Homesick is an archival magazine which showcases behind-the-scenes content that cannot (for the most part) be found on the internet – shining a light on the lesser-known creatives working in fashion, film, music and art. Its creative director Reagan Clare describes Homesick as “nostalgic, curious and eclectic” and dusts down some questions for Magnified.
What led to you setting up Homesick? What were you up to before it?
I grew up loving magazines and had always wanted to work at one… Career-wise I was working as an archivist and researcher, which seemed far from the magazine world so I decided to make my own magazine. Homesick was born from what I was doing at the time – digging up old assets and researching peculiar things. It also felt self-sufficient – like I could pull it off all by myself, with the generosity of the artists involved.
What is the process for deciding who to interview in each issue?
Since I was younger I’ve kept these creepy lists of ‘people of interest’. I also scrapbook, have my own image library and use Pinterest a lot. So it’s dipping into any of these resources. I like it to be non-era specific and with no particular theme as such. So long as it covers a range of mediums surrounding fashion, film, music and art – it normally comes together quite organically. I also had the help of editor Philippa Allison on Issue 3, who came up with some great academic contributions.
Homesick is mostly a DIY project using Newspaper Club. What have been the benefits and downsides of it being a small scale operation?
Issues 1 and 2 were printed with Newspaper Club, yes. Issue 3 is actually printed with Park Communications as it has shifted format and is now a chargeable issue. But I would agree that it’s still a very small scale operation, certainly team member wise. Newspaper Club was a great way to go initially – I loved the newspaper format and it was a great way to ease myself into the design/printing world of magazine making. Printing with Park feels bigger and a bit scarier but very exciting. I would say the biggest struggle throughout has been paying the printing costs. But we’ve run two very successful Kickstarter campaigns and are very grateful for those who’ve supported us.
There seems to be a distinct generational choice in those you select to interview – is this conscious?
I think the magazine wouldn’t work if it approached very new, young talent as there are so many magazines doing that already. What makes the magazine a bit unique is its attraction to people out of the spotlight who are perhaps lesser known by the younger generation. Also, millennials grew up with the internet – work platforms such as Tumblr, Blogspot, Instagram etc. – so it’s likely their work is that-bit more exposed. However, the magazine isn’t restricted to featuring the older gen. I think anything behind-the-scenes and interesting fits the mould.
Do you meet interviewees in person, where possible, or work via a question and answer format as appears in the magazine? What do you feel is gained and lost from using it?
Issues 1 and 2 were very much Q&A’s done over the phone or by email. I would have loved to meet each feature personally but mostly they chose to work this way. Realistically though I wouldn’t have been able to fly over, in many cases. I also chose the Q&A format because I’m not a confident writer and this felt like a very simple way of working. I like the low-key aspect of Q&A but it definitely loses some spontaneity. Issue 3 includes more face-to-face interviews conducted by our editor Philippa Allison, which have definitely elevated the magazine.
In terms of some of the interviews say fashion photographer Doug Ordway talking about working with Bruce Weber or Pamela Des Barres discussing being a groupie, you side-stepped some of the uglier aspects to these lifestyles and unedifying behaviour which has come to light in the #metoo movement, is this something you consciously decided?
Not so intentionally, no. The magazines main editorial focus is to discuss archival content and creativity, so it’s taken a fairly apolitical standpoint thus far. However, these are all important conversations to have and it’s possible that as the magazine grows and we have more writers working with us, it can build this sort of dialog. I would like it to.
Can you tell us a little more about the new issue?
It’s changed to a bigger format with a revised layout and new archival features. We’ve also commissioned new photography and as I mentioned, our talented new editor Philippa Allison has worked on the writing a lot. We have some great features including the first ever stylist Caroline Baker. She offered some amazing archival content including a handwritten letter from Helmut Newton. We also interview the illustrator Brian Sanders who was very much working in ‘the golden age’ of illustration. We see some archival works of his including an Alfred Hitchcock book cover and a piece of work from behind-the-scenes of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Which magazines are a source of inspiration to you at the moment?
My favourite modern magazines are; Space, Buffalo Zine and Another. I’m always keen to buy those! But I probably take the most inspiration from older magazines like; Interview, The Face and odd photography ones like HotShoe and Zoom.
You are switching to a paid-for edition for issue three of Homesick. Why now and what concerns does it bring?
I think having two free issues was great for getting us on the map and creating a small buzz, but it made no financial sense to keep doing that. So it was a necessity really to start charging and this was always the plan. It’s a different ball game completely because you have to think more seriously about profit and loss. Also, you’re negotiating with stockists a lot more. I guess there’s the worry that you won’t shift them all but I’m feeling optimistic!
Who is on your wishlist for future editions of Homesick?
So many people, I sort of don’t want to say! But I’ve been chasing a big French director for ages so hopefully, that will come off. The music features are always exciting so I’ll definitely think big for Issue 4 – maybe a big pop star this time rather than the indie punk era. Being very vague, sorry…
What other projects are you involved in? Any offshoots since doing Homesick?
I spend time at The Contemporary Wardrobe which I’ve worked at for three years, on-and-off. I still work as an image researcher and am moving into treatment design too, assisting directors in the fashion and media industries. With Homesick I was involved in the ModMag 2018 event – a magazine conference put on by MagCulture’s Jeremy Leslie. I also have a few magazine talks coming up, including Route Talks: Monetise Your Magazine at Moth Club, London 2nd Feb.
Issue 3 of Homesick features: Caroline Baker, Keith Wainwright, Eddie Otchere, Circe Henestrosa, Roger K.Burton, The Ritzy Picturehouse, The Raincoats, Janie Lightfoot, Brian Sanders and The Mary Evans Picture Library. £10
Words: Michael McDermott