Snap Magazine’s Interview with our Editor



Interview by Guillaume Barbeau at Snap Magazine
Photos by Rebecca Storm
To see the real thing:

Claire Milbrath is the young and talented editor of emerging art and photography magazine The Editorial. Last Thursday saw the release of their 8th volume in Montreal and Guillaume Barbeau met up with Claire to talk about how she works, where her inspirations for the magazine came from and the difficulties of publishing today.

Guillaume Barbeau: Claire Milbrath, editor-in-chief of the Editorial Magazine. Hi!
Tell me a bit about yourself, your background, your studies, and how you came to start a magazine?

Claire Milbrath: I came from Victoria, BC, to Concordia University to study History, although I was always interested in photography. In my last year of university, I started the Editorial. I felt like I was sitting on a pretty big body of work, and yet had no audience because I didn’t pursue art in school or as a career. The people around me were also producing a lot of work and struggling to get published, so I started my own publication.

GB: So you started the Editorial Magazine all by yourself?!

CM: Yes! I always thought it was kind of funny to run the facade of a fashion/photography magazine out of my bedroom by myself. But then it kind of turned real.

GB: Turned real indeed! If you had to explain what the Editorial Magazine is about to people who don’t know anything about it, how would you describe it so they can get a better idea?!

CM: The Editorial features playful, innovative, and engaging work from upcoming artists.

GB: You started this project by yourself, but since then, how has your team grown?

CM: Once I started printing, it got a little overwhelming. Olivia Whittick became the editor for all written work, and Rebecca Storm became our in-house photographer. Most artistic decisions are discussed with my sister, Darby Milbrath. Also I have a few people in other cities to help generate content and spread the mag. I don’t know, sometimes it’s hard not having a large team, but it’s nice that the only people involved are people whose taste I completely trust.

GB: From what I can see, you encourage many forms of arts. Do you pride yourself on being a platform for artists? Do you think it’s important in today’s competitive world to give artists “a chance” to get their work seen and published?

CM: Yes! That’s what it’s all about. There are so many talented people working right now that aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.

GB: Is it hard to be part of the “magazine business”? Once you’re “in,” is it hard to maintain a constant level of quality that people expect?

CM: It is hard. Although I don’t find it difficult in that sense. The curatorial stuff has always been the fun part, and the level of quality increases as the name grows; ‘bigger’ artists are more interested in being involved. It’s the business side that I struggle with, and which I kind of hate, finding sponsors, advertisers, contacting corporations… Because printing is so expensive I think a lot of magazines end up jeopardizing their content to win over the hearts of sponsors.

GB: How does it work when it comes to printing?

CM: We printed our very first issue at a print store downtown, and that was pretty stressful. Now we print with Black Dot Press. I was lucky to find a printer that was so close to home (a couple blocks away) and also interested in maintaining quality.

GB: Were there times when you had to learn from your mistakes, and learn to deal with them?

CM: I mispelt an artist’s name on the cover one time. I’m so paranoid about it happening again.

GB: What’s next for Editorial Magazine?

CM: Just keep growing! Hopefully get some distribution help!

GB: What’s your ultimate dream regarding the magazine and your other projects?

CM: Being relieved of the business responsibilities. I’d like to just do the curatorial and design stuff, and not worry about finances.

GB : If you were’nt involved with an art magazine or the art world in general, what would you do?

CM: Probably go to law school!

GB: Who inspires you the most?

CM: My Mom! In her last year of university she compiled the only existing Kwakiutl dictionary, which was a pretty big undertaking. I remember thinking in my last year of school that I had better accomplish something on par to that. She always has a million things going on, and somehow manages to be the sweetest, softest lady.

GB: Last but not least, since you’re from BC. Montreal is great because?

CM: It’s just a really soft environment to be an artist. It’s easy to get by on little money, and everyone is so supportive. I don’t know, it doesn’t feel competitive. There are so many artists here too; it feels like there’s an infinite amount of content coming out of this city.

GB: Claire, thank you so much. Long live your magazine!

CM: Thank you!