Interview with the Balladeers
Meet Lindsey and Claire! The girls behind the independent art magazine Ballad of... that we love.
With the moto "Brand New Art We Heart", Ballad of... is a magazine that exclusively prints the work of emerging artists. Only the prettiest adjectives - whimsical, fanciful and dreamlike can describe how it's like.
Who are you? Where you from? What you do?
C: I'm Claire, co-founder and co-editor at Ballad Of ... magazine. I'm a displaced Geordie living in London. Day to day you will find me trawling for brand new art, that i heart.
L: Heyyy, I'm Lindsey and I'm from South Yorkshire and I'm a co-editor and founder of Ballad Of...Magazine with my best friend Claire.
How did you meet each other?
C: We met at uni in Blackpool studying BA Photography. In Blackpool there were no student halls, and we happened to live across the road from each other in the cutest street of white seaside cottages!! We met on the first day, Lindsey threw up on my couch before we'd made it to the 1st freshers party... that's a bonding experience if you've ever had one.
L: As most amazing friendships we met at uni studying photography and have been besties since. We've known each other about ten years now and they have flown by we've got some amazing memories together which are mainly booze fueled, but they are the best times right?
Describe each other in three words...
C: Lindsey in 3 words - Tired, Focused, Girl Power (that's 1... yeah?!)
L: Claire in three words...Eager, supportive and FREAKIN' AWESOME!!
What inspired you to start the magazine?
C: I've come to understand that we went through the uni system on the brink of something that would change how this industry works forever. When we were at school, websites were a once a fortnight, hour long lecture and social media was for clubbing photos, if that. I didn't even have My Space, it was either for Music or every kid on there had "photography" at the end of their name, it was all a bit gigs and Emos. Actually, Lindsey got addicted to My Space and had to delete it HAHAHAH. But yeah, Facebook only allowed non redbrick in our 3rd year or something stupid. Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest just didn't exist - Flickr was the only thing taking photography and fashion seriously and it was so cumbersome to use we just didn't bother.
When we had graduated and got unpaid positions in the industry, something amazing started happening. All of a sudden people started taking notice of non-professionals who were using their little corner of the internet to publicise themselves. We could see that this would lead to an entirely different center for magazines and books, so we decided to create a coffee table magazine, a non disposable art piece that printed exclusively the work of emerging artists.
L: I moved down to London straight away after uni and worked on reception in a model agency which was a great experience to learn how circles work down here, then Claire joined me and we both ended up doing unpaid work either assisting photographers or some other creative role which involved getting no money. Obviously working for free isn't ideal..and to be honest...why the hell should we?? We wanted to bridge the gap of student to professional and give people like ourselves a chance to be seen in the interview. Ballad is for young creatives who need tear sheets in their books, for the people who are dedicated and create beautiful work but find it hard to get seen by the right people who can give them a chance in their field. Its bloody hard out there and that's why we do Ballad. Not only because we love beautiful art, but because we know how hard it is to get your name out there.
What songs Make You Feel Creative?
C: Spice Up Your Life
L: California Girls by The Beach Boys.
If you can only keep one book on your bookshelf, what would it be?
C: That is the hardest question I've ever been asked. I have a room full of books and magazines, and a corridor, and a spare room... and you want me to choose only one!? Ok, Erik Kessels' Wonder. It changed the course of my life forever when i saw it, and it allowed me to do what i do now. It's a photography book, and was the bravest and most beautiful concept i'd ever seen. It made sense of the time that i describe above.
L: Like Claire said...ONLY ONE? All my photography books are pretty special not only because of the obvious art inside them but most of the time because they have been given as presents by people through my life. If I HAD to choose it would most likely be my Guy Bourdin book. I took lots of inspiration from this book whilst at uni and my work had hints of his in too. Basically I bloody love it.
Which artist should we look out for?
C: Any copy of Ballad Of... will offer a wonderful answer to that question, but a few of my favorites at the moment, Charlotte Rutherford is creating some amazing images right now.
L: I really adore the work of Dominic Clarke. His style is soft and dreamy... effortless beauty. Go check him out.
Where would you take us for an art experience in London?
C: Ballad HQ to rifle through some of the stunning work that graces our desktop every day, or the Tate Modern book shop. With such a focus on iPhones, apps, social media and online living, we believe that books and magazines are the new generation of accessible art.
L: Claire's right!! Come and sit with us whilst downloading all our submissions...Its definitely an exciting thing to do...sort of like Christmas, but arty.
Any advice to those wishing to follow in your footsteps?
C: Just go for it. Learn as you go, ask questions, don't pay too much attention to those around you or you will produce a diluted version of someone else's vision.
L: Don't quit... you started for a reason...Hard work pays off and it is sooo worth it.
Ballad of... magazine available HERE