IN CONVERSATION WITH THE FOUNDERS OF GRAPE MAGAZINE
TO CELEBRATE THE LAUNCH OF GRAPE MAGAZINE ISSUE NO. 3 WE CHATTED WITH FOUNDERS LIA AND SHANE. GRAPE MAGAZINE IS CURRENTLY BASED OUT OF NEW YORK CITY, AND IS AVAILABLE AT BODEGA THIRTEEN BOTH ONLINE AND IN-STORE.
First off - can you introduce yourself and Grape Magazine?
Me and Shane are the founders of GRAPE. It’s a print magazine that focuses on the more underground things in music, art, fashion and skateboarding. We’re interested in cool people doing cool things, so it's mainly a collection of things that we're into and things we think more people should be into.
Can you talk a little bit about what drew you to starting a magazine?
Boredom. We were both in college, hating it and we needed a creative outlet.
It was kind of a DIY, learn-as-you-do type process. We didn’t really have any idea how to go about making a magazine, but we both collected magazines, I had spent all my money on magazines since I was about 12 and Shane was studying design so we just went from there. We’re both really into zine culture and the whole DIY scene so GRAPE was kind of a product of all that.
It’s a pretty honest representation of what we’re into at a given time. We feature artists who we’ve just become aware of, or artists that we've had long term obsessions and have managed to make contact with. As soon as we started hearing back from the first few artists, and getting our first few submissions, we were like damn this could actually work, let's get it.
Do you think “the internet age” has made it harder or easier to run a print publication? Why?
Definitely easier. We would be completely lost without the internet. It's where we meet people, it's where we find new work, it's where we build what we're building.
The internet is pretty much everything so it's more what you do with it, and how you make it work for you that matters. Also because of the ubiquitousness of the internet, print has become this niche thing that people are really connecting with and that people are taking pride in. It’s really cool finding people, engaging with them online and then translating that relationship into a physical product that people can actually hold and own. It’s a nice balance.
How has working/living in New York vs. Dublin changed the way you think about making a magazine/ the work you're interested in showing?
Moving to New York has impacted GRAPE a lot. Despite the reputation of New Yorkers being kind of cold, everyone here has been so open with us, everyone wants to do stuff, everyone's creating stuff and collaborating. It’s been a really amazing environment to be involved in. Consequently we ended up featuring a lot of New York-based artists but we made sure to balance it with international work too—we didn’t want it to be too New York-centric.
There is so much stuff happening in New York it's hard not to be excited or inspired by it. There are art openings every night, all of the clubs are always filled with amazing lineups. On any given night you can go see people like Total Freedom, Ratking, Mixpak, Discwoman and they're like the standard, you don't get that everywhere.
That said, Dublin is a pretty cool environment too but we’re not Drake level committed to it. It’s always good to get out of your hometown.
What do you think makes young artists different than old artists (other than their age)? Do you think one's approach to art-making changes as you grow up?
I’m not really sure, it kind of depends on what you define as old and young. There’s obviously going to be differences in the work that people make when they’re 16 and what they make when they’re 80, but I don’t think there’s an innate difference in quality or even how they approach work.
We tend to promote younger artists but that’s more because we’re interested showcasing artists on the come up and also because we’re young so it makes sense to work with our peers. But older artists, established or not, are definitely out there making great work—shout out to Louise Bourgeois absolutely killing it ‘til she was 98. I think it would be dope if everyone out there making art right now kept it up ‘til their 90s.
What are you most excited about in issue 3?
We’re excited about so many features in this issue, it’s hard to pin down just one—though interviewing Jerry Hsu while he was filming Made Chapter 2 was pretty awesome. I’ve only seen two interviews with him recently, us and Thrasher, so that was definitely a really cool thing to happen.
When we started out creating this issue, we had a list of like “dream” type people that we wanted to get for it, but we weren’t sure if we could. We ended up working with about 98% of that original list, so it was really exciting to see it all come together. We hope people are as excited about it as we are.
Where do you think the best place to travel is?
I don't know. Travelling in general is pretty dope. GRAPE’s been stocked in places that we haven’t even been to yet, so we’re trying to tick them all off the list. If you’ve agreed to stock our mag, maybe expect us to come crash on your couch sometime soon.
Any shout outs you need to give?
Yeah, shout outs to everyone who fucks with us. It’s much easier to just stick with what people would consider the mainstream or big magazines and not support independent people out there making things. We really appreciate people making that extra effort to go out and find GRAPE and spend their hard earned cash on it.
Shout out to everyone that’s been involved over the course of the three issues too, to all the close friends and all the extended family. Shouts out to everyone at Bodega Thirteen and all the stores that have rep'd us. We love you all. xox