Back in late 2015 I published an article introducing Let’s Explore Magazine issue 00 and creator Kilian Idsinga’s Kickstarter campaign to bring this “when ready” periodical to life. Unless you’ve been paying very little attention indeed, you’ll be aware that the project was successfully brought to life and has since seen a completely self-funded issue 01, Crossroads and is now in full swing requesting submissions for issue 02, titled “Perseverance”.
I love what Kilian’s doing and invited him to talk about the new issue and hopefully, just hopefully, inspire some of you to submit your work for the new issue.
Over to you, Kilian…
As most of you might know (at least I hope so), Let’s Explore Magazine is my passion project besides my full time job as a graphic and editorial designer. I started this project close to three years ago online and and little over two years ago I ventured into print by completing a Kickstarter campaign.
Ever since I started LEM, it has been a means for me to get my creative juices flowing and a way of making something for and from myself. As the project kept on going and growing, it became about the people I was meeting, the projects they were doing and more importantly the stories they had to share.
The magazine has been a steep learning curve for me. I’m learning more about myself, about creating magazines and basically about storytelling in general. But what fascinates me even more is the fact that collaborating with people from all over the globe is teaching me more about what I believe is important in life. I’ve become even more curious about what other people are making, how they are creating and the reasons why they are making it.
This WHY is evolving into something of a theme in my life.
It started during my masters in Editorial Design, where one of my professors was training us to basically be children again and constantly asking WHY. It became a gimmick, but at some point it resonated with me and I can honestly say that it’s now something I pretty much do on a daily basis. Not only in my professional career, but also in my daily life. I’m constantly wondering why something is happening in the way that it is and why I feel a certain way about it. I’m not a walking question mark, don’t you worry. But I did find a way to be tuned in in what I’m doing and experiencing so that I can fully absorb what is presented to me. By doing so, I’m constantly learning.
I find this process fascinating and it’s been evolving constantly. It’s coming full circle now as I’m creating a magazine of my own, with my set of rules (which are there to be bent) and being mindful about what the process is teaching me. This, for instance, translated in the fact that my magazine is theme based. Even more so, the theme is based on how I as a creator of the magazine as well as the magazine itself is changing over time. It’s becoming a storyline in its own right, but it also creates a creative buzz between the collaborating storytellers and myself.
The magazine doesn’t have a hierarchy of editor vs storyteller. I’m not telling people what to make, in what style to create, or how to “behave” themselves. The result is a safe place for creatives to explore and experiment. But I’m also getting back the willingness to make a timeless, inspiring publication together and from the heart. People are sharing their story, without stating or acting like they’re better than others. They’re presenting their take on a theme so that others can have a taste of what they have experienced, to inspire through personal stories without having to fear the comments section.
I recently published the theme of the third issue on my website and storytellers are invited to submit their take on the theme: Perseverance. Like I said, the theme is a direct result of how both my private life and the life of the magazine are evolving.
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Last year has been a learning curve in the sense that, even though I really wanted to create a new issue of the magazine, there was absolutely no way I was able to. This both frustrated the hell out of me and gave me intense joy! After a very rough couple of years, a lot of good things were happening but it also felt like I wanted to do everything at once, resulting in doing none of them in a mindful manner.
Re-realizing the reason why I positioned the magazine as a when-ready publication, I was able to put my frustrations aside and find a peace of mind and focus on what, at that moment, deserved my fullest attention. Making our new house into a home, was only one of those events.
But the magazine was never out of my mind. It has become part of who I want to be as a maker but it’s also a reflection of who I want to be as a person. I try to be open minded and create from the heart, offering people a platform to do the same. A chance not often given by commercially orientated platforms.
This concept also translates in how the stories in the magazine come to life. From now until Monday the 5th of March, anybody can submit their own story, the story of somebody else that they think needs to be told, or their take on the theme Perseverance in general. All the info you’ll need can be found here.
There is absolutely no pressure to submit a full story. A vague idea at this point in time is more than enough. Because, based on these general ideas, I’ll select the 25+ stories which will, over the course of the following 2 months, be transformed into the best stories they can be. With limited intervention from me, to keep the stories true to their makers, but making sure they will end up being a coherent collection of inspirational stories in the 176 page, photography-heavy, collectible publication.
I realize this sounds a bit open-ended or even noncommittal, but there is a reason for that. This is by no means a project for instant gratification. This is not a project with which I need to make a living. This project lives because I honestly believe that everybody has a story to share and that you shouldn’t be hesitant to share that because you are afraid of any backlash. Everybody’s story matters. Not to all but there’s always somebody who benefits in one way or another.
The magazine is about celebrating the power of that story, the power of creating, of collaborating, about opening one’s heart and letting the creative juices flowing. It’s about being able to create without boundaries and having your story published alongside other inspiring stories in a publication that is being made to last! And all this, without time constraints (well, there are deadlines, but I will not kill you) and in a positive manner as the storytellers who are involved WANT to be part of this.
What formats of a story am I looking for?
- Written stories, journal/diary entries, letters addressed to yourself or someone else as a reminder to keep your eyes on the prize…whatever that may be;
- Essays taking the reader on a journey through your mind, sharing your deepest thoughts, dreams, fears, philosophical ponderings, to get inspired by and to learn from;
- Photo essays, showing your interpretation of perseverance, following your processes, locations where adventures started/ended or were at their toughest;
- Tokens, time capsules, collections, letters, objects that signify a change, an influence, a personal story that helped, guided, pushed you in your quest;
- Short (fictional) stories, taking the reader on an adventure, journey, exploration of self.
Now, get to work 🙂 Follow this link to read everything you need to know about submitting your story.
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