On March 8th, Jamie Shaw came to visit and spoke to us about his professional career as an Art Director and Publisher. His talk was extremely enlightening, with the over riding message of the talk being the importance of self publishing your work.
Jamie opened the talk by stating he failed university and moving on with absolutely no direction. He spent lots of time on tumblr, looking for inspiration until him and a couple of his friends created the online zine Blood of the Young. He regularly used Tumblr and through that made a creative group of people including designers, photographers and illustrators. His first serious publication was for a political activist and photographer, who went into war zones in the Middle East to raise awareness of the atrocities taking place.
Jamie had out grown Glasgow where he was based so looked to move to London and got an internship at a small publishers called Self Publish Be Happy. Through his experience with interning he was adamant on interning with smaller agencies - he said that the big agencies will only teach you small amounts of knowledge and the chance of staying on and getting a job is thin, where as smaller agencies will give you a much broader range of knowledge.
Jamie went on to publish Ian Kennith Birds first photo series as well as producing and publishing Maisie Cousins work.
Some advice he gave us was that we shouldn’t be afraid to take work that paid even it doesn’t appeal in a completely creative way.
He also touched on some bad experiences he’s had while working with big brands. One was with Converse and the agency that hired him - he was underpaid for the amount of work he did, so he wanted to screw them over slightly. he was instructed to produced art work to put around the venue, so he found a photo taken from Kurt Cobain after he killed himself wearing the converse they were trying to re enter into the market - however, he was slightly disappointed as no one found out about it.
Lastly, he touched on about how through his photographer friends were angry at the editorial system in magazines and how photographers were at the mercy of editors. So he wanted to create a zine that could house his friends work in a fair way, so he created Enlarge Your Memories. In his second issue, an up and coming designer and friend of Jamie, Matty Bovan showcased his work in the zine.
Overall I found the talk to be very interesting as well as enlightening at the state of the industry, I felt it was a raw and unfiltered showcase of how hard it is to make it and that you can’t get anywhere without working hard and differentiating yourself.