Paper Sea began from a desire to make something that showed the beautiful, creative intersection between the surf, travel and art cultures. We wanted to create a physical publication through which people could escape, discover photographers and artists and ready inspiring interviews and travel stories. We started working on Paper Sea in 2011 and it has continued to evolve ever since.
We’ve found over the years that almost every single artist and photographer we’ve ever wanted to feature in Paper Sea has been thrilled to have their work in our pages, which we take as a great compliment for the way we handle and present our content. We take care in presenting images we love with room for them to breathe. We agonize over the pacing of an issue so that each story flows into another and slower moments of respite are offered throughout.
The aim of Paper Sea is to show honest stories and stunning photos with an aim to inspire our readers to seek adventure and find the courage to create/make something.
We chose our content based on what we enjoy and appreciate. I feel so lucky to be able to curate a publication full of my favorite artists, photographers, and writers.
I enjoy running content from emerging artists and photographers, not just world-leading artists. It can be so difficult to get a start in creative industries and hopefully we’ve helped some artists take a step or two in the direction of their goals.
Tell us about yourself
I’m a writer—I studied a Master of Creative Writing at RMIT University in Melbourne Australia and founded Paper Sea six months before graduating. I grew up in the country and spent summers swimming in a huge lake at the bottom of our farm and exploring the forest at the top. Growing up on a farm instilled a lifelong appreciation and respect for the reenergizing properties of nature and adventure. I moved to the city when I still young and love city-living now but still make time for getting out to nature. I surf as often as possible and go camping and hiking heaps. I’m lucky my partner and dog and friends love getting into nature as much as I do. I love writing and taking pictures but am definitely better at the former.
Print: Why choose print? What kind of paper you use and why? Typography? Paper Sea was always intended to be a print publication. We floated the idea of making it an online publication but it sunk immediately. We’re currently working on the 17 print issue, which blows my mind—I’m so stoked there have been so many people out there over the last five years who love Paper Sea enough to buy it so we can keep making it.
We wanted to share what we loved most about print—the thrill of holding in your hands a physical object that can excite the mind. A publication with thick art paper that feels natural in your hands and smells amazing—people always mention how much they love the smell.
How's the public response?
See above but the fact that we’ve been able to make Paper Sea for five years (and counting) has been so humbling. We’ve grown organically from people who love what we make sharing it with like-minded friends. Our biggest challenge is how to distribute it around the world! It’s so heavy (1 x 176-page issue weights nearly 1 kilogram)…
Business: Good print mags get a lot of love, but is not always translated to sales or advertising. How're the sales? Advertising-wise, is it a normal approach of selling an ad page or more a brand ad approach?
Paper Sea is funded through a combination of subscriptions, sales, and advertising. Perhaps uniquely, we have survived predominantly from sales and subscriptions with minimal advertising. This works well for the few brands we partner with on advertising because it means they get heaps of exposure among our content. All our advertisers are super keen to fit in as much as possible with our aesthetic so the ads end up looking beautiful, which we love as it works well for our readers.
Stay tuned to @paperseaqrtly to find out!