Of the topics covered by Amelia’s Magazine, which excites you most? Oh blimey! I couldn’t pick one thing out… I find it impossible to narrow down my interests because so many things excite me. But if I really had to, I guess that because I trained as a printed textile designer and have always loved taking photos (I worked as a photographer before starting Amelia’s Magazine) that illustration and photography are my first loves—so anything that includes brilliant examples of these mediums is always going to be a winner with me. But having said that I love good music more than anything in the world, and great fashion design with ethical grounding, beautiful jewellery and craft design, great art, and telling the world about creative ideas to live a better way…
Is there a particular favourite story or interview you’ve written in your career? For the first ever issue I secured an interview with Pete Doherty (well, if you can call it that. I hung out with him at his skanky flat in east London) and he was kind enough to give me an excerpt of his diaries and an exclusive song which became a 7″ flexi-disc that was attached to the front cover. It was just before he became really famous for going out with Kate Moss, and raised the profile of the magazine in an instant. It was such an exciting time; starting a new project and finding my feet, and I don’t think I will ever forget the experience. But of course many intriguing and brilliant things have happened to me because of Amelia’s Magazine in the years since.
Can you tell us a bit about your two books, Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration and Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration? When I stopped producing Amelia’s Magazine in print I knew that I wanted to carry on producing books even as I ramped up our presence online. I think illustration has an amazing power to create an alternative world that just isn’t possible in any other medium, so it made sense to make illustration the focus of these books, especially since they are promoting new ideas about the way in which we live.
Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration—featuring renewable technologies to prevent catastrophic climate change—is choc-a-block with illustration talent, all of whom were given the task of imagining a new renewable technology about which we know little about. Simple descriptions accompany the illustrations, making this the perfect book for creatives who are interested in scientific solutions.
Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration—featuring the very best in ethical fashion design—is a fashion illustration book with an eco slant. 30 of the best new fashion illustrators are profiled alongside nearly 50 brilliant new ethical designers. The books make perfect gifts for anyone who laps up creative inspiration about making the world a better place.
Any advice for anyone thinking of starting their own magazine or website? Be prepared! The hours will be long, finding finance will be hard (unless you’re very well connected, I’m not) and managing a team of contributors can be immensely difficult. But, the rewards are amazing if you can stick it out. If you yearn to share your ideas with the world, there’s no better time to do it because the web has opened up so many options to everyone. Lo-fi zines are also enjoying a huge renaissance so it’s possible to produce something cheaply in print too. Go for it, and make sure that whatever direction you go in, you tell the world about it on social media!