i can credit magazines for heavily influencing the direction of my life.
both for good and bad. but more for good.
i became obsessed with magazines when I was 15 and discovered “SEVENTEEN” magazine. one of the best parts of the month was when it arrived in the mail. it arrived in plastic wrap –which they don’t do too much anymore. the excitement was so overwhelming (seriously) that I couldn’t open the magazine until everything was just right.
ok, so first it had arrived (squeal!) then I hoarded it from any possibility of it becoming damaged (i.e.sister reads it first with greasy fingers) by carrying it to my room and placing it, ever so gently, on my dressing table or desk. now I just let the anticipation well up inside me for a few hours. i would wonder what was in those pages, what secrets, models, stories, ads. only when I had a full hour or two to myself, would I lay on my bed, on my stomach and open up the magazine. then I would start at the very first page and work my way to the back. slowly. the smell of the printed page enveloped me. the crispy, pristine pages responsive to my touch. sigh. that was all on the outside. on the inside, was my dream. dream hair, dream outfit, dream boy, dream design, dream bedroom. every page of articles and ads influenced me.
and not always for good.
i really wanted to be like the things i saw in the magazines. you know… perfect. even at 15.
pretty soon SEVENTEEN magazine turned into ELLE magazine (one of my teenage favorites!) because it was so…french! ha. and VOGUE and you’re starting to glimpse how completely odd I am, right? my bedroom at our house in naperville, illinois outside chicago was collaged with things I ripped out from magazines. we’re talking all four walls top to bottom. not the ceiling because that would have been too much work. my mom will tell you the story of the realtor saying the house was in great shape but you’d “have to do something with that upstairs bedroom” i ripped out cool ads, hip models in creative backdrops, I kept in mind color and design when i did my bedroom artwork.
i went away my first year of college and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. i switched schools after that first year and really thought long and hard about what I liked. i liked magazines. i liked the ads in magazines. mostly because they worked on me and they transported me to a different, perfect, place. so i decided i wanted to do something with advertising. an advanced english teacher of mine in high school insisted i go to columbia college in downtown chicago because it would be the perfect, creative school for me.
and it was.
i took all the marketing communication classes and minored in fiction writing BUT it was all the internships i did which shaped me. the first internship was truly awesome. i got a glimpse right there at the truly glamourous part of advertising and magazine ads. i worked for a fashion photographer called john beckett. i just found him and his studio which is now in phoenix.
he had a studio in a warehouse on morgan street on the west side of chicago (which is really built up now) he had ad agencies like leo burnett as clients as well as sports illustrated. i was the assistant studio manager to a really fun studio manager – mary kay. i got to pick out the models for the ads from a ton of headshots, work with celebrities nadia comanche, all the stylists. it was straight on cool. picture big open space, clothes on big carts on wheels, SEAL playing on the surround sound and espresso bubbling in the kitchen. I over-romantized the heck out of it. i even did an “on–location” shoot. i was a junior in college and thought I was the shit in downtown chicago, taking the train and telling models “thank you but no thank you – just not a fit.” i loved seeing the ads in the magazines!
then I did an internship below beckett & beckett at the compshop. they built comps for magazine ads and so much more – movies too. then I did an internship for his wife margaret carsello who did incredible graphic design work. I learned so much and felt like I was really living out what i loved. and i did get into advertising! been doing in for about 19 years now and have even have done some magazine ads.
now I read every magazine under the sun. much to rof’s dismay. I’m not talking people and us. I’m talking food & wine, house beautiful and about 15 other monthly ones.