Anything conceived in a Waffle House is normally a good thing, right? (Ideas, we mean.) We tend to think so, and the dynamic duo behind this Atlanta art/creative magazine seem to agree. Maria and Kristina birthed their beautiful, intelligent glossy mag to give locals a place to learn more about the creative movers and shakers in Atlanta. Read on to meet the talented ladies behind CommonCreativ, and be on the lookout for their shiny new Issue No. 5: it made its debut yesterday.
SCOUT: So, can you tell us how our readers-about-town might know you?
MARIA: You may have seen me taking photos and doing interviews around town for local publications such as JEZEBEL Magazine, The Atlantan and Skirt! Magazine. I work full-time at Write2Market, a public relations firm here in Little 5 Points. You may have seen Kristina at art shows such as Our Lady Nippon or at ABV's Drink and Doodle. She works at Bleu Dame, which is a boutique in downtown Canton.
SCOUT: Tell us a bit about CommonCreativ -- how would you best describe it to
someone who hasn't seen an issue yet?
MARIA: CommonCreativ started out as a weekly blog, covering everything local that would interest creative professionals in Atlanta. We grew into a full-size magazine that our readers can flip through online and even order through MagCloud.com. The blog features time sensitive content while the magazine has more archival pieces such as profiles and interviews. We typically feature art directors, photojournalists, authors, entrepreneurs and other creative Atlantans.
SCOUT: How and why did you decide to start a magazine? What made you pursue this passion (if it is indeed a passion)?
KRISTINA: Long story short, we're driven ladies who have some hardcore goals, and we decided we wanted to do something awesome for our portfolios by the time we graduated. I went to school for illustration/graphic design, and I've always been obsessed with art and its involvement in the community, and really everyday life, and Maria is a super genius who knows more about publication as an industry than I could ever understand, and she gave the idea a go-ahead. So there we sat, at a Waffle House, until the wee hours of the morning developing our plan.
SCOUT: I'm sure you've encountered some pretty interesting and creative Atlantans in the process. Who (if anyone) have you met through your mag work who's insanely creative and/or interesting?
KRISTINA: Really everyone we've featured or been able to be involved in has been SO incredibly talented and interesting. Jon Arge is probably one of my favorites, he's got such personality that really shows through in his work and attitude, I'm a huge fan!
MARIA: There are just too many to name but a few that stand out are Jason Travis (who became our Photo Editor after we featured him), Greg Mike of ABV Gallery + Agency, Alli Royce Soble, Gerard Gorman and so many more. Personally, I'm a huge Evereman fan, so getting to do an interview with him was great.
SCOUT: Given the nature of your mag, I'm guessing you have a finger on the pulse of the local creative community. Can you share your thoughts on the overall state of the arts in ATL, and perhaps where it's heading?
KRISTINA: It's hard to say. There's so much talent in this city, even MTV has been chiming in to the local creatives here. It grows all the time. I try to meet (or at least know of) some of the key players in the the arts scene and understand it more, but I feel like every time I'm involved in anything at a gallery or go to an art show I meet more and more people.
MARIA: We started affiliate sites in San Francisco and New York City, only to find that the creative communities there are rather cliquey and disconnected from each other. In Atlanta, we've experienced a community where the creatives are more concerned with working together, rather than against each other. I feel artists in Atlanta work harder than those in, say, NYC, because they do their own thing instead of riding the scene.
SCOUT: How about the direction of CommonCreativ? Any wild hopes and/or dreams for the future?
KRISTINA: I just want to see it grow. I think we already met our goal a while back, which was to bring local creatives together, to give them a common stomping ground to mingle and meet and just be involved in something. It's really neat to watch on Facebook or Twitter the connections that are made between people that are linked to CommonCreativ.
KISTINA: I'd really like to see local businesses embrace CommonCreativ and carry the mag in-store.
SCOUT: What are some of your favorite spots in Atlanta to soak up inspiration for a writing session?
MARIA: We love meeting up at Condesa or San Francisco Coffee. The editor in chief, Kathryn Jonell, and I frequently meet at The Majestic for late-night brainstorming.
SCOUT: Local Atlantans who inspire your work?
KRISTINA: There are so many fabulous artists that have made me want to push my work further and keep making new things. But I'd have to say the inspiration for my pieces come from the places in Atlanta rather than the people; seeing local galleries/shows always makes me want to create awesome things, the Botanical Gardens, the Aquarium, the over-all experience you get when you're cruising around downtown somewhere, those are the things that inspire my artwork and my blog ramblings.
SCOUT: Your favorite "curious find" in Atlanta?
KRISTINA: My favorite place to go ever is probably Young Blood. I've been working in a boutique for a while now, and usually day dream about running my own similar to Young Blood. It's amazing to see the turn over of product they have, and all the amazing people they show case. It makes me green with envy sometimes, but in a good way! :)
SCOUT: Finally, throw out a shameless plug for where people can go to check out the good work you're doing:
MARIA: Atlantans can read about their city's finest creative professionals on our website at commoncreativatlanta.com. Every six weeks, we release a magazine online. Find us on Twitter (@commoncreativ) or Facebook to get updates!