From Jasmine Perrier’s interview (GRUMPY’s founding editor) with Issuu (April 2017)
Tell us about Grumpy Magazine. What kind of magazine is it?
Grumpy Magazine is an international and independent quarterly publication based in Paris dedicated to the creative minds from entertainment and fashion. However most of our projects are made in LA, because I’ve always been fascinated by Hollywood and the entertainment industry so I wanted to do something around that. We feature in each issue artists and emerging talents who we think have powerful stories to tell, from actors to musicians, designers and photographers. I definitely want to consider GRUMPY as a platform which brings people together and offers them an outlet to express themselves.
How did Grumpy Magazine get started? How often do you publish?
I guess I first discovered digital publications in 2011-2012. At that time I was following a few Spanish fashion magazines (Overlay Magazine, Must! Magazine, LANNE Magazine) that were published on Issuu. And I realized that this platform was a great option for independent publishers, or anyone interested in publishing. As soon as I graduated from high school, I decided to move forward with my own magazine which was a project that was stuck in my head during all those years. That’s how Grumpy Magazine was born in 2016. Besides, people often ask me why I chose such a strange name for a magazine. There is actually no big story behind it. When I launched the publication, I was just curious to discover a bit the magazine industry on my own. But the name actually came to my mind because I’ve always been told that I was grumpy in my childhood. So I thought it was a funny way to make the magazine a part of my world, as its initial goal was to be my personal outlet.
I started as a bimonthly publication, but decided to introduce a new quarterly release schedule at the beginning of the year in order to have more time to prepare each issue. Quality over quantity is one of my ethics. I’m a full-time Communication student so I can only work on the publication during my free time.
What is the best part about publishing your magazine?
I’ve always been passionate about creating. From an early age I owned blogs, forums and making the design was my favorite part of the process. By publishing my magazine, I just love having a full control on what I produce, and in some way being my own boss at only 20. To be honest, I’ve learnt much more things in a year and a half with my magazine than I do every day in class. Not only it helps me to mature, but I also get to work with the greatest industry professionals and most amazing creative people. It’s such a rewarding experience. All the more since I’m in touch with people based all over the world.
What are some challenges you have faced as a publisher?
At the beginning, it was hard for me to catch the attention of industry professionals like publicists and managers. Because I didn’t have anything to show them, I had no references. As soon as I moved to Paris for my studies, I was able to take on bigger opportunities for Grumpy Magazine, and thus to create a more catchy content. It had for sure an impact on how things turned out for the publication afterwards. Today, I’d say that my two biggest challenges are to balance my work for Grumpy Magazine and my daily life, and to develop the publication with a very restricted budget. For the time being, I don’t make a living out of it even though it’s a real 24/7 job for me. It’s not rare to see me checking and answering my emails when I’m in class. Sometimes the line between hobby and business is tricky. Because on the one hand it’s something I’m really passionate about and I want to get as far as possible with it, but on the other hand I need to face the challenges of moving into adulthood which sometimes include to put Grumpy Magazine on hold.
What is the Grumpy Magazine team like?
At first I was the only one behind Grumpy Magazine. As I said before it was just a personal project I’ve created for fun. But then, as the publication surprisingly grew, I got in touch with a lot of amazing and dedicated individuals with whom I still work with consistently. That includes amateurs and emerging professionals. We kind of evolve together and it’s a lovely feeling to see your collaborators growing their business. Some of my friends and university pals also founded out about my work and got interested in contributing to it, which I have to say makes the adventure even more magical. I live in France and manage the publication from Paris, but my contributors (writers, photographers…) are based all over the world — from the UK to the US and Canada. I like the idea of building a community coming from everywhere. I’m so grateful to have all these loving people by my side, and I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now without their support. As far as the management stuff is concerned, I’m still in charge of everything, from coordinating the shoots and team members to running our social media and being of charge of interviews.
Why have you chosen to publish and sell your magazine digitally?
Publishing digitally was a great option for me to create my own platform, and to make it accessible to the largest audience possible. I love having no geographic (and artistic) boundaries. As I grew up surrounded by the digital world, I liked this new format of magazines providing access to content anywhere, anytime. I think it also brought a fresh perspective to the traditional media world. I’m glad to see that this industry gets more recognition everyday! And I appreciate Issuu deeply supporting its publishers.
You feature a lot of celebrities in your publication. Do you have any tips on making these connections?
Last summer, I wrote a blogpost on Issuu talking about how I made connections and shape my network in the industry from the ground up. I started my activity with a lot of negative answers, if no answer. But I persevered and some of the professionals I regularly collaborate with today are people I used to admire growing up. Funny enough, most of them actually first came to me, and I didn’t know how they ended up coming across me. Overall, I’d say it’s a matter of patience, daring, proactiveness and kindness. Define clearly your objectives and motives: companies and professionals like goal focused brands, people who know where they are going. In addition to that, having a press kit is definitely a great tool to show potential collaborators what you can offer them and to demonstrate your commitment to your work.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming publishers?
In 2015, I did an interview with Catherine Powell from NKD Magazine for a blog I had before Grumpy Magazine, as I was interested in following her steps. When I asked her about her best advice for aspiring publishers, she said: ‘’Don’t unless you can commit your entire life to it. There’s no room for laziness in both the music industry and the magazine industry – you will immediately be replaced if you don’t give every day 110%.’’ Her words have always motivated further to give my all to all the projects I undertake. I’m a strong believer in the idea that hard work always pays off, even if it takes time. Last but not least stay true to yourself, don’t hesitate to take risks and try new things. That’s what will make your uniqueness. ‘’If you never try you’ll never know.’’
What can we expect next from you?
We have for sure many exciting things on the way! We started 2018 by sharing some of our very first original artwork, and I have no words to express how proud I am to see our photography projects coming to life. I’m definitely interested in pursuing this whole collaborative creative process I’m happy to be a part of with my different dream teams. This motivates me to keep up my efforts and work hard to provide the best content possible, with the most inspiring people of the world to get our readers out of their grumpy moods. I’ve spent the last couple of months with my crew working on our Spring issue that will be out at the end of the month, composed of 100% original content. (that will be another novelty to add to our story) Stay tuned!