Can you tell us about your magazine
FreshPaintMagazine was first founded and published in Philadelphia, US, in 2013 by Ekaterina Popova. The inspiration for this publication stemmed from the need to provide more opportunities for emerging artists and developing connections with the contemporary art scene. Ekaterina being an artist herself, wanted to use her experience and love for the arts to help promote the work of others in her community. The project quickly gained support in Philadelphia’s art society, later to attract artists from all over the US.
In 2015 Ekaterina partnered with Maria Zemtsova, an artist and digital designer, who was fascinated by the London art scene. Maria established FreshPaintMagazine’s presence in the UK, initially in London, but now over England and Wales. This has brought FreshPaintMagazine up to a new level with a refreshed design and layout, new website and expanded content and has enabled the magazine to further one of its principal aims of reaching out to a growing international art audience, especially from Europe.
Whereas the first 9 issues were published quarterly and on-demand since 2015 the magazine has become a bimonthly publication with a bigger print run on both sides of the Atlantic.
While the focus of the publication continues to be the promotion of established and emerging artists, we developed relationships with galleries and curators in the US and UK in order to better connect artists and readers with a wider pool of knowledge, trends, expertise and events in the contemporary art world.
FreshPaintMagazine invites a guest curator to select submissions from artists for each issue. There is an open call for art which we post about a month before every deadline. We started by working with gallery and museum professionals in our own community when the magazine was first established but recently began partnering with international art experts such as Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator, Canada) and Alice Herrick (Herrick Gallery, London). We choose individuals with various tastes, backgrounds, and experience to create a selection for the each particular issue. When selecting artists, the final decision is up to the juror, but having good images, an attractive website and an overall professional presentation of the work helps.
Aside from our curator's selection, we interview galleries, established artists and other art professionals to help share tips and advice with artists looking to grow their career.
Tell us about yourself
Ekaterina Popova and Maria Zemtsova first met in Russia, where they both grew up and went to art school. Their love of art initially brought them together, but it wasn't until 14 years later when they reconnected and decided to partner on FreshPaintMagazine and bring it to an international audience.
Ekaterina Popova is the founder and US director of FreshPaintMagazine and an artist. She holds a BFA in painting and exhibits her work in the US.
Maria Zemtsova is an artist and digital designer, living in London, who previously worked in Russia and across Europe on numerous art projects. She holds an MA in Fine Arts and is the UK director of FreshPaintMagazine.
Print: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why? Typography?
We strive for a clean contemporary style to ensure the reader's focus is the art on the pages of each issue. Printing on the highest quality paper for our budget is important to us. Even though we are a magazine, we want each issue to be archival and memorable for the artists selected. It is a proud moment for each artist to hold a physical copy and see their name which was selected by a reputable juror out of multiple submissions. We feel that having only a digital version would take away from the experience of flipping through the pages to find your own work in a freshly printed copy.
How's the public response?
We receive many e-mails from artists and galleries expressing their appreciation for the existence of our publication. In today's art world there is still a large gap between emerging artists and publishing opportunities. There are several existing publications, but it is very difficult for artists to have a chance to be selected. We are proud to be able to provide a quality opportunity to be a part of bridging the gap and offer exposure to unrepresented talent.
Business: Good print mags get a lot of love, but is not always translated to sales or advertising. How's sales? Advertising-wise, is it a normal approach of selling an ad page or more a brand ad approach?
Being a print magazine in today's world can be challenging, but we are learning to by having a strong social media presence and offering digital issues. Our print copies are limited edition, but we heavily promote our artists on various social media, which in return helps drive our sales. In terms of advertising, we only work with companies and brands that share our clean, contemporary aesthetic. Retaining the integrity of our style is important to us, therefore we keep advertising to a minimum.