This month I had a great privilege of meeting with wonderful Tanya Collier, the founder & editor of ‘tickle the imagination‘ magazine. Over a cup of coffee I asked her a few questions about her journey from a university assignment, to making ‘tickle‘ one of the most beautiful magazines that I love to flick through and get inspired by.
What is ‘tickle the imagination’ about?
‘tickle’ is a magazine that celebrates the handmade and creative culture in Australia. We publish 4-5 digital issues each year and a printed annual featuring our favourite stories from online issues.
How did it start? Please share your early journey
Creating a magazine is something I had imagined for a long time, and I have many notebooks filled with ideas, but never really thought it would be possible. While studying interior design in 2011 one of my assignments was to style, shoot and design a spread for a magazine – I loved it so much I thought I would give a full magazine a try and after a little research I discovered that I could publish in digital format. And so ‘tickle the imagination‘ began!
What prompted you to use a crowd-funding campaign?
I discovered crowd funding when a friend supported a campaign. I had never heard of it before and could not believe what a fantastic concept it was! I looked into it a little more and submitted my idea for consideration to pozible.com.au. My reason for choosing crowd funding was that I simply did not have the capital to fund a print issue, and was not in a position to risk taking out a business loan. It really was the perfect solution!
What was your experience using a crowd-funding campaign?
Crowd-funding made the impossible possible for me. I really would not have been able to achieve my dream of a printed issue without it! It is also thanks to my second pozible campaign that I was fortunate to meet Renata!
Is it easy to get national distribution?
There are lots of lovely independent stores that are now stocking ‘tickle’, so on a small scale national distribution has not been a problem. I was lucky to have one of the two major distributors contact me and express an interest in distributing ‘tickle’ through newsagents. However, being based in Perth has proven a little problematic for a national distribution …but I think we nearly have that sorted and Annual 02 will be distributed to newsagents nationally later this year.
Your best and worst moment in your ‘tickle’ history?
Best moment would have to be achieving our crowd funding target that took ‘tickle’ to print for the first time, followed closely by actually collecting the first print issue from the printers!
I can’t think of a worst moment. There have been challenges and hurdles along the way, but nothing that stands out as a ‘worst moment’.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to create their own online magazine?
I think it goes without saying that you need to be passionate about the subject of your magazine. There is a lot of hours and organisation involved in bringing an issue together, and without that love the end result would suffer. I think building a good team of people really helps – not just to work on the magazine but with behind the scenes support for things like bookkeeping and admin. Also a basic understanding of graphic design, photography and styling is useful, both for jumping into those positions when needed, but also for communicating what you are trying to achieve to others.
Here are a few resources that have really helped me along the way:
- Adobe Creative Suite – could not live without it! I use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver to produce each issue and maintain our website.
- Issuu – to publish digital issues
- Pozible – crowd funding site that made it possible to take Tickle to print (twice!)
- Mailchimp – mailing list manager
- FetchApp – for selling digital issues
- You Send It and Dropbox – for transferring files
And more generally – be authentic, work hard, believe in yourself and don’t be scared to ask questions and introduce yourself to new people…you never know where it will take you!
What does the future hold for ‘tickle’, will we see a regular printed issue?
My hope is that ‘tickle’ continues to support and inspire the designer/maker community of Australia. And I would love to one day see quarterly print issues. I am enjoying the journey and I know when the time is right, the opportunity will present itself.
What is your favourite book, dessert and holiday place?
Book – Business wise – anything by Seth Godin. And I’ve just read ‘My Sisters keeper’ by Jodi Picoult – so beautifully written – but be warned you will need a box of tissues close by!
Dessert – That’s kind of like choosing a favourite child! haha… Lemon Meringue Pie… yum!
Holiday Place – The south west of Western Australia is beautiful and that’s where we head when we have time for a holiday 🙂 Such peaceful, beautiful countryside. Favourite spot would be Bridgetown.
Created to share her love of all things handmade and creative, ‘tickle the imagination’ fulfils Tanya’s lifelong dream of designing a magazine.
Mum to three gorgeous children, Tanya has freelanced as a graphic designer for the past thirteen years, working with small businesses to develop their brand and design everything from logos, business cards and stationery through to websites and signage.
Along the way she has nurtured her creativity through craft, drawing, painting, sewing, styling parties, photography & interior decorating.
You can browse through current and past issues via http://www.tickletheimagination.com.au or join their busy Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tickletheimagination to get their latest news and offers.