In Conversation With : Homesick Magazine's Reagan Clare

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Homesick is a new publication centred around fashion and the arts using rare archival photography and in depth interviews. Founded by Picture Researcher Reagan Clare, the magazine is intended to be an antidote to the lifestyle heavy glossys that dominate the sector. 

The imagery has generally been tucked away for years, far from the prying digital eyes of the internet, very personal to those involved and often from the lesser known figures behind great work. There are also the stand out names including award winning music video director Walter Stern, who has worked with David Bowie, Massive Attack and Prodigy. 

There's the inevitable sense of nostalgia that comes with the territory of using archival content but certainly in approach, Homesick feels fresh, niche and, given the lack of funding, really quite bold. We spoke to Reagan about her aims for the magazine going forward and find out just how difficult it is to get a project like this off the ground. 

Homesick Magazine is a free publication available to pick up from these outlets

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Can you tell us a little bit about what Homesick Magazine is and why you started it?

Homesick is predominantly an archival magazine. It’s aim is to showcase lesser known or ‘behind-the-scenes’ creatives, showing rare and intriguing content. Focused around pop-culture, it covers fashion, film, art and music. Hopefully something for everyone. Homesick stemmed from myself having worked in archives for years whilst harbouring a massive passion for magazines. It occurred to me that there wasn’t a strictly ‘archival’ mag out there, so it felt like a gold idea from the off. I also work as a picture researcher, so the thought of exercising that skill on a platform like this felt really exciting.

What are some of the main issues within the fashion and art industries that you find prohibitive to the magazine form?

I find people shoving any sort of ‘lifestyle’ down my throat kind of hard to bare. Which is obviously a main part and intention of the fashion magazine. It can be done so well, obviously, but it’s easy to binge on a lifestyle or trend and ruin it. People are so eclectic and I think maybe magazines shy away from being super experimental, or eclectic these days. I probably find the pressure to be neat and perfect the most frustrating, or to be ‘socially’ active on all the platforms when print can also just stand alone.

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What have been the main challenges you have encountered while setting it up?

Money! Simply funding the project. When you don’t have a product out there in the world already it can be a pretty hard sell. I hope that from now onwards we have a bit more luck with that.

Who did you speak to for advice?

I took a short course at Central Saint Martins called ‘Introduction to Magazine Layout’. I took the whole thing rather seriously and came out of it with a prototype. I took the tutors email and harassed him some more. Other than that, anyone. Friends, bosses, family, getting their thoughts on their idea and asking for technical help.

How has the reception to the first issue been so far?

The reception has been really positive. I’m pleased. I wanted people to think it was new and different, which seems to be the main feedback. It’s good roots to build on.

What are your aims for Homesick in 2018?

Homesick aims to be a quarterly magazine so hopefully lots more issues. I’d like to work with more people - a writer and designer, firstly. And to continue pushing for exclusive, 'unseen’ content. In a years time, I’d like the magazine to have expanded. So far I’ve been working within my means but it would be great to think larger, to commission new content and generally build on the marketing side of things.

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Which magazines of 2017 provided you with inspiration?

The Gentlewoman, Buffalo Zine, Baroness, 032c. I also was sorting through my bosses' vintage magazine collection at the time so: Warhols ‘Interviews’, David Baileys ‘Ritz’ and Toscani’s ‘Colors’.

What advice would you pass on to others from your experience so far?

Starting up a magazine on a shoestring is not ideal, but do-able. Seek advice from whoever you can and gather as much feedback as possible.

Stories, VisualsJamal Guthrie