Jody Daunton and Rachel Maria Taylor launched Another Escape three years ago. The magazine has quietly evolved, staying true to its original desire to reflect people and their passions in a calm, printed environment while developing a stronger sense of purpose around outdoor life. We spoke to Jody as issue five is published.
Where are you today?
Today I’m in my small home studio in Bristol.
What can you see from the window?
In the summer we are really lucky to have lots of trees and greenery to stare out on, and most days I can see a pair of wood pigeons that sit on the roof opposite, which I’ve become quite fond of.
Are you a morning or evening person?
I’m certainly not a morning person; every morning must begin with a strong coffee and I’m useless until I’ve reached the bottom of that cup.
What was the first magazine you remember enjoying?
The first one I really remember getting excited about was Ride BMX. At the time, when I was around eleven, I was really into BMXing, and Ride BMX magazine helped fuel that passion. I’d take it to school to show off my new magazine, and me and my friends would paw over the pages, planning out what new tricks to attempt next time we were at the dirt jumps or skate park. Needless to say, I now have many war-wounds and broken bones thanks to my younger-self.
What’s your favourite magazine this morning?
I’m particularly enjoying the new issue of Huck, the Adventure edition. I managed to find some time over the weekend to get stuck into it, but there’s still plenty left to read this morning and over the week. Despite the summer fast approaching its finale, this issue of Huck is certainly giving me those summer adventure vibes and inspiration. I like magazines that make me feel inspired and driven – which is something we look to achieve with Another Escape as well.
And your favourite outdoor experience?
Around mid-morning I will usually find time to go for a run. Before a couple of years ago I hadn’t really been into running, but my partner and Another Escape co-founder Rachel, who has long been into running, would come back from a run bounding with new ideas and a good energy. It looked like a way to blow off steam and get in a positive headspace, and so these days I aim to go regularly. I’ll try to find interesting routes that take me away from the main roads and out into the countryside.
The activity of making magazines is by its nature an indoors activity. Do you find it clashes with the outdoors-orientated outlook of the magazine?
Largely our readers share a similar tension between working indoors but thriving on time spent outdoors, so it works quite well to stay in the same mindset as our readers and publish articles that they will find inspiring (because we find them inspiring also). Although, as I head up the photography for Another Escape and am the lead photographer on many of our shoots, I probably get out of the office more often than the average publisher – for which I’m really grateful.
With publication of your fifth issue there’s a sense that Another Escape has come of age. Have the first three years matched your expectations?
It’s now been just under three years since we started Another Escape. When we first began the project we were fairly new to the publishing industry, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The last few years have certainly been turbulent with steep learning curves, but we’ve gained so much from the experience and we’ve taken every opportunity to better the magazine. I’d definitely agree that Another Escape has become much more confident with volume five. I’d like to think that this change wasn’t incidental – we’ve been speaking much more with our readers and we’ve been looking to carve out a niche for ourselves and be more sure of our editorial direction and the overall reading experience.
Why do you think there are so many Bristol-based independent magazines?
This question crops up a lot and there isn’t really a clear cut answer; in truth, it is most likely to be somewhat by happenstance. However, Bristol does foster a really interesting creative energy and there’s also a strong presence of entrepreneurship, shown by the diverse range of independent businesses across the city. Living somewhere like this is certainly inspiring.
Additionally, Bristol is very supportive of niche interests, many of which have been the inspiration for the Bristol indies. Each Bristol based independent magazine has its own editorial focus, and it is great to be part of such a supportive community.
What are you most looking forward to this week?
We are currently organising the remaining content for our winter volume of Another Escape so this week will involve lots of planning and researching. I find this stage of the production process extremely creative and fun, and it is where our small team gets to collaborate most. The bouncing of ideas and landing on some real gems can be an exciting and rewarding process. Depending on the progression of the week, I may even be out on shoot which will be fantastic.
What are you least looking forward to this week?
The researching of stories can often be very time consuming and lead to dead ends, which can be infuriating after a while. Sometimes we are lucky and its all plain sailing, but over the past few volumes I’ve learnt that there are more often than not hiccups and speed bumps along the way, and sometimes there’s this worry of impending doom waiting to see what or if something is going to go wrong.
What will you be doing after this chat?
Going for my run and then sitting down with Rachel to continue planning out and curating the content for volume six.