HOW TO MAKE A MAGAZINE: JACKIE LINTON
WNW Member #6216 Jackie Linton is the publisher of the blossoming magazine Bad Day, a biannual arts and culture magazine that focuses on direct dialogues with the international creative community. Bad Day showcases some of the intimate commonalities we all share in our routines, perspectives and working practices. We spoke to Jackie about the origins of Bad Day and how it grew from Toronto-based side project to covering the global creative scene. With a recent feature on Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth fame), Jackie couldn't be happier: "I'm proud any time I see the magazine on a newsstand. Even more so is when it's a surprise—like an unexpected bodega downtown, or when someone texts me that they saw it at an airport in Sweden. It's at the point now where the magazine has taken on a life of its own, and that’s the most satisfying for me."
What led you to start publishing Bad Day, in addition to working as a copywriter? Give us a little background of how it all got started.
Bad Day was founded in Toronto, and began as a fun side project to try to speak to the global cultural community while building a conversation around Canadian artists, musicians and creatives. Ultimately, I think it was a fun opportunity to work with friends to catalog our tastes, and produce something really distinctive that we love.
Bad Day is focused on the community around creativity. You also combine a variety of disciplines in the same conversation. What's the benefit of cross-pollinating these generally separated topics?
I think the idea of being “creative” goes in a many different directions—and that’s good for a magazine. For us, seeing the ties that bind across a variety of disciplines can be exciting, whether it’s an 80 year-old Italian furniture designer, a mid-career filmmaker in California, or an upcoming fine artist working in Bushwick. For me, working in advertising during the day, I look to different aspects of commerce and culture to help what I do, and I think that’s the same for independent artists, musicians and writers. As I think these categories are becoming increasingly fluid.
What's been your proudest moment during all of this?
The cheesy answer is that I'm proud any time I see the magazine on a newsstand. Even more so is when it's a surprise—like an unexpected bodega downtown, or when someone texts me that they saw it at an airport in Sweden. It's at the point now where the magazine has taken on a life of its own, and that’s the most satisfying for me.
What was it like having Kim Gordon in the most recent issue? (That's amazing!)
Thank you! I think it was a dream come true for us. Kim Gordon was always someone on our ultimate “wish list" for as long as we’ve been making the magazine—and I think the timing couldn't be better. She has really “re-emerged” this year.
How did your collaboration with Levi’s Made & Crafted come together?
It was an awesome experience to work with Levi’s Made & Crafted. We teamed up to make a custom “Bad Day” look book for them to promote their collection for Autumn / Winter 2015. They wanted a loose “punk” theme to coincide with their inspiration for the season, which was fun to play around with. Personally, with the agency work I’ve done, it was cool for us to produce our first print ad campaign, which is an extension of one of the fashion stories in the issue.
How do you see Bad Day evolving in the future?
Great question. We’ve been so focused on fulfilling our goals with the print magazine. And we’ve really deliberately kept our digital presence to a minimum over the years, just so we can make sure we’re giving the print project the most of our attention. I think if we evolved, we would approach more digitally-based projects from a different point of view—as opposed to just producing written content online. I think video is an area I can see us doing more.
As a publisher of an arts and culture magazine, you must have your finger on the pulse of a lot of cool scenes. What are you most into these days in terms of music, film, television, books, visual arts?
As far as print magazines, I am excited about the latest issues of WAX, as well as the debut issue of Talk Magazine. I’m reading novels by James Salter for the rest of the summer. I just stream whatever is popular on Soundcloud. Some visual artists I’m interested in right now, or actually, most of the time, include: Sara Cwynar, Yto Barrada, Leanne Shapton, Laura Owens, and Linus Bill.
What are the venues, theaters, and museums you most frequent in New York?
Any helpful tips for freelance creatives?
Be persistent, and as polite as possible. I can be quite shy, and really, the best thing to do as a creative is to curb that tendency as much as possible.
Who are some other WNW members whose work you admire?
I always love the art direction of Elizabeth Dilk and Ashley Jones. I'm blown away by the scope of projects that Mary Dauterman has done. I recently worked with Steve Caputo, whose work I really admire.
Anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t asked?
Thank you for having me!