Insider: Fathers Quarterly

by Stine Fantoft Berg in November 2015
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Making a magazine is always a challenge, but dealing with a six-hour time difference certainly doesn’t make it any easier. With one foot in Poland and the other in New York, Fathers Quarterly is a magazine dedicated to fatherhood and the changing role of men today.

With their third issue about to launch, we asked New York-based editor Ania Czajkowska and Warsaw-based designer Karol Błędowski to tell us about the process of making it.


In the making of this issue we…

Listened to
Karol: A really cool Colombian group called Bomba Estéreo. I was looking for something new and I came across their latest single shuffling through Spotify playlists.

Ania: A song about a perfect Sunday – ‘Sunday morning’ by Margo Guryan. I’m still hoping that one of my Sundays will look like this.

Karol: Just a simple, ordinary clock that constantly reminds me what time is it in NYC. It was essential when working in two different timezones with a six-hour difference.

Ania: The ‘share the screen’ button when talking with Karol on Skype. Thanks to this simple function I could track and comment on what he’s doing on the screen while working on another issue of Fathers.


Got sidetracked by
Karol: The whole craziness of the upcoming Star Wars movie. I must admit that I unwittingly jumped on the Star Wars bandwagon after the first teaser and I’m impatiently waiting for the movie premiere.

Ania: The weather. We started working on the third issue in the summer and the autumn was exceptionally long and beautiful. It’s not easy to focus on work when the sunshine outside the window is tempting you to shut down the computer and go for a walk in the park.

Ania: David Moltz from the perfume house D.S. and Durga, and James Gallagher, one of my favourite collage artists and publisher of Secret Behaviour magazine. James invited me to his house, which for me is always an honour and a sign of trust. I also visited David’s studio, which was very sensual as it’s where he creates the perfumes for his company. I got to test all the strange scents. During our meeting, David played me a few songs on the guitar. And thanks to the fact that I was recording our conversation I have them saved in the form of a private concert. I like coming back to this recording.


Argued about
Karol: The cover photo – that’s usually what causes the most argument. Apart from that we are usually like-minded and agree about most of the parts of our work.

Ania: The cover, of course. And about who is going to adjust to who’s time zone.

Made sure that
Karol: In spite of the fact we are living on two opposite continents and being unable to discuss things in person, we still made a magazine worth reading for a broad audience.

Ania: After very good reviews of the first issue, I was afraid that it was only the effect of something fresh appearing on the market. After the second issue I gained more trust that the narrative I chose for Fathers had found its audience. I was working on the third issue with more confidence that we are headed in the right direction. It’s good to listen to other people’s advice but it’s also good to believe in your own intuition and capabilities. 


Were excited about
Karol: Seeing all the stunning illustrations from our incredible artists. Every time they add something special to our publication and without them Fathers wouldn’t be as visually pleasing.

Ania: Seeing how all the photographs and illustrations were printed, especially the polaroids by Benjamin Fredrickson and the illustration by Sam Ford – one of the most beautiful ones ever printed in Fathers. Because the magazine is printed in Poland and I live in New York, I’m the last person to see the printed issue.


Were surprised by
Karol: The fact that so many people who stumbled upon our magazine on the newsstands or in bookstores around the world want to contribute their work or share their experience with us.

Ania: The amount of people who have devoted their time to write emails about how they came across Fathers and how glad they are that this magazine has been created. A lot of those messages are long and honest stories of finding your place in a new life situation. It’s incredible that even nowadays there are people who will write such letters just to say thank you.

Couldn’t stop laughing at
Karol: Some drawings I did in Fathers during our skype conversation. I forgot that I was still sharing my screen with Ania (my bad).

Ania: Karol’s drawings were exceptional.


Finally, everyone should buy a copy because
Karol: This issue is the most diverse one, and it includes some cool new features but yet it feels like with the previous two it naturally completes this small Fathers trilogy.

Ania: The theme of this issue is change and this is something everyone can relate to. As always, the people we feature share a lot of thoughts and conclusions which do not only refer to fatherhood. We have given more space to fathers of older children – so far novice fathers have been in the centre of our attention. People should buy a copy also because it is the last issue I was working on as editor-in-chief. It is a closure to a certain stage in my life and the end of the first chapter of the Fathers story.

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