In today’s afterlife session, we had a talk by Elbow Grease Magazine who informed us about their work, discussed how they started out as a company and how they plan to expand their business. We were introduced to Tom Sydenham- Art / Creative Director, Josh Gobbatiss – Editor/ Writer and Jon Sinfield – Business Manager. Tom began by discussing how he wanted to create a magazine that communicated a connection between business and art. He started working for a Science Magazine, however he found it difficult to relate to the content, so this inspired him to create something that he could relate to and show off his work to its full potential.

He created a new magazine and he told us that we should always take opportunities and to know when to take advantage of them. To make the magazine really effective he needed a good writer to help with the different articles, so he asked Josh to step in as his Editor/ Writer. He also told us that he asked different Illustrators to come up with their own designs on some of the pages. This lead him to advise us how important it is to work collaboratively because others have different qualities that they can bring to your work.

“Having a strong grid and two beautiful typefaces”

The main purpose of this magazine is that they didn’t want it to be a valuable item, they wanted it to look creative but also communicate how this is a magazine you can “roll up and stick in your back pocket”. The title needed to be playful but also fit the magazine’s image, so they came up with the name ‘Elbow Grease‘ because it was something that everyone could relate to.

Tom created a video to promote the magazine and got his friends to help. Even though he was on a low-budget and the video isn’t of the the best quality, he has been successful in communicating the magazine’s purpose.

“Make use of your resources”

They told us that it is important to always make use of your resources, especially if you’re working on a low-budget. Always ask your friends or people you know to help you with a project or give you advice, because everyone has a different viewpoint that they can share with you. Following this. their newest member Jon, who is their Business Manager gave us a brief talk on the business side of the project and how important it is to get noticed!

Whenever you are starting a project like this, he told us to ask ourselves; Can you make money? What’s your budget? Do you have knowledge of the market? who’s your target audience? and where do you fit in? 

Jon discussed how important it is to organise different events to get your name out there or go to different stores/cafe’s and ask if they will sell your work. They told us how they asked different places if they could host events, to be able to get everyone in the room together, this way they were able to gain feedback from different people with creative backgrounds and even some without.

I really enjoyed listening to the discussion today and I feel like I have learnt a lot about the business side of a project, as this isn’t a topic I know much about.  They have taught me how important it is to get involved whilst you’re starting out in the creative industry because this way you can show people what you’re capable of and you are able to get your work noticed. They have also opened my eyes to the possibility that you may fail doing a project and how I should learn how to prevent it if it were to happen.




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