Good Magazines can change your life.
Now, that might sound a bit grandiose, but it's true.
Independent magazines are created by (often slightly obsessive) people with a need to share their knowledge, their passion and their ‘thing’ with the world.
When you read a good indie mag, you can’t help but absorb this passion. It’s electric. We love how you can ‘find your people’ in mags, how you can be inspired to change, to play or to do, how you can glimpse into worlds far removed from your own. Years and years of experience and knowledge are distilled in this beautifully bound object you can hold in your hands to dip in and out of.
We wanted to take this opportunity to share stories (both from us at Pics & Ink and from our readers) of how magazines have had a real impact on our lives, have made us feel better and more inspired.
I hope you enjoy…
‘A magazine makes me sit quietly for a while & immerse myself in something entirely for me, be that for 2 minutes or 2 hours, depending on how busy my life is that day.” –Anon!
“It’s my monthly escape. It stops me. Makes me rest, take time out for me. Unheard of any other day but the day it lands on my doorstep nothing gets in the way. A bath, early bed and indulgence in a magazine. Bliss!” - Amanda
Reading the Simple Things is a treat which I save as a gift to myself each weekend. I read it first thing on a Saturday and Sunday morning in solitude, sitting in my reading armchair whilst eating my breakfast and enjoying my daily latte. I ration myself to make sure each edition lasts for the whole month and I read it from cover to cover. I keep older editions so that I can dip into them from time to time…Finding the Simple Things has given me the incentive to make time for myself and to truly relax and be in the moment whilst I am focussed on each page. As someone who suffers from anxiety, this has become a truly important part of my life” -Karen
Amelia said…“Unfortunately, I can't always subscribe to magazines due to financial difficulties. Therefore, every Sunday evening I will read the newsletter and highlight the issues that both myself and the people I love will gather the most intrigue, experience, wanderlust and escapism.
For my mam's birthday it was an issue that showcased the best of India, somewhere she'd always wanted to travel and for her 50th she saved for a couple of years to join a travelling group to get there. That issue stays by her bedside.
For me, it's the older copies of Oh magazine that explored the more whimsy events in life than helped ease the anxieties and mental health difficulties that saturated my routines. But whatever the magazines, it's the authors behind each story, their passion for their jobs, to reach their audience and connect on a different level.
And so I may not be the wisest or the most articulate person in the world, but when I order a magazine from yourselves, it comes from a desperation to share the words of your writers to imagine a future, an adventure, a better standard of life...”
A chance flick through a magazine inspired a hobby for one reader… “About five years ago, I was flicking through my wife’s copy of The Simple Things magazine, when I came across a short article about spoon carving. I’ve always enjoyed making things from wood, but had struggled to find things that could easily be made in a busy family setting, without the need for a fully stocked workshop and a trunk of expensive tools. This looked perfect…following the instructions in the magazine, I began my first spoon. It was a great success, and I was hooked!...You can really lose yourself in the carving process, achieving that holy grail of craftsmanship called ‘flow’, where you’re thinking of nothing but the next sliver of green wood. Since that day five years ago I have made spoons from Scottish island driftwood, from wood begged from neighbours, and from logs blagged off local tree surgeons. I’ve been commissioned to create a spoon and a small vessel for an artist friend of mine, and on one particular Scottish holiday, the farmer’s wife on the farm we were staying at, after seeing me create a spoon, asked me to make two more for her for presents, for which she paid the handsome sum of £40, thus more than recouping my original outlay in tools.”
David, the co-founder of Iceberg Press and Pics & Ink, started the business 7 years ago, with Simple Things editor, Lisa and Guy… “It was a wonderful time, but also a scary time and we spent every waking minute of every day working to make the business a success.
After 2 years, I realised that all we were doing was working. I took a rare afternoon off and went down to Brighton where I wandered into the lovely shop,Magazine Brighton and was drawn to the cover ofThe Ride Journal. I picked it up and started flicking through it and saw one double page that really stood out – a photograph of a stream of lights at night going around this country lane. It was a photo of the Dunwich Dynamo, a 100 mile cycle ride from London to the Sussex coast starting at 8pm, going all through the night and finishing at sunrise, with a swim in the sea as the sun comes up.
It made me realise how much I missed riding my bike and how much I missed having time to do that. So, I thought, right, I’m just going to build some of that time back into my day and over the next few years it became part of my life again and became a really important way to switch off from the day job which had become all consuming. And then three years after I picked up that magazine, Guy and I actually did the Dunwich Dynamo, (Lisa was following us in the car with the dog, and lots of coffee).
Now, we might have missed the sunrise (100 miles is a long way) but, we did it. And it was amazing that we had this incredible experience, all because I’d read about it three years earlier, in a magazine.”
Donna “I am constantly amazed that there are publishers out there who actually consider what they present...not just the typical North American rehash of how to manage the crisis du jour, things to avoid, images of what you should REALLY be, and on and on and on--but things that really matter, the small sometimes unconsidered things that make life a brilliant adventure and provide moments of pure pleasure.
THAT is what independent magazines do--they make my life (and, I suspect, the lives of countless other readers) fascinating.
My heartfelt thanks for what you do. You may not realize it, but you make lives better by showing us that life is a beautiful gift.
Fiona helps run Pics & Ink …“Whereas some people used the pandemic to improve their fitness, read War & Peace or rearrange their kitchen cupboards, I have to say I wasn’t one of them. I found everything in the pandemic was reduced to work, thinking about food, cooking food, watching Netflix and think about what to watch next on Netflix. I couldn’t concentrate on anything long enough to feel engaged. I felt fidgety and well if we’re honest, horribly bloomin’ anxious.
I LOVE to read but I couldn’t read during lockdown, and the world started to feel smaller and smaller. My brain felt more and more sluggish. I felt like I had less and less interest in everything and less and less to say. One day I came across Eaten magazine, which is all about food history. Not something I had really thought of before but I flicked through and saw a picture of Neil Armstrong bobbing about in space with a giant radish photoshopped over his face, and I felt a flutter of curiosity. Turns out it was an article about growing veg in space which I had no idea they had tried to do and it was just a marvellous idea to me.
The issue itself was a treasure trove of curiosities that were so far removed from my daily routine. It gave me a feeling that I can only describe as pure glee, that it’s someone’s job to try and grow lettuce in space, and someone else’s job to interview that person for a magazine, and another person’s job to photoshop a radish onto Neil Armstrong’s head. And suddenly, the world seemed a lot bigger, and a lot more interesting and a lot more playful.
Indie mags are an incredible place for creativity and inspiration. Reading and absorbing other people’s creativity, their passion is electric. One idea breeds another idea, breeds another. It’s the total opposite of the brain draining world of social media scrolls. I’m so grateful to magazines for getting that spark of curiosity back.”
I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as we did. THANK YOU to everyone who shared their stories of how important mags are. We received so many and it has made us even more passionate about spreading the joy of indie magazines to as many people as possible.
We’d love to hear if magazines have changed your life in some way, whether it’s finding a new hobby, a sense of calm or community, or taking your life in a completely new direction.
Stay tuned for something brand new and very exciting from Pics & Ink and long live great independent magazines!