10 years of independent publishing with luis venegas
From C☆NDY, to EY! Megateen, to Fanzine137, Spanish editor and publisher Luis Venegas has been busy redefining the magazine scene for 10 years now. i-D caught up with Luis to talk about his array of publications and his new magazine Printed Dog...
Printed Dog, Photography Alasdair McLellan
In a world of multi-national publishing conglomerates and Kindle Fires, Luis Venegas has seemingly achieved the impossible, creating quality and unique independent publications for ten years and counting. His magazines have seen the likes of Chloe Sevigny, James Franco, Tilda Swinton and Carmen Dell"Orefice grace their hallowed covers. This month sees the launch of several new magazines as well anniversary editions of the mags that saw his rise to prominence.
What's been the best thing about remaining independent for 10 years?
Independence means freedom... and freedom is pretty close to happiness. When I do freelance jobs I love working with a team but being professionally independent is so rewarding on a personal level! I recommend it to all i-D readers!
And what has been the most challenging?
To keep people interested in my publications. But I guess that's a common challenge for all kinds of editors and publishers in the world.
Have you ever been offered opportunities to join a publishing house or join with other independent publications, if so, why weren't you tempted?
Yes, I've had some, none have been interesting enough... but I'm open to all offers! After 10 years being an independent publisher, it'd be about time to try that challenge!
Tell us more about Printed Dog, the 5th anniversary of C☆NDY, Colored Dudes and the other publications you have coming out now?
I've always loved animals and dogs especially... my own French bulldog came into my life 2-years-ago and that suddenly opened my mind to a deeper knowledge of the "dog world". The idea of translating all those feelings and sensations into a printed magazine just came naturally. Printed Dog is a magazine about dogs and their relationship with their best friends: their owners. Together with my boyfriend Leo Rydell Jost, we've worked hard on creating a cheerful magazine about beautiful creatures and unconditional love. It'll feature some of the most creative people in the fields of fashion, art and photography, especially those individuals who are dog lovers.
As I usually do, it's a limited edition magazine of only 1000 numbered copies. I've been so lucky to have Steven Klein, Terry Richardson, Ryan McGinley, Juergen Teller, Marcelo Krasilcic, Daniel Riera, Christian Lacroix and Alasdair McLellan - among many other great contributors - doing new works for the 1st issue that I decided to make eight different covers. So there are only 125 copies of each cover.
EY! Boy Collection is a publication about one boy as seen by one artist. A new, much more luxurious and clean version of my usual EY! Magateen, a celebration of male youth's splendor. The first EY! Boy has been photographed exclusively by Bruce Weber... so I can't think of a better way to start this project! 100 pages filled exclusively with all-new photos by Bruce Weber! It's a limited edition of only 500 numbered copies. It's more like a very special "bookzine" with a hardback cover than just a magazine.
Leo Rydell Jost is the co-Editor of Printed Dog, but above all is a young promising artist working on his own illustrations. Recently he did a series of erotic colourful series of drawings about boys and I encouraged him to put them all together into a little collector's book. I helped him with the art direction. Colored Dudes is Leo's self-published limited edition book. He's done only 100 copies and the copies for sale online sold out in less than 48 hours. Now Colored Dudes can be found in Marc Jacobs' Bookmarc bookstores worldwide, Ofr in Paris, König in Cologne and Dashwood Books in New York.
Also it's the 5th anniversary of C★NDY's coming up but it's just a bit too soon to reveal the cover for that issue. I just can say it'll be published one week before Christmas and it'll be pretty memorable.
What's been your favourite moment of your career so far?
There've been so many moments of joy... it's impossible for me to pick up just one. Many of my personal dreams have become true through working on my magazines. I'm especially very happy and proud about how lucky I am to work regularly with some of my favourite artists and idols. Take a look to the usual contributors of my magazines and you'll see who they are.
How has your team helped with keeping you wholly independent?
Well my team are just our computers, our phones and I. But of course I also work with passionate, talented people who are generous and kind enough to consider my proposals every time I ask them to work for me. I'm deeply grateful to all of them. Their talent, enthusiasm and generosity are the best support for me to remain independent. Among all those people, I have to mention Sergio Ibañez, the fabulous Graphic Designer based in Barcelona (Setanta.es) who has worked on my magazines for the last 6 years.
You produce a number of publications, do you have a favourite?
No! I love all my sons and daughters equally!
What have you got planned for the next ten years?
Honestly, I have no idea, 10 years is a long period of time... For the next year I've planned to publish my magazines more calmly, so I can focus on freelance creative direction. In the near future I also want to do more books and to become a film director.
Text Lynette Nylander
Images courtesy Luis Venegas