In his months INTO THE WOODS issue (take a flick through below!), MOTIF features artists and writers from the US and the UK and items to ogle from The Netherlands and Germany. Tegan and Lara are very excited to feature their first commissioned piece of artwork for the magazine and look forward to hearing from other emerging and established artists and creatives to contribute in the future.
Got some super exciting ideas to share with Lara and Tegan? Let them know – www.motifmag.com/contactus