London based Very Nearly Almost magazine showcases street art, illustration, design and contemporary art since 2006. Interview with editor George Macdonald.
Baron: What’s the story behind Very Nearly Almost?
George Macdonald: VNA was created originally as a way of documenting the fast growing art scene that was street art. It began as a personal journey for me to attempt to document the whole street art/graffiti scene but evolved through meeting good people into an art magazine that covers everything from graffiti to photography and all the way to illustration and even fine art. Luckily for us we now have a strong editorial team as well some of the best art direction via Greg Beer.
B.: How does that translate to an editorial policy?
G.M.: I guess I always tried to just document everything I saw when I started VNA, including stuff I wasn't too keen on but its hard to not be influenced by what you like, we generally all have artists, designers, writers that we like or admire or that we think have a good story to tell. So we all pitch in ideas and with time we create the basis of each issue. Trust me we still have lots of artists on our list.
B.: Why choose print? What kind of paper do you use and why?
G.M.: The art direction, typography, print etc. is all down to Greg, he convinced me to make the move to Uncoated paper to give the magazine a cleaner, collectable feel and we have never looked back. VNA is not a magazine you throw away and we are proud of that fact. We don't print many and that very important. Why print? Because everyone involved loves print. Its essential to keep print alive and independent publishers are the way to make that happen.
B.: What has been the readers’ response?
G.M.: Well I started by printing 120 of the first issue and the response was great, so I printed 300, then 1,000 and currently we print 8,000 copies of each issue. Its amazing the response we get from the readers... we try to keep it interactive, by asking who they would like to see in the magazine and we also produce Limited editions which is our way of creating a piece of affordable art for the readers. I guess that keeps them excited about each issue. We have had Shepard Fairey, Invader, Retna, Faile to name but a few.
B.: Print mags get a lot of love, but this isn’t always reflected in sales or advertising. How are your sales doing? What is your advertising philosophy?
G.M.: We have been fortunate over the years to work with great brands in terms of advertising, Edding supported us from an early point and so did Montana Cans and Molotow (Both spray paint manufacturers) We also have worked with some exciting street wear brands such as Vans, Addict, Supreme Being and many others. For us its always been about good personal relationships with these brands. Its not easy at times but then nothing easy is worth doing. Sales are good, but we can always improve.
B.: Any upcoming projects?
G.M.: Keep an eye on verynearlyalmost.com for the latest.