While the eleventh volume is landing stores, the new Australian editor talks with us about both the magazine’s behind-the-scenes and her personal aspirations.
The Home Issue hit the bookshops on March 4th, 2014. That was your second edition as editor of the magazine, right? How do you feel?
That’s right! It’s a thrill to see it out and about in the real world. It’s my favorite cover that Kinfolk has released to date; Maia Flore produces such high-quality, unique work. It was a really rewarding issue to work on and, as a curious person, it was a whole lot of fun getting to snoop around a bunch of incredible houses around the world. The theme was also particularly pertinent to me at that time as I moved from New York to take this role and I’m Australian originally, so the idea of ‘home’ and belonging were certainly dwelling on my mind. Everyone’s is so different and I found myself learning more about myself along the way. I hope the readers do too.
Tyler Brule said Kinfolk was « a food magazine about people ». According to you, to which demand has the magazine succeeded to answer since its very first publication?
Kinfolk tries to encourage a simpler way of life that encourages good food and even better conversation. It’s less heavily focused on casual entertaining than it once used to be, instead wanting to focus on the lifestyles of the creative people whom share the same values as us. We still love food—you only need to have a look at our office fridge overflowing with homemade goodies to know that—but we’re also encouraging people to get out and feed their other senses too.
Following the seasons, each publication is lying on a specific theme and is brought by what seems to be the exact right team of collaborators. How do you come with a subject and assemble together those writers and photographers?
The core editorial team is a mere four people: the founder and Editor In Chief Nathan Williams, our Managing Editor Gail O’Hara, our Art Director Anja Verdugo and myself. We throw around a huge number of ideas for a few weeks before deciding on our direction each issue. There is always a tie to the season, but we don’t want to feel limited to stories dictated by the sun, especially as we’re such an international publication that a large chunk of our readers won’t be reading the Summer issue in American Summer! Once we’ve decided, we start collaborating with our contributors around the world, send off everything to our designer, and before we know it, we have a copy hot off the press in our hands.
The soft and uncluttered “Kinfolk style” is recognizable among thousands. What is the place of the art direction in both the publication process and the digital management of the magazine ?
We’re big fans of negative space: instead of cramming as much content and as many photographs as we humanly can into an article or web page, we’d rather give the readers a little room to dwell on whatever they’re reading/looking at. There is such a constant stream of stimuli constantly rolling by us that it’s nice to have an aesthetic break from that hustle and bustle.
As a journalist and editor, what do you think of the paper press industry facing the advent of the digital? How’s Kinfolk handling the situation?
Niche media is thriving at the moment. I can’t tell you how much I love watching the newsstands for new, independent, small-batch magazines that pop up. Yes, print readership may be down overall, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for it. The advertising-driven magazine model is on a decline, and newspapers are really having to change tact too, but they produce a different type of content than niche media does. Stories and narratives that are timeless and long-form will continue to be curated and loved in print, and digital should (and is) being used for more trend-driven and timely information. Print will always be paramount for Kinfolk, but we do offer online mediums to sate our readers between issues.
What do you prepare for us in the twelfth issue?
I unfortunately can’t tell you the theme just yet! What I can say is that it’s at the printers as we speak and will be full of a lot of musings on the sea…
We never keep the Kinfolk Table too far from our kitchen worktop. What’s your favourite meal to share with family and friends?
Oh, the Hearty Barley Salad with Broiled Feta and Tomato by Nathalie Schwer is simply amazing. It made me re-find a love for barley, which I now use as my staple grain. I like to bake a lot too, and the Hummingbird Cake is a great, simple recipe if you’re tired of the same old carrot cakes and banana breads.
You personally deal with other projects, including some within the art scene. What can we find on your 2014 calendar?
I’m focusing quite heavily on Kinfolk this year, to be honest: there are so many exciting things coming up within the company that it’s keeping me on my toes! Watch for a apparel and homegoods line appearing later this year, and there are even whispers of a new magazine… More on that in a few months! However, I’m still finding time for a little art on the side: I might be helping out <a href= »http://ffttnw.com/ » target= »_blank »>Forest For The Trees</a> in August, which is Portland’s first major mural art project. It’s in the second year of its life and spreading its proverbial branches a little.
Cover photo : Carli Armstrong
Post photos : Parker Fitzgerald and Irenekly