Here I am, back at it, trying to find the words to express my gratitude towards the film photography community for their continuous support and trying to explain what on earth possesses me to keep making this magazine.
Ever since the launch of issue 00 of LEM through Kickstarter I’ve been somewhat living a dream regarding this passion project. I started off wanting to create a high-quality magazine of my own with contributed article from a bunch of interesting and diverse storytellers. I knew I wanted to create at least a single issue but once the initial crowdfunding campaign succeeded, it dawned on me that this could become a long-term project…and the rollercoaster didn’t disappoint.
A little over a year after issue 00: Belonging was released, I published issue 01, the Crossroads issue, with even more contributors crammed into its 176 pages.
As I’m writing these words, I’m finalizing the design of the third volume: Perseverance. It’s been a long time in the making; the theme was announced at the beginning of the year, and we’ve had some major hiccups along the way. The journey pretty much mimiced the theme, almost as if it was supposed to do so.
I do believe Perseverance has become a better issue as a result of those challenges, and what I’ve learned in the process will be visible in the content as well. One of the biggest additions to the issue comes from the realization that as much as I want the magazine to be about the contributors, only their names were mentioned in previous issues. This time around I also included a short bio, URLs and social media handles. This way, readers can more easily find other work created by the incredible makers and adventurers in the magazine. I’m also glad I’m able to say there’s a 47% – 53% female-male ratio in this issue’s storytellers.
This issue’s subject matter also planted a seed in my mind that has been growing steadily for the past couple of months now. What this means to you is the theme for the next issue is already being formed…yes, you heard it here first!
More on that further down the road, first we need to get this bad boy to print.
This past year has been a learning curve for me in the sense that, even though I really wanted to create a new issue of the LEM, 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, 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 things.
As with the previous issues, the theme holds a significance in my personal life as well as in my professional life. By doing so, I’m able to connect to stories better and see them as part of a bigger picture, which is necessary to make the magazine a coherent collection of stories.
What has surprised me with each volume is how much I’m learning about the themes during the process of making each publication. Reading all the different contributor interpretations on the theme helps me reflect on how I saw the theme when I first announced it for others to take a run at. For Perseverance specifically, I initially thought the theme would connect with concepts of struggle; that one has to go through hell, that it means one has to sink one’s teeth in their goal and just go. Through this past year, I learned it can also mean one has to slow down, take a step back, analyse what just happened and by defining that, one can go further.
Taking more time to do something doesn’t mean you’re failing. Taking more time also doesn’t mean the time spent has to be a struggle. These are two of the lessons I learned from reading the stories, brainstorming with contributors and making this issue.
There’s more, of course, but I’d rather have you experience this issue yourself. The diversity of stories for issue 02 is incredible and I’m extremely proud I’m able to publish this issue. This issue presents you with 29 stories, ranging from a journey to make the perfect loaf of bread, to exploring Antarctica, hiking the longest trek in the UK, creating a comfortable wooden bike saddle, documenting the fading identities of the Rohingya, reporting the fight of the Navajo people to keep their land, finding a home away from home, cycling 1050 km in three days and much more.
I couldn’t do this without the talented contributors and the amazing community who keeps supporting me in this indie publishing endeavour.
Friends of LEM
I was overwhelmed by the community’s support when I introduced a new feature during the pre-sales of the Crossroads issue: Friends Of LEM.
I find it hard to talk about the financial aspect of the publication as it’s a project that thrives on creating, sharing and experiencing with an open heart, without any restrictions (no hard deadlines for example). Unfortunately, there are significant costs involved in making a 176-page, high-quality magazine, plus its extra-sturdy envelopes that fly across the globe and let’s not forget shipping and fun goodies wherever I can.
I want the project to be friendly and open to as many people as possible and this is where Friends Of LEM comes into play along with regular pre-orders. By becoming a Friends Of LEM, you’re helping me to produce the magazine by making a one-time contribution and receiving 2 copies of the magazine, your name and URL of choice in the magazine and limited edition prints in return.
I pay everything with my life savings, single issue sales revenue and side projects aside from the magazine (and my full-time job!), so this additional support helps me out in a tremendous way.
Follow this link to pre-order the Perseverance-issue or become a Friend Of LEM.
Thanks a million and before I go, the social media cover image features a contribution from Christopher Taudt!
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