CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND?
I'm a freelance journalist, PR worker and postgraduate student at Edinburgh Napier University. I'm also the co-editor of Counterpoint, a quarterly risograph-print magazine of original journalism and illustration. My creative background is in journalism, and I've worked as a freelancer for magazines and newspapers since I was sixteen. Over the years, I've written features on refurbished art deco cinemas, all-female roller derby clubs and soup kitchens run by social entrepreneurs. When it comes to writing, I'm interested in pretty much any subject, as long as there's a good story in it.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?
As a writer, I'm interested in just about any story that comes my way, but as half of the team behind Counterpoint, my priority is to publish stories that just wouldn't work elsewhere. Each issue of the magazine has a different theme, and we encourage writers and illustrators to respond pretty much however they like, meaning we're often able to publish brilliant and eccentric content. For instance, our last issue had features on the use of made-up alien languages by linguists researching the evolution of speech, an investigation into the original owners of a second-hand coat, after one of our writers began finding polaroid photographs of them in the lining of a jacket she'd bought, and a look behind the scenes of volunteer-run arts festival Hidden Door. We try and pair up our contributors and facilitate partnerships between writers and illustrators as much as possible.
Counterpoint is risograph-printed at a print studio in Leith, which gives the magazine a wonderfully analogue feel. The method means we're only able to use a handful of colours- usually just three per issue- and that affects our design process. It means we have something to challenge illustrators with, but it's also a challenge for us, limiting the way we can use typography and so on.
ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS YOU HAVE ON THE HORIZON?
We're currently working towards the next issue of Counterpoint (and then the one after that, and the one after that...), but apart from getting the magazine printed, we're always working on signing up new stockists and working with new contributors. We've recently begun offering subscriptions, so we have that to plug too. Aside from Counterpoint, I've been working on a new magazine project all about Edinburgh's live music scene- hopefully I'll have something to unveil this summer.
WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD CITY TO BE BASED?
Skyline, arts festivals and the availability of posh ice cream aside (Mary's Milk Bar in the Grassmarket is amazing), it's a very friendly city. Within the creative industries in Edinburgh, I've always felt welcomed by a community of brilliant, talented people offering their ideas and support.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?
Creative Circles is well worth the effort of getting out of bed for!
Follow Sam on Twitter here and keep up with all things Counterpoint here.