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When did the time come to start Flourish? Where did you guys conceive the idea?

Whilst at University I studied a Photography degree, but had a real passion for graphic design and publications. In my final year I decided to create my own magazine publication, yet when I graduated I wanted the project to take more life than just a magazine that sat in my portfolio folder. I had always loved travel and especially outdoor living which I took from my childhood, so I decided to create a publication around my passion. Talking to acquaintance named Derek Blyth about my travels he said something that has stuck into my mind until today; “if you can enable people to flourish in the need for physical experiences in a digital world, then you have a very strong brand”. It was from this that Flourish was born.

I wanted to capture this concept of outdoor living which naturally led to other aspects such as exploration and travel. To inspire the interest in new culture, learn how the environment affects the daily lives of those living it, and I want to see how we can thrive in these environments. I wanted to encourage the link to artistry through sustainable resources linking back into this idea of thriving in a location. Ultimately the aim was to inspire living in that physical moment, experiencing something for yourself instead of on a screen in front of you, and that is where the idea of the physical object/making a publication came into mind.

As a graduate I had little funding to put aside for the project so I decided to create a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign was a Kickstarter success and people really connected with the concept which helped build the foundations of the magazine business.

Why were you drawn creating and publishing a magazine – was it a complicated process setting up the ideas around establishing something new and innovative?

I had always loved holding a book over a kindle. Nothing can replace the smell of the pages. I loved magazines and especially aesthetically pleasing books which sat on your shelf or at coffee shop tables. I would admire how they looked as beautiful on each page as they read. The trend started where magazines weren’t throw away objects anymore but they held their own on the shelf and they became as beautiful as books. I used to go into my local magazine store Magalleria and I would spend hours flicking through the vast amount of new indie magazines about every topic you could think of.

With the mass amount of magazines in production today it was a difficult task to create ideas and establish something new and innovative. However, I feel that every editor has their own view on how things should be published, read, photographed and portrayed, and due to this I think Flourish has its own outlook on the natural world. I have tried to breach the typical lifestyle magazine by using the idea of personal stories and experiences but including the elements of formative information we all need when travelling to locations which we often find in a travel guide, along with locational and geographical information for those interested in the depth of a location you would find in national geographic.

I really wanted to share my adventures and explorations of Asia which I had done in my university days, as I almost guilty keeping them to myself. I wanted more people to go and explore the same things I had seen. I thought by creating a biannual publication I could share and inspire others to travel to these locations but also inspire people to thrive more in an environment around them by showing that others do.

 

Who is the ‘Flourish’ reader?

The Flourish reader is anyone who has a passion of travel, adventure and outdoor living. But it is also for those photographers and artists among us. The magazine is very photographically heavy, stemming from my background as a photographer – I feel sometimes words cannot do a view, scape, or experience justice.

What are your goals as a magazine? What makes Flourish something a little different?

I would like Flourish to ‘flourish’. I would love to get a collective of volumes which explores different locations. I think it would be interesting to create a volume looking at a small niche location and environment then to a large area such as my current volume. I want each volume to have its own individual feel yet lie within the same concept and idea of each other. As a high quality printed and large content magazine I feel Flourish stands its ground with larger publications and will be something of a collective/periodical people will keep on the bookshelf, giving it the same importance that a book would have.

Where do you want to visit with your magazine, who do you want to include?

Contributors are so important to a magazine as everyone can contribute something that little bit different, whether its an opinion, experience, illustration or photograph. I would like to take volume two back home within the British Isles and then volume three to a location I know little about, potentially somewhere which I feel is little documented, like Fiji or Svalbard. Yet I think when the time comes to document, the world can take you anywhere.

I have a few people on my list who I would be honoured  to work with. I started bouldering as a hobby a year ago and since then I have looked at Alex Honnold and Chris Sharma as true inspiration, not for only how well they climb but how they use the environment as if they are at one with it. I would be truly honoured to document them and how they use their locations. Another contributor I would feel honoured to have is Alastair Humphrey. As a true adventurer, author and explorer he is someone I could only dream to work with. His stories must be so dense and enjoyable to listen to and his passion for exploration is something I admire beyond all.

What is the best part about creating the content?

I think the best part about creating the content is being out there, living life. I feel I am doing what I am absolutely love by travelling, engaging with communities, photographing and documenting the natural world around us. However the idea that it has a purpose, people will read it and be inspired from it makes the whole project fulfilling. I feel like Flourish was always something I had to make regardless of where it took me as an editor. I feel like it is something thats part of me now and I am so happy that I could make it a reality with the help and support of so many others.

You can find out more about this exciting new project at https://twitter.com/Flourish_Lucy

Written by

A Yorkshireman living in London. Matt can often be found exploring his city (and beyond). He takes inspiration from different environments to develop his writing and creative work.

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