Eva, Colin and Jackie, Bad Day
This morning we’re at work with the team behind Bad Day, who have just released issue 20 of their pocket sized, single-colour arts and culture biannual. With editor-in-chief Eva Michon in LA, creative director Colin Bergh in Toronto, and publisher Jackie Linton in New York, putting together each issue of Bad Day is a continual Google Hang Out and WhatsApp affair. As their editorial process is so digital, Eva, Colin and Jackie are at work together this morning over Skype. We catch up with them to hear about the new release.
Where are you today?
Jackie (left): This morning I’m at home. I have yet to settle on furniture for my new apartment, so I have this little makeshift set up in the meantime.
Colin (centre): Chinatown, Toronto.
Eva (right): My new apartment in LA.
What can you see from the window?
Jackie: San Francisco City Hall! And a pigeon or two.
Colin: A mural of a young boy holding a sprout, a red construction crane and some apartment buildings
Eva: Silverlake and downtown.
Are you a morning or evening person?
J: I am a newly-adjusted morning person, formerly a long-time evening person.
Which magazine do you first remember?
E: I remember a copy of Vogue my older cousin showed me which had an ad for Obsession with Kate Moss' naked boob.
J: Colors. I remember reading the Madness issue, and it was a radical departure from any of the cultural publications I had seen before.
C: Disney Adventures, The Magazine for Kids.
How do you begin an issue – with a cover star, a colour?
C: Each issue begins with a brainstorm of feature ideas, working artists we're particularly excited about or inspired by, whether they be emerging or established. Among that list is always a few options for a cover star. The colour way is chosen after asking ourselves a few questions – what have we done in the recent past? What's the spice of the season? What can we afford?
J: Our cover star usually starts us off on an issue, as it often takes the most time to pull off. Colours are discussed (and debated at times) throughout the entire production cycle, though there have been times when the colour is immediately felt and decided right away.
You’re based in LA. Your creative director is in Toronto and your publisher is in San Francisco. How do you make it work?
E: Lots of communicating through video chat, text, email, etc.
J: Our enthusiasm is key. I believe we're at our best when the three of us are equally committed, despite whatever else we have going on. We also have really honed in on our roles and responsibilities, so we know what each of us needs to do.
C: Google Hangouts, patience, trust.
You’re now onto issue 20 and the format – in terms of both design and the way you structure content – is always very consistent. How do you balance staying constant without being predictable?
E: I think we don’t really worry about what might be predictable, we just worry about what excites us. Having three people decide what goes into a magazine means we must all be happy with the features but also annoyed because something each of us personally liked didn't make it in. I think that combination stays consistent.
J: We do have an intuitive sense of the mix we need for each issue. Sometimes we all know if something seems to be missing, or it feels ‘off’. I think our consistency helps us inform our decisions, but it stays interesting for us by trying to be forward-thinking at the same time, and adding to the mix in new ways.
C: This lies directly in the content, and the wide range of personalities and disciplines we’ve featured and continue to feature in the magazine.
Tell me about the new issue.
C: It’s like cotton candy.
E: It’s a milestone issue, number 20, and the cover feels very playful. Actually, the whole issue feels very playful.
J: What I like the most about Joanna Newsom, our cover story, is that she’s somewhat shy – I think there is more pressure today as a young creatives to speak out and promote themselves, and I enjoy seeing talented people being retiring about that sort of thing. It feels ‘essential’, but maybe it’s not necessarily.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
E: Pulling up the carpets in my new apartment!
J: I’m going to check out this photography group show, ‘How I Learned To See’ at Fraenkel Gallery. Mostly because it includes Alec Soth.
C: Euro cup.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
J: I have quite a few deadlines at my day job this week. Ho hum.
E: I’m not sure... it’s 4th of July so it’s likely to be an awesome week. If the heat wave returns, that would be a bummer.
C: Trying to figure out what to eat, always the hardest thing.
What will you be doing after this chat?
E: Walking with my dog to a friend’s house for coffee.
J: Making a smoothie :)