If you’ve been following me for a while you may have noticed that I like to do things a little differently. I research, learn, experiment, try, fail and try again until it works. The prize isn’t at the end for me, I really love the journey, the discovering and the building. That said, the fact that I’m about to present something new to you probably won’t be a surprise.
I'm going to self-publish a book of creative people.
(Scroll to the bottom for the submission form)
Back story… in 1996 when I was a 26 year old art school graduate working as a receptionist at a graphic design studio, I had an idea. I wanted to create a magazine to showcase Toronto’s creative culture. I pulled together a mock issue that included a well known local rapper on the cover, a fashion designer, photographer, various visual artists and illustrators and makers. It was magazine style with photos and interviews and I was very proud of it. There were also t-shirts and postcards. I’m wearing one of the shirts here. I’ve saved it for the past 27 years!
I called it Yoonyen (the phonetic spelling of Union). A union is defined as a club, society, or association formed by people with a common interest or purpose. My magazine was meant to be this fusion the diverse creative culture that I was so proud to be a part of in Toronto.
Long story short… I had no money to produce it and so I pitched the mock-up to a very large brand in hopes of getting them to back me. While in the boardroom making my presentation, the brand manager stopped me and said “my ad agency is in the lobby waiting to meet me next, I love this and I’d like you to present it to them too.” And so I did. I presented to the president, VP and several intimidating ad guys as well as the execs from this big brand. The next day I was offered a job as an art director at that agency where I became an art director working on the very brand I had just pitched to. Annnnd…the magazine got back burnered while my new career in advertising/design became priority.
Fast forward to today… 27 years later, I’m reviving Yoonyen Magazine because not only is it a time of recession which hits us artists hard, it is also a time of political divide and we can use our art to pull together and unite. It is time to create opportunity once again.
I will design and produce this as a book, self-publish it in the new year and make it available for purchase online and hopefully with your help, seek out other distribution methods. Together we can create something that we all need… promotion, visibility and opportunity.
I say why wait for strangers to publish us? Why pay huge dollars to buy ads in magazines where we’ll never get the return on investment? Why apply to publications online that receive so many submissions we’d probably never get in anyway? Let’s do it ourselves? Let’s create our own opportunity.
I’ll make the first issue and see where we can take it. I’ll do all the work producing it. You just go to my website, fill out the form and send in your photos. I’ll choose a variety of submissions for the first issue. Each person will get a two page spread devoted to them. You can order the book and help promote it through your socials.
So, if you’re a creative maker, I invite you to join the Yoonyen.
Entry period for the Spring 2024 issue is now closed. Please feel free to submit your work for the next issue. Simply fill out the form below.