New Edinburgh Independent Magazine Launch: Creative Collective
Last night marked the official launch of Creative Collective, a new Edinburgh-based independent magazine. In a celebration of a newly assembled community of local makers and shakers and the successful release of the first issue created singlehandedly by #girlboss Seonaid Rafferty, the launch party at Hill Street Design House was a festive fiesta of thriving, uninhibited and joyful creativity.
The Creative Collective is a truly beautifully produced publication which aims to promote and curate creative talent. It also offers real-life stories and interviews with independent creatives at all different stages of their business journey, to offer advice and inspiration to emerging makers. The first issue is focused on Edinburgh; showcasing local businesses, artwork and entrepreneurs, as well as discussing the best places in the city to be creative and appreciate creativity; in its hubs, galleries, boutiques and studios.
Exhibitors at the launch event included a vast array of Issue one's contributors, including one of my favourite Edinburgh brands Studio Five – a sustainable fashion label led by sisters Lucy and Kitty Pressland- who were selling their fabulous new collection including unisex garments, accessories and homeware products featuring uniquely designed textiles printed using cruelty-free organic fabrics.
I was also thrilled to see Coburg House resident Kaz Robertson's vibrant and eye-catching resin jewellery, with colour, pattern and mismatched elements the defining features of her work, and EyeJoy – Sonya Mitchell's art brand that offers hand-illustrated work popping with colour and intricate detail.
So why did Seonaid Rafferty decide to start a print publication in today's digital age, focussing on traditional visual arts of all things? Here, she explains how her distant dream came quickly into fruition:
"The idea for The Creative Collective formed while I was completing my Masters in Magazine Publishing in 2015. I put together the concept and the business plan whilst studying, then launched the concept in earnest on social media at the end of last year. I have spent the last year putting the first issue together, fine tuning the brand and releasing the first issue - a very intense and time consuming process, but one which I have massively enjoyed.
Previous to my Masters I was a jewellery designer and maker, and so I had already spent years immersed in the creative industries - and knew the value of skilled makers and their products. When putting together the content for the mag I constantly reflected on my own experiences, and the type of advice and features I would have found useful myself as an independent creative business.
On graduating from my Masters I struggled to find a job, despite having a Distinction grade and the University Medal. All positions required 2 years of experience, yet even finding unpaid internships to make up this experience was competitive – and so I decided to throw everything into making my own job, and launching the magazine which I most wanted to work on.
I set up a Kickstarter campaign, which gained enough momentum and pre-orders for me to print the first issue. Since printing I have managed to get it stocked in retailers around the city, and have continued with online promotion. All my recent efforts have gone into organising the launch event, and bringing all my contributors together to celebrate the achievements of the last year – and act as a springboard for going forward.
We live in a contemporary society where mass production sometimes feels like a threat to our sense of individuality. Handmade, niche items lend us an opportunity to TAKE BACK THAT SENSE OF INDIVIDUALITY; owning - or participating in - something which is unique, and which is the result of another human being’s time, effort and passion feels more special, and more personal, than any product of a machine ever could. I wanted to build a platform from which to celebrate these expressions of personality, and which could provide people access to a wealth of quirky products and services that are affordable, accessible and easy to integrate into their everyday lives.
By creating a print magazine, I also wanted to offer an optional relief from the monotony of the computer screen; to create something TANGIBLE - an object which you can hold in your hands and engage with as an antidote to our temporary, throwaway culture; and which adheres to the same values of BEAUTY AND CRAFTMANSHIP as the treasures featured inside."
Overall, last night's Creative Collective launch party was a celebration of the incredible wealth of talent in this city, with artists and designers exhibiting their best work, festive drinks amongst a vibrant creative crowd, and a live set from emerging DJ Amber Leith. Want to find out more? Buy Creative Collective's Edinburgh themed inaugural issue here for only £8.50- and no ads, just beautifully printed engaging content celebrating the creative world!