Originally, I only planned to send this to my staff. I planned to have this fixed, edited, and distributed as an article. But I’ve changed my mind. I’m not a writer, but I felt that it would be more authentic to share it with all of you, free from edits but true to my heart. Please take the time to read through my thoughts and allow me to share with you my vision for VAR, plans for the launch party and some of the origins of its successes.
What follows is the original email:
The VAR magazine launch event is coming up in a couple days and I feel as if I need to clarify some things with all of you. First I ask that everyone post the link so that people can buy tickets to your Facebook, Twitter—any and all social networks you’re on: http://varmag.eventbrite.com.
Secondly, have you seen the articles on BlackBook and InkButter? These are websites that have posted the event. Please check them out. (Links are below)
We’re going to be showing a preview of the magazine on the projector at the party. We have some loose ends to tie up, so we’re going to officially launch the tablet/digital version April 20th. We’re definitly going print in May. I’ve seen print proofs, and they’re awesome! This first issue is very much a sample of what I’m trying to do. At the party and from the tablet version of the magaizine our audience will get an idea of what’s to come in future issues. Instead of packing it with articles and ads, we’re gonna give them a little taste—a couple of the more important interviews, the photo stories that I’ve selected, and what’s in the lifestyle section with Dave Delzio. This is all they need to see to be sold!
Anyways, I’m dealing with a lot of shit right now and I haven’t gotten any sleep so…. I’m going to try to best explain what I want to say in this email.
VAR exists because I realized that many of us shared a set of common interests, such as fashion publications, photography, art-culture(including tattoo). Without attaching persona types to individuals, I found that the same so called ‘alternative culture’ types were also into more traditional forms of art and photography as an art in and of itself.
I started off with my website NY Body Art. I’m very much a tech and internet guy. With the age of Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook etc, the digital era, you can easily show your interest and see the interests of your friends. In working on the website, I would look at Tumblr and Twitter pages of people like me and the magazines and publications that they were into, and I noticed a common factor; they we were all into the same things. Art culture and fashion magazines—we were all tattooed and or interested in tattoos. These were all the same people. All these people were into a collection of different publications, but the common theme was the same. It was like having a group of friends who bought all the same 10 CD’s. Why not put those 10 CDs in a collection and call it one CD? That is VAR: art, tattoo, fashion, lifestyle… essentially, our culture.
There are tons of publications that are minor variants of each other: You have a tattoo magazine that’s pretty much the same as the other tattoo magazines, you have a fashion magazine that is pretty much the same as all the other fashion magazines, then you go out and buy variants of the same for art/tattoo magazines and maybe even a lifestyle kind of magazine or maybe something like Vice. It’s about the people that buy these magazines. It’s about the people that post these things on their Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook pages. Let’s put it all together in one really cool magazine. Why not give them one kick-ass magazine about all of it?
With that said, as you’ve probably seen me say in interviews, with the tattoo aspect of it, I don’t like how tattoo culture is portrayed in these tattoo magazines. Tattoo is not low-brow art. Men and women who are significantly covered are not all bikers or pin-up models. The audience for this is people that are into all of it. They are the same people.
I hope this clarifies everything for you guys. I hope you all understand what my goals are and what I am trying to achieve with it. I sincerely appreciate the fantastic work you’ve all put into this project. This is the home stretch, my friends! Please help this vision come true… LET’S GET TICKETS SOLD AND PARTY!!!
New York Body Art | VAR Magazine