By Alisa Welby
Design for Art Direction
In June, I sent an e-mail to the magazine So It Goes, a bi-annual fashion arts and culture magazine based in London to enquire for their open call for a summer photography internship. Having sent my digital portfolio, I was called to meet the editor of the magazine and shared with her both my photographic and graphic design portfolio.
As an art director/designer, with also a passion in 35mm analogue photography, the position was almost perfect: a combination between combining my photography portfolio within the context of design as part of the magazine industry.
In the following months, I assisted remotely, contributing towards both the magazine and its creative agency. My key tasks had involved visual research and idea planning for fashion photo-shoots, gathering references and creating mood-boards. I also transcribed and edited various interviews for the magazines upcoming issue, including an interview of American photographer Jim Goldberg. I also had the opportunity to design the editorial layout for Jim Goldberg's feature in the magazine, which involved laying out several of his photographs alongside an introduction and his interview. This was pitched to the graphic designer of the magazine's team, although he designed the overall layout afterwards.
Being a graphic designer with a key interest in editorial layout and magazine design, this was a great opportunity for me in which I finally had real content and imagery to work with to practice and develop my editorial layout skills, as well as adding something to the portfolio. The biggest challenge was working to fit the magazines strict and reputable visual identity, working with their set typefaces and a rather simple, classic layout which didn't allow me to experiment too much with any playful designs.
Both my background in photography and design helped me in such visual research tasks, but biggest challenge for me being writing and editing tasks. I've never considered myself to be a writer, but deep down it's something I really enjoy doing for myself, but having to write for someone else knowing it would be potentially printed into a magazine was a little more daunting to me. The written tasks, which included writing introductions to the interviews as well as transcribing the interviews, also required a little more time and research as I attempted to get all of my facts right- truly immersing myself into the characters, actresses, photographers work that I was writing about.
It was unfortunate that the internship had to be arranged in an unconventionally remote setting, with the intention of working in studio with them later on (which had unfortunately had to be put on hold). However, I was still able to learn about applying my university design practice into the real world, as well as learning the initial how-to's on client communication and invoice sending. Working on the Jim Goldberg editorial layout was the biggest highlight, and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished magazine in print and to know that in some small way, I was able to contribute towards it. I hope to maintain contact with the team and perhaps next Summer at the end of my DPS year, work with them again in a more direct, studio based arrangement.
The most difficult aspect of working remotely was finding the motivation to get up and work. I found myself exploring various cafes and libraries across London in an attempt to keep myself motivated. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into a structured routine of waking up and having a studio to go to, and coming home exhausted and feeling well achieved with how my work went.