I’m so happy that Java Joe’s is open today. It’s Labor Day, Turtle has the kids and I’m finally managing to carve out some writing time. It is so hard to do that these days.
We’ve had a lot of good stuff going on at Pyragraph (even a redesign, whoa) so it’s been a bit tricky finding a moment to exhale. Finally, today, this feels like it. I think it’s high time for a letter from me, Pyragraph’s Publisher and Editor, to tell you what’s going on with our little-but-growing creative career magazine.
Hello Monthly Themes
OK first: We’re trying out the idea of monthly themes. Last month (August) we asked our bloggers to share their experiences with side jobs and we got a whole bunch of great posts!
This month (September) we’re going with “Location location location”: stories about the why/how/what/etc. in choosing where to live. When creative work is an important part of your life, sometimes the lure of a big cultural city is compelling; sometimes the lower cost of living makes small towns more appealing; and sometimes it just really seems like a good idea to sell it all and move to a yurt in the mountains. Walkable neighborhoods can be important if you don’t want to own a car. Working at home can be great, but meddling kids can be a problem (ahem, which is why I’m at Java Joe’s…incidentally also the real-life site of the Tuco meeting explosion scene on “Breaking Bad”). We’ll feature posts along these lines all month.
Please Enjoy the Redesign
The next big thing is we’re pretty stoked about our redesign, and we hope you like it too. Huge shout out to Adam Rubinstein, our Design Developer (and so much more) for cranking that out! Lex Gjurasic worked her creative magic on it, too. Our original design was pretty boss (thanks again to Dave Dabney) but we felt it was time to spiffen it up (yes, spiffen); give it some air and some pop. We also wanted to stretch our redesign muscles so we can do it more regularly and make it possible for the site to evolve flexibly. Feels like we did pretty well on all fronts.
New MicroBiz Channel
Besides the new colors and new header, perhaps the most exciting thing (for me, at least) was adding a new channel: MicroBiz. From the beginning we knew we wanted Pyragraph to include entrepreneurial types who might not be “artists” per se, but who have highly creative freelance or small businesses. But we needed a few months to figure out how this channel would take shape.
After a number of excellent posts from artist/furniture maker Ben Forgey, designer Nicola Freegard, furniture manufacturer Bailey Briscoe Jones and most recently soapmaker extraordinaire Danielle Vincent, we feel that MicroBiz is ready to launch. It’s a great channel to explore if you’re looking for advice on business-ish concerns like marketing and selling online, dealing with clients, or managing projects efficiently. Or hawking unicorn poop. You know, business stuff.
Juggling Publisher and Editor Hats
Speaking of MicroBiz, running one is the most fun and hardest thing ever. When you start a business doing something creative—like making furniture, or illustrating books, or publishing an online creative career magazine—there’s always a tension between spending your time developing the business and doing the creative stuff. For me, finding the time to write for Pyragraph has been murder. But I’ve been focused on some pretty crucial system-building work, and I’m quite happy with where we are at the moment. Over time these systems should pay off and give me more time to work with editorial. That’s the hope, anyway.
(Come to think of it, I have been meaning to write about playing music, band developments and such. So [insert break here while I go write it] here’s a story about how I left and rejoined the blurts over the last few months. I just wrote it now. Phew!)
More than anything, I’m incredibly impressed with and proud of the posts we’ve been publishing daily for the past seven months. Everyone who does creative work has stories about the ups and downs of pursuing this path—and helping bring these stories to light is a dream job for me. Major thanks to editorial ballerina Eva Avenue for gracefully keeping the posts flowing through some very trying circumstances, and to Adam Rubinstein for upping our game in terms of technology and systems in a major way.
I’ll leave it there for now—this is turning into a long letter!—except to ask you to please engage with us in the comments, sign up for email updates, send us story ideas, consider supporting us through a subscription or donation, and above all, please share Pyragraph posts with your friends and contacts. We aim to grow, and we can’t do it without you.
Photo by Peri Pakroo.