A couple of weeks ago, people started asking me when the new issue of my magazine is coming out. I’ve been telling everybody I’m working hard on the new theme and this is still the case. As questions came in more frequently, I figured it would be best to draft a progress report, in order to share with the world. This way, I’m able to answer some frequently asked questions and share the vision I have for Let’s Explore Magazine and Let’s Explore Publishers.
Some three years ago, I had this crazy idea: let’s start an online platform where I can collect and share inspiring stories and hopefully, eventually launch a printed magazine. Both happened within a year and a half and by now I’ve shared incredible stories online, collaborated with incredible storytellers to publish two issues of the printed magazine, learned a lot about film photography and I still have a ton of ideas for the future. Needless to say, I’m incredibly proud of everything I’ve been able to create up until now.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on The Creative Bar, a great podcast hosted by Jon Wilkening (who is starring on the cover of LEM01). We talked about juggling passion projects besides a full-time job like I’m doing with LEM, and how that influences the creative process and its final results.
When launching the publication, I deliberately labelled LEM as a when-ready magazine, meaning it will be published when I think the quality is good enough. This was a conscious decision as I know from experience, that quality can be at risk of being less important when deadlines and budgets scream for attention. As I don’t have to make a living from my magazine, budget isn’t that much of a priority. And because I labelled LEM as when-ready, I can now focus 100% of my attention to the quality aspect of the publication. I want LEM to be a magazine people want to keep for a long time, re-reading stories whenever they feel like it and sharing them with as many people as possible. This only happens if the quality is up to scratch.
Getting re-acquainted with the mission I set for myself from the get-go, it got me thinking about everything that has happened in the past couple of years and in particular this year. In February of 2017, my girlfriend and I got the keys to our very own house. Finally, a solid base we can call our own home, from where we can explore life. We’ve spent most of our spare time in creating a home from our house and we’re well on our way.
Unfortunately, this has taken its toll on the time I was able to spend on LEM and the side projects coming from both the online platform and the magazine. This frustrated me immensely, even though I promised myself, a passion should never do to the extent it did at that moment. Not only because it’s not healthy for me but it doesn’t serve Let’s Explore Magazine as a whole.
Things at LEM-HQ will resume to normal, so no need to worry about that. But I’ve decided to take some pressure off the schedule I’ve created for myself and focus on the projects at hand. To shine a light on the near and not so distant future, here’s a peek into my (editorial) to-do list:
- I have a couple of book projects going on, which resulted directly from publishing the magazine. Besides being incredibly fun and inspiring, these are paying jobs which help me fund the magazine. Wrapping up these project means I can invest in the production of the magazine and the Journal;
- a new project I launched in the spring of this year is Let’s Explore Journal: a 40 page, limited edition zine/photo book that will feature a single storyteller. The same when-ready concept applies here and besides creating the stories, there’s a new design to be made. Considering the fact I like to think that through (here’s how I went about the basic grid design for the magazine) this will be my focus besides wrapping up the books mentioned above;
- as you’ve hopefully noticed, I started publishing online features more regularly. I can lay these out fairly quickly, so I’ll be sharing more the coming months. I have quite a few features backlogged, but feel free to reach out and let’s see how we can get your story out there as well;
- and last but not least the printed magazine itself! I always try to link the theme to my personal situation and I’m sure the decision to wrap up my current projects first, will play a role for the theme of the next issue. I have been working on it but nothing is final to share yet. I’ll keep at it, stay persistent in my efforts, endure, ride the wave and expect to be launching the new theme early next year at the latest. This will give me enough time to focus on what’s important right now and it will make for a better product in the end.
The past three years have been an incredible learning experience and I’m incredibly humbled by the support and kind words I’ve received up until now. I’m learning, exploring and growing every single day and I can’t wait to find out what can be created in the future.
As always, if you have any questions and/or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.