"Independent" by A.R Vincent, copyright 2012

Creative Freedom

From online shops to web comics, film makers, writers and artists are moving away from conventional routes and finding their own to get their work to the public and make their passion pay.

The well-trodden path…

You are told at school that whatever you want to be in life you must follow a prescribed route. These paths usually involve continued education and eventual employment by a larger corporate entity. For most walking these well-trodden paths is the way to reach their goals, however for many more they have realised it’s not the only way.

Rise of the machines!

In many ways the rise of the internet and increasing access to better technology – from broadband to software – has freed things up. Once if you wanted to write fiction you would need to find an agent, then a publisher or there would be no way of producing enough copies of your work to distribute. Now the birth of epub systems with retail giants like Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes and Noble means you have a choice, and a simple online process can have your self-published book listed with the literary elite in an online store at little or no cost.

Similarly Youtube has made it possible to produce and screen your own short films or animations, while iTunes gives you the chance to sell them. Sites like podomatic.com let you upload audio content – be it audio ‘zines, fiction or how-to guide – while Magcloud.com gives you the chance to produce a high quality printed magazine. Not forgetting, of course, etsy.com or, the granddaddy of them all, Ebay.com which will let you sell your creations online or retailers such as Zazzle.com that will let you stick your art on t-shirts, bags and iPod cases!

Independence day…

It used to be thought that self-publishing or independent production was the last resort and the refuge for those who not be accepted through mainstream routes and were, in some way, substandard. However, though the move away from the mainstream options has come under attack from various critics, producing independent work has created some notable successes, including ‘Simon’s Cat’ creator, animator Simon Tofield, self-published YA author of ‘Tiger’s Curse’, Colleen Houck, and film maker Gareth Edwards, whose low budget film ‘Monsters’ ended up securing a cinema release and much critical acclaim.

Like more traditional options, being self employed is still a double edged sword for the Creative. Obviously, the independent route does not give the creator carte blanche to turn out a sub-standard product, what it does offer is substantial creative freedom and  a way to produce and distribute product without being constrained by an organisations views on fashions, future trend planning or global mass market appeal.

The concept of going it alone is not the easy option though, not least because you don’t have the professional and financial support, advice and backing of a studio, publishing house or agency. It is a huge responsibility and means you are not only the artist but also the publicist, accountant and company secretary. Taking this path puts you very much in charge of your own destiny and whether you blast in to the stratosphere of success or make an equally spectacular balls up of the proceedings you do it on your own time and your own dime!

Choices, choices…

In the end this explosion of creativity should be as exciting for consumers as it should for artists as it takes away the control of the big corporate studios, galleries and publishing houses. Original and edgy work, that may be too niche, nerdy or edgy to appeal to big concerns, is finally making it to audiences.  A brief search online can produce a diverse cornucopia of podcasts, art, crafts, eBooks, web comics, fashion and film to fit every appetite. I have, with only the most basic search, discovered some amazing podcasts, web comics and online boutiques that, in some cases, are every bit as polished as the “professionals” and far more interesting.

All I can say is long may it continue!!

Ready to Launch

www.e-momagazine.com

I would never have believed this time last year that  a year on I’d be a Deputy Editor of an online gothic magazine. And yet here i am, one week away from the launch of the website.

It started in September – actually it probably started when a friend played me Queensryche’s “Real World” from her “Last Action Hero” soundtrack and the first spark in my interest in Metal music was awoken, but as far as this website goes it started in September. It started when I absent mindedly mentioned to a friend that I’d found a gothic magazine for sale. I had picked up the magazine and read it cover to cover so elated that finally someone had woken up to the fact that there are girls out there who don’t care about Britney Spears latest escapade, who would prefer to gnaw off their own arm rather then watch big brother and who really aren’t bothered about the latest fad diet!! The magazine itself wasn’t up to much, aside from anything else it’s a quaterly and I’ve still yet to find a subsiquent issue!

But that’s besides the point, I mentioned it to a friend and she said “We could do better then that!” Could we? It hadn’t really occured to me, sure I could say what i didn’t like abou the publication and even how i’d have changed it but was i really up to the job of writing the stuff? Was I really able to step up to the journalistic plate? Somehow the next step in the conversation seemed inevitable! Why don’t we try and do something like that? I heard the words and suddenly I was caught up in a whirlwind. Ideas sprang forth like acne on a teenager! And somewhere along the line i became the websites deputy editor, technical assistant and e-Mo magazines online spiritual advisor.

It has taken 6 months to get here and it has not been without problems. The site itself seemed to spend an eternity in the first stages of development, we had problems with the search and even greater problems trying to get Google to recognise us. We’ve scrapped countless looks, at least three launch dates and several sections of the original site. We’ve worked evenings and weekends, missed out on holidays and taken time off of our regular jobs all in an effort to get the site up and running.

And here we are. Almost ready, nothing left to do but trim round the edges and add the final polish. We’re nearly there  and it feels a whole lot like standing on the edge of a cliff and I wonder when it will dawn on us that this launch isn’t the end. It is, in fact, only the beggining! Because once we are live then the real fun begins… the writing articles and doing interviews and keeping the whole thing chugging along will have to become the backing music to our lives. And you know what, even with all that thundering through my brain, I can still say that there is something exciting about it.

I’ll let you know how it goes… and if you don’t want to pop back then on the 1st April 2008 visit www.e-momagazine.com and you can see how we’ve done for yourself.

If you are interested in all things goth, punk, emo or metal and would like to become a contributor to www.e-momagazine.com then we’d love to here from you, so contact us at e_momagazine@yahoo.com