Stencil Hop: Peek-a-Boo
Trying an Abstract

Art Journal Every Day: Featuring Magazine


If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, all the posts can be found here.  Please read this post first.  There is a flickr group for sharing right here.  Remember, it's just ten minutes of nourishing your creative self every day!  No need to finish anything or even like it.  If you've done some art journaling this week and you've blogged about it, or put it on flickr, please leave a link in the linky list at the end of this post.  Thanks!

I truly appreciate all the people who actively participate in Art Journal Every Day.  Your enthusiasm is contagious and keeps me motivated.  One person who almost always has a link in the weekly linky list is Marit Barentsen.  When I visited her blog recently I discovered that she had started an art journaling magazine!  An actual print magazine, written in English, produced in The Netherlands, and shipped worldwide.

Yesterday I asked you where your inspiration came from.  Answers included nature, the internet, and books and magazines.  So I figured it was a perfect meeting of the minds to feature Marit and her new magazine.  

I'm always looking for ways to help promote members of the Art Journal Every Day community.  And I'm proud to remind you that every single Art Journal Every Day guest post has been written by an Art Journal Every Day participant.  I know I've gotten on my soap box about this before, but we need to help and support each other.  Each artists' individual success is good for all of us as a community.

I always admire artistic entrepreneurship, so I asked Marit to share the story of how the magazine came into being!

I'll let Marit take it from here....

"Why don’t you do it yourself then?" It started with this question asked by my son in a moment when I complained about the things I missed in creative magazines. I was writing for a scrapbook magazine at that time and I talked to the publisher about my ideas, but he was not very interested. They preferred to stick to their own concept. I did like that job, but still, my mind was filled with ideas about how I would like a creative magazine to be. I read other creative magazines from time to time but not one magazine that I laid my hands on, combined the things I had in mind.

Sooo, when my son said this to me, it was if he had pushed a button. The idea of doing it myself lingered in my mind for a while but, to be honest, not very long. So I talked about it with my beloved. As a designer he was enthusiastic about the idea of a magazine, and looked forward to designing and working on it. We agreed almost immediately that we wanted it to be a printed magazine. Now, things became more clear and the best part was: we would be in this together.

The first step I took was to ask Annemarie Victory if she would be willing to work with me. I am from the Netherlands, and I wanted the magazine to be international. There’s so much going on around the world on blogs and creative groups, why leave all those people out? However, bringing an international magazine written in English meant, that I needed a good American editor. I followed Annemarie’s blog for a few years already, and I knew she is as good with words, spelling and grammar in English as I am in Dutch. So I wrote her an email an explained our plans for the magazine. She was excited righ away – her enthusiastic response was heartwarming. Yay, the first hurdle was taken. I’d found myself an assistant editor!

Then along came the website, which my beloved built...

...and a call for team members. After all, I could not write all of the articles on my own, and writing would be a big part of the job. That is what I wanted the magazine to contain: articles to READ. Background stories. Interviews. That sort of thing. I dreamed of a versatile magazine that included art journaling, mixed media, photography, poetry and everything else that in my opinion would fit – creativity  in all its forms.

I spread the word on forums that there was a new magazine in the making and that we were looking for team members. Pretty soon, the emails started to come in. All applicants were asked to write a test-article about a given theme and after the deadline was expired, Annemarie and I read it all, made notes and held a virtual meeting in our "Featuring chat room." Funny thing was: we didn’t need to discuss the test articles at all. Her list of the persons that fit our profile and wrote to our standards was exactly the same as mine.

So now I had a website, a designer/webmaster, an assistant editor and a team, woohoo! We were off!

The months of November and December went by with a lot of brainstorming, emailing and chatting back and forth between the team. Except for me and Annemarie (we’re both in our forties) the Featuring team consists of predominantly young members who came in with fresh eyes and ideas (they started talking twitter and facebook almost immediately!) which keep us "oldies" sharp, modern and up-to-date. (On the other hand, the "oldies" bring in expertise and experience to maintain the balance LOL) We set up a twitter- and facebook account, chose the artists and subjects that we would like to highlight in the magazine and we started writing.

In the meantime, lots of artists discovered the Featuring website, and submissions were starting to come in. As founder and editor-in-chief, I have the last word on what goes in the magazine but overall, most submissions were deliberated over by our team. We looked for a nice mix in art and artists – both professional and amateur – interesting background stories and everything "creative" that we thougt fit in.

After the first, hectic months it got a bit quiet. Or so it seemed. The team and I were writing, Annemarie was editing and the designer brought words and photos together on the pages. For the outside world, there wasn’t much to see but behind the scenes the magazine grew and grew.... Sometimes, there was a little update on the website about what we were working on (like an article about copyrights) and, to satisfy the curious ones, we allowed future readers a glimpse of the magazine by putting up a "flip-through preview" on the website.

Finally, in April, the day came that we could take it to the print office. Now that was exciting!

And a few days later, Featuring was officially released!

We mailed off the first copies to the people who’d ordered the magazine, and then there was nothing more we could do except wait and see if other people like it as much as we do...

It was a looooong week.

We put daily sneak peeks of the articles on facebook. 

We tweeted.

We waited....

…and waited,

and then the first comments came in:

  • "Just received my copy. Looks great. Looking forward to reading the interesting articles."
  • "Just LOVE FEATURING! It’s gorgeous, smart, polished and so creative in its content, visual display and the articles! You have a real WINNER here. I am so honored and blessed to have work of mine in your premier issue. Can’t wait to see issue 2!"
  • "Got mine today, and boy oh boy! I’m loving it!!!!!!!"
  • "I just received my copy and I LOVE IT! Congratulations to Marit and all of the contributors! This magazine is informative, thought provoking, and has plenty of beautiful and insightful artwork :) Will definitely recommend to my friends."

… need I say more? 

We’re happy.


Here is the linky list for this week:

Thanks for stopping by!

01-cover-featuring-issue1About FEATURING:

FEATURING is a printed magazine that can be ordered online only.

FEATURING is an international publication with the publisher based in the Netherlands and an international team.

FEATURING is shipped worldwide and appears as a quarterly publication.

The magazine provides a stage for all kinds of artists. With each issue, we bring our readers a view on creativity in all its forms. The focus lays mainly on art journaling and mixed media, but other types of art are highlighted as well. FEATURING brings a spectrum of art-related articles and stories. Art journaling, mixed media, projects, photograpy, background stories, poetry and more.

About Marit Barentsen...

07-maritI live together with my beloved in Eindhoven. My love and I run a small company together in graphical communication and design. I have a son – born in 1992 – who studies Artificial Intelligence on the Radboud University in Nijmegen.

 I am a passionate writer and artist who loves to try new techniques and ideas and I always try to stretch myself in my work. My favorite art medium is paper (because you can also write on it. Ha!). I started as a scrapbooker, but since I discovered the combination of art with writing, I call myself an art journal artist. I took my passion, skills and knowledge about art and writing a step further by founding the magazine Featuring.

Blog: Marit's Paper World


P.S. I (Julie) have a first come, first served offer for you: If you live in the New York City area and want a large cardboard box full of art and craft supplies (some used and some brand new in packaging), send me an e-mail.  You must be able to pick the box up from my apartment building (midtown Manhattan) today (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).  The box contains everything from paper to stamps to ink pads to pens to washi tape.  It is FREE to the first person who e-mails me.  Thanks!