Interview – Promised Land Swiss project founder
Interview by Jana Sax, University of Art and Design Lucerne, Switzerland
This is your first published paper/magazine. Looking back, how satisfied are you with the whole production?
I am very satisfied! From the beginning, I wouldn’t expect my project to go this far and be as well received, at home and internationally.
Before it got published, I got support from friends from the U.K. that in the process became my partners. Later on, a label from the Czech Republic bought a small amount of the publication to start distributing over there. We hope the project continues to grow like this.
Our online customers are mainly coming from Switzerland, Germany, France and Belgium so far.
How did you come up with the idea of producing a paper?
(Laughing) It all started while I was in Jamaica last winter (2017). Jamaica was the most inspiring place I have ever been to. Absolutely everything was captivating to my eyes. When I got back to Switzerland, I found myself with so much material and I felt like I had to do something out of it. So I started to plan an exhibition, with a small publication for my friends and family. While making my selection of works, I was surprised by how much material I had come back with. I had compiled Interviews, photographs also music. I knew it had to be more than a simple photo report. I wanted to tell stories and pass on my experiences.
I quickly realized I needed a web platform as my idea of the Promised Land started to progress and More people started to get involved. So I opened the e-shop on my webpage, we also have a journal (blog) in where you can find some photo and video reports from live concerts or interviews. In a very short period of time Promised Land has become more and more versatile and accessible to a wider audience whilst becoming more valuable. September 2017 was when we launched.
To summarize, nothing was meant to happen the way it did; But Today we have more ideas, more material, more supporters and I am very grateful for what it is becoming day by day.
What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome during the process?
I couldn’t really tell you. Everything was a challenge as much as it was pleasure and fun.
You can’t avoid ups and downs in any creative process. When different people get involved in your project and support you, you just can’t give up. It is mainly a matter of time and patience is the key.
In retrospective, do you think the final edition is exactly how you wanted it to be?
It is much more than I could have ever expected it to be.
What target group did you have in mind when creating the magazine?
People. Diversity is the basis. It’s for anyone who is curious about music, art and society.
What’s the message / the goal you were aiming for with this magazine?
Our goal is to promote emerging artists whether they are photographers, writers, musicians or some other art-related field.
With our team, we aim to promote cultural and artistic diversity. We collaborate with a large number of artists, most of whom come from different origins, cultures and generations, in order to have a rich and dynamic team, as well as a variety of subjects.
Where would you say is your main workspace?
I would say my laptop is the main tool for me to create, but besides that, it’s literally everywhere. Anytime I’m out it becomes an adventure (laughing).
Most of the times, in the most random situations you will meet the most interesting individuals. It is very exciting.
I can tell, you are very much interested in the music industry?
Yes, since I was a kid I have had this big wish to work either in the music or design scenes. I would often imagine myself in so many scenarios and it made me choose to go to the school of art and design and then the University of design. I am absolutely happy with my choices because now I am involved in both industries. Graphic design allowed me to get an insight of the music industry, to observe, analyse and understand it. Because of that, I recently started to work as A&R for music labels.
Is it also the industry where you would like to work in the future?
Absolutely. As a designer and creative director, I am looking forward to working more and more in the field of music. I am glad my project leads me to here.
How many people were involved?
Many people were and are now involved. Promised Land as a whole, is a social project almost. We get many different personalities together. Each one submits help, a project or ideas as individual and becomes a part of a large interdisciplinary, intercultural and intergenerational community open to everyone.
Your layout is clear and very modern. Was this intended from the very beginning or were there any other options in consideration? The text/picture pages are either arranged in a vertical or horizontal way. How did you decide on which articles should be either one or the other way?
From the beginning, I imagined a large format. I wanted it to be interactive and fun and at the same time giving as much importance to each chapter as I could. Yes, it is designed in a deliberately clean way to not use any useless elements, graphics etc. The paper is only 40 pages and each chapter has its own place. I chose a tabloid format, no binding, once again you can play with articles, change places, keep some pages as posters, move it and handle it however you like.
Could you tell me about one good experience you made during the process and how it affected your work?
The best experience is all the personalities I met, and being that one person that brought them together. The most rewarding feeling is when some people that met through the Promised Land release another project together afterwards. It feels amazing to see it happen.
Would you like to say something to summarize Promised Land?
I would like to advice anyone that starts a project by them self. Forget your fears, be humble, acknowledge achievements and celebrate small victories, patience is the key.
Promised Land is what each one makes of it.
interview by Jana Sax, University of Art and Design Lucerne, Switzerland