When my issue of @unvaeljournal arrived in the mail i was hesitant to open the package. I had taken a chance on having my work appear in a publication alongside other artists. I was hesitant because my standards are high, pretty much in regard to everything. Quality of paper, quality of design, quality of work, quality of subject. As an artist, i put a lot of quality time and thought into my work and can only ever hope that a publication puts as much quality into their publication so that their artists can be proud to be a part of it. Wasting no more time, i tore open the package and was met with a hefty book. I wouldn’t call what was in my hands a magazine. When i think of magazines i think of “flimsy” “ad-driven” and “thin thin paper.” What i had instead was so heavy it could be a paper weight. Almost 100 pages of pure content— no dilution.
I opened to the first page, a welcome letter from the editor, @michaelash.smith and proceeded to digest every page in order. I got lost a few times, lost in thought from what i had seen or read (yes there are written works as well as visuals). I was moved. The curation by Michael was unlike any other i had seen in similar art publications. His curation is truely insightful and culture-driven, inclusive yet with high standards.
As i turned to see each next page i knew i would eventually come to my work. I started to feel bad, sure my work didn’t fit in with the rest. I worked through pages, lingering longer than I normally would to spend extra time with another’s work for once. When i finally turned the page and saw my work i was shook. It fit right in, and for the first time ever i saw my work outside of my work— i felt a non-participant and saw the magic that so many say they see. I teared up and gave myself credit that i never do. I read my interview and learned something from myself. It was a truly out of body+mind experience. If you as an artist have never seen your work in physical form (what a shame we live in such a digital age) i truly beg of you to print your work at least once in great quality. You will see your work anew for the first time ever.