The web can be a great place to find inspiration in the form of great art and artists but the signal to noise ratio, or the amount of quality information versus the amount of trash, can be quite high and it takes a lot of time to trawl through the trash to find the gems. I have way too much free time on my hands and have dug through the trash and found some great free art magazines.
Browsing the web for inspiration is like dumpster diving, you have to trawl through a bunch of trash to find the good stuff.
Print magazines are a great source for inspiration because they generally have a lower signal to noise ratio. Although there are still a lot of trashy magazines around they are easier to filter out because there are fewer trashy magazines than there are trashy web sites. But magazines generally cost more than a search engine query. Besides money it also takes more time and effort to find great print magazines but it is well worth the time and effort especially when you consider that you can’t contract malware from a printed magazine and ads in printed magazines can’t track you like web ads can.
The best thing about the web is also the worst thing about the web given that anyone with access to a computer connected to the internet, i.e. anyone with a smart phone which is almost everyone, can post anything they want regardless of the factual accuracy or quality of the content they are publishing and it costs almost nothing. This is one reason why print magazines are usually better sources of inspiration and information.
It takes a lot more time, effort, and money to publish a printed magazine which is why most magazines don’t publish anything and everything like people do on the web. It’s why magazines have standards and editors who’s job it is to keep those high standards, or low to non existent standards in the case of trashy tabloid magazines, by filtering out the rubbish and only publishing the good stuff, the good stuff being information that is factually accurate and work of a certain quality. This is what makes print magazines worth spending money, time, and effort on if you can afford it.
Although it costs not an insignificant amount of money – for most people – to publish a magazine there are still tens of thousands of magazines in circulation that cover almost any special interest that some one might have. There is even at least one magazine (that I know of) about bottled water! Seriously there is, it’s called Bottled Water Reporter and I really don’t recommend checking out.
Besides newsagents there are other good magazine sources like MagNation a physical store that is largely dedicated offering access to a large number of print magazines in a single place.
But what if there was a web site that made available free digital magazines that offered content that is a cut above what you usually find on a lot of blogs and web sites? There is and it’s called Issuu, a digital magazine publishing platform that provides “More quality content about more interesting things” or so it claims. The same thing could be said of the web but that doesn’t mean it’s true. In the case of Issuu the claim is relatively accurate. You can even find some fine examples of paid for magazines, like Juxtapoz and Quiet Lunch, legitimately available for free.
The following are some of the better magazines I have found on Issuu.
Photographize Magazine – Terrible name, great magazine full of awesome art.
Amaze – Amaze by name amazing by nature, a great collection of creative photography and digital art highlighting both emerging and professionals artists.
#PHOTOGRAPHY – An online magazine run by two photography graduates with a passion for image making. With 19 issues published to date there is plenty to see.
CreativPaper – The name is ironic given that this is a digital magazine. But whatever, it’s full of sweet sweet visual art, it’s like an all you can eat buffet for your eyes and mind.
Artist Talk Magazine – A quarterly magazine for everyone written by artists. This is the sort of magazine that is worth dropping the cash for a hard copy.
Art Reveal Magazine – A magazine from fabulous Finland with one simple goal: to support and promote talented artists from around the world.
This list is by no means exhaustive and nor is it meant to be. Finding great art magazines on Issuu is like fishing with dynamite except more environmentally responsible. I recommend pointing your browser at the Arts & Entertainment category and having a browse of the many great magazines available.
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