Lucy Jane Saunders: BSU graduate, writer, photographer and now, an editor of her own magazine, Flourish. There’s nothing she can’t do. Commissioning editor Sandra met with Lucy, commenting that “as we begin to talk, I start to think to myself, that if I had to describe a ‘girlboss’, I’d describe her.”
Sandra: Tell us about your typical day.
Lucy: My typical day always starts with a cup of coffee. I spend my mornings replying to emails and trying to network with other creatives and business people alike. I like to then work on the magazine creating articles, photographing, website work, blogs and social media sites in my afternoon. At the moment I am working a lot on my magazine launch and drumming up knowledge on the surroundings and environment of my second volume.
S: You’ve recently launched your own independent magazine. Can you tell us a little bit about it? How did it all start?
L: It all started after studying my degree in Photography and Digital media. I learnt a lot about commercial photography and book production, which I loved. I crafted my own publications at university as part of my portfolio based around my travels and love of outdoor living. After university I decided that it was something I really wanted to pursue as I had always dreamed of having my own publication business. I didn’t have the fundings for printing so I decided to craft the magazine and use my social media networks to build a successful crowdfunding campaign. From this success Flourish magazine was born.
Flourish is a travel and lifestyle publication which is all based around outdoor living, sustainability and is heavily photographically based. Each volume is based on a specific country, location, place, community or culture. Sometimes this will be one small unique and intimate community and other times a large overview of a location.
S: What would you say has been the most challenging part of this process?
L: This year the most challenging element of this process has been working alongside creating the magazine to financially sustain myself. Owning a magazine business has been somewhat time consuming and more so than I had originally thought. There were so many little elements which I had not taken into consideration to start with.
“I encourage having a supportive network – friends, families and other creatives… These are the people who will give you the willpower to continue when it gets hard”
S: The publishing industry has experienced many significant changes over the last decade. There seems to be more competition out there than ever before. What makes Flourish different?
L: Every magazine is different, even if they contain the same content due to how the editor writes, their views. For example despite being all based around Travel and Lifestyle magazines such as Cereal, Lodestars and Rucksack all are very different in graphics, photographic work, and opinions. Flourish is just that – a different view and outlook onto the world. With sustainability and inspiring outdoors living at its heart, Flourish is a combination between Lonely Planet City Guides and photographic publications.
S: It’s interesting to see the amount of new and upcoming titles currently on the bookshelves, especially after the ‘print is dead’ speculations that triumphed in the media some time ago. What’s your view on that?
L: Print is definitely not dead. Print is making a come back, especially with retro living and this concept of the physical experience and existence is even more apparent in your daily lives. People want to move away from the online community and own something physical.
S: Have you got any advice for those aspiring to create and publish their own magazine?
L: Do it… A lot of people told me that I couldn’t do it, yet I didn’t listen. Despite multiple times doubting myself, I encourage having a supportive network – friends, families and other creatives. These are the people who will give you the willpower to continue when it gets hard. Because it gets very hard at times, just don’t give up on your dream. Also, produce content you believe in.
S: You’ve graduated from BSU last year, which I’m sure seems like a very long time ago considering the amazing things you’ve achieved in the meantime. With that in mind, what’s next? Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years from now?
L: I would like Flourish to continue onto its next volume and if it can pursue from there. I would love to own a passionate business which is flourishing so to speak… I would like to build a community around the magazine and get this ideology of a physical existence out to as many people as possible.