Our weekly At Work With post returns today, as we meet Indhira Rojas, founding editor of the California-based Anxy. After only two issues, the magazine has made a significant impact on the indie mag world, as it seeks to help people deal with the day-to-day issues that can lead to more serious mental problems. Issue one dealt with Anger, and the current second issue concerns Workaholism. We catch up with her as she and the Anxy team start planning their third edition.
How was your weekend?
My weekend was very proactive. I spent most of it with the Anxy team working on our ideas for issue three, in which we will be exploring the theme of Boundaries. We got together at our studio on Saturday morning and enjoyed some snacks while brainstorming what Boundaries meant to us and which topics and narratives we wanted to make sure to include.
We hadn’t all gotten together in person in a few months, so it was refreshing to be face to face and get on the same page on our aspirations for the next issue. Kati Krause was able to join us via video, which was lovely!
Tell us about your typical Monday journey to work
My husband and I share one car, which means we get to drive together in the mornings. Our home is a bit far from public transportation. It’s actually really nice, as we get to spent some quality time. We either listen to music (recently we have been enjoying Tame Impala, Beach House, The Beatles and Queens of the Stone Age) or catch up on the news on NPR.
Once we arrive at the BART, our public transit system, Jason leaves me the car. I then drive to our studio. My routine from there is to get a coffee at the downstairs cafe Standard Fare. I usually get one of my two favorites: dirty chai or a cappuccino. I then sit at my desk, sip coffee, and go through email. Total commute time is 25-40 mins, depending on traffic.
Describe the state of your desk and what you can see in your office
My desk is a combination of notes, journals, paper bills, notepads, the empty coffee mug of the day, and also a stack of magazines. Things rotate in and out, depending on what I’m focused. I go between pretty messy, to then cleaning it all up and starting over. I sit in a row of desks, in between two of my colleagues. I’m facing one of our walls, which has a collection of posters. To my left, I get to see the beautiful Berkeley sky through the window (above).
Which magazine do you first remember?
The first magazines I remember are from my student years at Parsons in New York. I had come to the US from the Dominican Republic, and was fascinated by the vast amount of publications available on the newsstands. New York magazine stood out to me, as it was a great way to get to know the city and the culture.
I’m inspired by publications created by and for women. The eighth issue of Riposte, with Ericka Hart was powerful—from the cover to her personal story. Also, the newly launched Romance Journal by studio Ro&Co in New York. I’m dying to get their latest issue on Resistance.
Was there a particular magazine that inspired Anxy?
The success of indie magazines such as Gather, Hello Mr., Offscreen, Kinfolk, inspired Anxy. They allowed me to see that it was possible to start an indie project and have it create relevant conversations and spaces for connection.
But what inspired our approach with Anxy was the lack of publications in the market that covered mental health and personal stories through artful design and creative expression. The most popular mental health magazine in the US is Psychology Today, which tends to focus on advice, recommendations from therapists and other psychology-related concepts. We wanted to fill in the missing gap: expressing our inner experience.
Theme issues so far have been selected by me. They are informed by my own journey, thus I consider them a bit autobiographical. They are topics I find relevant to anyone who is going through a process of introspection and personal growth, with a focus on mental health.
Preparations are going well, starting with the fact that we completed our first brainstorm and have gathered a good amount of submissions. We are excited about all the possibilities the theme Boundaries opens in terms of narratives and angles.
What are you worrying about at work this week?
Many things! My work is a combination of everything involving Anxy, plus the design consulting I do for our clients via our studio Anagraph. There is a lot to balance. We have a few projects that are just starting and I want to get those in motion. Then, we just received new swag from our printers (orange totes and t-shirts!). I’m excited to ship those to our Anxy fans.
What’s going to be the highlight of the week for you?
Sending assignments out to writers for the Boundaries issue. I enjoy seeing how the stories we assign come together to create a larger narrative. It’s always a bit scary and a bit surprising.
What will you be doing after this chat?
I will be going to sleep, since it’s very late here in California. :)
Portrait and studio shots by Michelle Le