Tell us a bit about your organisation
SUBCULTURED is a fashion, art, music and student culture publication, written by students about students, currently based at the University of Surrey. It allows students to pursue their creative interests alongside their degrees. It also provides students with valuable experience in design, business, marketing, features or whichever area of the magazine they choose to work in. Our outlet is primarily through our website – subculturedmag.com but we also produce 2 issues per year via issuu.com/subculturedmag
What inspired you to start?
I took a gap year from 2014-15 as I wanted to pursue my creative interests before going to university to do an academic Liberal Arts and Sciences degree. I was so inspired from the experiences during my gap year (e.g. internships) that I somehow wanted to continue this in uni. I originally wanted to join the fashion team at the general student magazine that was already at my university but all their positions were occupied. I then thought, how cool would it be if there was a fashion/creative publication at Surrey. I googled it and discovered loads of unis in the States had these creative publications. There was actually validity to my idea! So I then sent round a mass email to see if anyone would be interested in contributing to the magazine and around 150 people (to my disbelief) expressed their interest in joining the team. And so here we are!
What were your greatest challenges?
Definitely managing people and leading a team. Something I never had to do before SUBCULTURED as I was so used to working independently. You’ve got to be able to trust that others can do the job as well as you. Something I found difficult at first but over time has become a lot easier as I’ve come to learn the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Also balancing the magazine with my university degree or at the moment – my 9-5 job (I’m currently on a work placement year). Especially when it comes to issue releases or peak periods in the magazine. But I’m slowly but surely learning and it’s so much easier now than it was when I first started the magazine! You’ve got to remember to prioritise the most important tasks, maintain your health (sleep, nutrition etc), and DELEGATE tasks to other team members, you don’t have to do everything yourself!
What is the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part has probably been being able to express my creativity and working with other creative, likeminded people. Although it can be a lot of work sometimes, the work is fun! Especially when I get to interview a person I admire or direct a photo-shoot. Also I’ve gained valuable experience which allowed me to obtain my placement and I’ve also been able to build up a portfolio of creative work which I will utilise when applying for future jobs or internships!
What advice would you give to others trying to start up their own organisation?
You’ve got to work hard, especially in the beginning, when you’re first starting out. But don’t forget to maintain your health – make sure that you’re eating a good diet, get 8 hours of sleep a night, otherwise you won’t be able to work or make good decisions in the first place! Follow your intuition when it comes to making decisions, my intuition has consistently been a guide throughout this journey! And most of all have fun! If your organisation is something that you believe in/are passionate about, which it should be, it’ll be so much easier!