News from Stack America

by Andrew Losowsky in July 2010
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So much Stack America news to catch up on!

In the two mailings since we last checked in here, Stack America has sent out Pin Up magazine and d[x]i magazine, and Beautiful/Decay, a GOOD infographic sheet and a Little White Lies mini magazine. Not to mention exclusive images by Robert Newman and Lauren DiCioccio.

Plenty more to report too, not to mention the latest mailing, which will be on its way later today, but for now we will leave you with this illuminating interview with Amir from Beautiful/Decay, one of the most remarkable and long-lasting chronicles of counter culture and graffiti out there.

How would you summarize the content of Beautiful/Decay?
We focus on young, emerging art and design from around the world. We take great pride in featuring artists that people haven’t heard of, but deserve greater recognition.

What do you think when you look back at old issues of B/D? What are the stand-out moments for you?
I think, “Wow,” we had humble beginnings. I also think about how many of the artists that are featured in those issues now have big careers. I’d like to think that we helped get them there in some small way.

Has counter-cultural/alternative expression changed a lot since you began? If so, how?
Well, back then everything wasn’t all over the internet. People were barely online and there weren’t a lot of blogs. As a result we were one of the only places that you could find this type of content. Over the years we’ve had to refine our editorial process so that you still had that moment of discovery when you flipped through an issue of B/D. We have to do more legwork to find artists that are underexposed. It’s more work but well worth it.

Have you ever had people refuse for their work to be published in the magazine?
In our first or second issue, people were sometimes hesitant. But, after we built a reputation, people started coming to us. It hasn’t been a big issue over the years as artists have seen that we always put them first. B/D is a magazine by artists, for artists, so we take a lot of pride in making sure the people that we feature are happy with the final result.

Why did you choose to change format/frequency from a magazine to a book?
I think the new format gives us more freedom. It’s actually what I always wanted to do with the mag. I always wanted to create this big archive of interviews with the world’s best creatives. I never liked the ads or the fluff that went in traditional magazines so this was a great way to make a better product for our readers.

When did B/D become financially viable as a company?
Oh, I’d say about 2004-5. We’ve always been small and have remained that way so we can stay viable. So many magazines have gone under this past year. We’ve had a lot of luck staying one step ahead of the game and changing with the times.

What are the biggest challenges and the biggest pleasures of publishing a magazine?
The biggest challenge is always money. Now that we are 100% subscription based, we rely on our readers to subscribe. The biggest pleasure is opening the mail and holding four months of hard work in your hands.

Where next for B/D?
We’re going to keep working to make the B/D book series bigger and better. We have tons of new limited-edition collaborations, prints, and other surprises planned for the next year.

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