An interview with SEMI ZINE

We recently interviewed the founder and editor of SEMI ZINE to give an insight into what they're all about and how you can get involved. Scroll down to find out more!

"We're advocators of great artwork and dedicated artists."

 
 

Who are you? What and where did you study? I’m Pagy Wicks, I’m the founder and editor of SEMI ZINE. I studied Photographic Arts at the University of Westminster in London. Doing my degree was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I really learnt how to think academically about photographic art and UoW was a great facilitator of critical thinking.

What is SEMI ZINE? Who's behind this creation? SEMI ZINE is a non-profit online and soon to be POD (print-on-demand) magazine dedicated to the arts on a global scale. It’s a new platform for artists to publish work and gain a bit of interest in their current projects. Initially I started up the magazine in my bedroom late one eve, it’s now grown to a small collection of art enthusiasts and graduates in different fields who wanted to contribute and work with me on the idea. 

Image by Nina Musholt

Image by Nina Musholt

How do you go about selecting artists to feature on the platform? We aim to feature anyone who submits work. Our selection process is very fluid and really depends on how much effort has been put into the body of work and if we can gauge that from the first submission. We also like the collaboration aspect of selecting artists to be featured with us. We do have a particular subjective ‘look’ in mind for the magazine based on our own interests. If the submission doesn’t necessarily suit our look we’ll have an in-depth look at the artists’ online portfolio and try to work out whether they have a body of work we’re eager to share with our followers which so far, luckily, everyone has had. 

Tell us about your ideas to create a print on demand zine. This was basically born out of the idea of running a cost effective, non-profit art magazine. It means we can cater to an audience no matter how small or large. There are setbacks to running a POD magazine - there may be a longer wait for your copy since we print on order. With the resurgence and resurrection of the magazine we’re not short for platforms that support a POD model. If you’re a nerd about all things print, like I am, then now is a great time to be alive and working.

Image by Ewan Waddell

Image by Ewan Waddell

How can creatives get involved with what you do? SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT. We have a really simple submission system in place. Our website (semizine.co.uk) is pretty straightforward and user friendly. Artists can submit work via our submit tab online. I also welcome emails (info@semizine.com) from artists who might have any mixed media ideas they’re looking to share with us. Occasionally I’m also trawling media to reach out to different artists around the world. Once we’ve made a connection we always stay in contact for future work or shows from the artists we feature. Our only regret in regard to submissions is that we cannot feature everyone simultaneously and our artists do suffer a hefty wait in our feature queue, so far though everyone has been very supportive and understanding about the waiting period. We’re super grateful for our lovely artists. 

As SEMI ZINE is not for profit, what's in it for you? The magazine is another platform for artists to be able to get their work published. I’m a photographic artist myself and I know the struggle to get word out that you’re dedicated as an artist is real. The whole concept was born out of that. We’re non discriminative in all regards and we value your work as much as you do. I really actually enjoy art in most of its forms and I’m a huge nerd about great art - if we get to feature someone talented who maybe hasn’t been discovered yet or has something completely valid to say then that’s our gain. 

Image by Mauricio Alejo

How does a SEMI ZINE interview work? How do you decide what questions to ask? We have a set of questions which aim to offer a more inside look into the artist and their own work. This set is always accompanied by a few questions as a response from me or the team about the work itself specifically. Since we’re all academics and graduates we do tend to ask very academic style questions which might relate to different well known theories in art. The idea is to create a cool discursive between the magazine and the artist. I always ask the artist to have fun while answering and don’t really limit them to what they can and can’t say or to any word count. It’s there to offer an inside perspective on the creative process to the reader for that feature. We try to create really interesting and immersive content for our readers too so this would affect how we pick our questions. 

Tell us about some of the artists you've decided to include with this interview. We’ve decided to show you a mix of currently featured and yet to be featured artists. Our current list of artists to be featured is so large at the moment that it wouldn’t be right not to consider their images for this interview. We tried to show a great variety in artwork we publish as well. In order of images we decided to show Nina Musholt - her work “[...] is driven by surrealism and daily myths and riddles.”, Krasimira Butseva - In her practice she explores “[...] history, politics and collective memory; working with state and personal archives, found photography and objects, and contemporary landscape photography.”, Mauricio Alejo creates intricate temporary sculptures in his home and documents the installations on 4x5 film and Ewan Waddell whose “[...] main motivations at the moment are creating visuals within fashion and documentary genres – and also producing publications.”. 

What's your biggest achievement to date? I know it might sound like a super diplomatic answer but honestly we feel like every single artist we’ve been able to feature and work with has been our biggest achievement to date. SEMI ZINE started out of my bedroom late at night and has bloomed into this already insanely cool archive and showcase. We’ll always see us reaching out as our biggest achievement and we’ll forever be grateful for our collective of artists too. It doesn’t stop at a submission - we like to get involved so we’re anticipating many more achievements to come.