Yesterday's post was dedicated to the bright and bold in the spirit of spring; did you like it? I hope so, because I decided to keep the color flowin' and talk about BULLETT Magazine's The Obsessed Issue. I know it has been on newsstands for some time now, but I haven't had a chance to talk about it here, and I want to, so . . . I'm going to. Cool? Cool.
I've skyped with a few college classes in the past, and one of the questions students often ask me is: "What inspires you?" As frequently as that question is posed to creatives, I still find giving an original answer—one that actually benefits those listening and doesn't involve me blabbing away putting students to sleep—is challenging. I find it nearly impossible to answer that particular question in a one-hour Skype session. If I tried to list everything that inspired me my head would explode fembot style.
An easier way to let the students know what influences or motivates me to create is to physically show them. The Obsessed Issue is the perfect example of something that "inspires" me.
I would have loved to been a fly on the wall during the planning and execution of this volume—an issue based entirely around the idea of being obsessed. Do you think the Bullett team did any experimentation with word association when brainstorming concepts?
"When I say 'obession,' you say . . ."
For me, the first thing that comes to mind is teeny boppers and their beloved boy bands. You know, fangirls—young adolescent females wearing homemade t-shirts (or underwear—what?) with "I'M A BELIEBER <3" scribbled across them in bubble paint, screaming their heads off to "Baby". To me, that's the true definition of "obsessed."
Because the Bullett team didn't want to dedicate their issue to Beiber (like I did this post—did that just happen?), they used some other effective ways to illustrate obsession, channeling their inner-middle school selves throughout the issue: stickers, handwritten notes, headlines and dropcaps made from collectable trinkets (a.k.a junk), glitter, paper dolls, friendship bracelets, beads, lots and lots of pink and a touch of gold on the cover to create an entire publication that readers like me could OBSESS over! Is anyone else seeing how this is all coming full circle?
Even their subscription postcard fit the theme:
The key to the success of this issue (in my not-so-important opinion) is the exaggeration of the concept. Bullett took the design of this magazine to a level where not a single reader could mistake what this issue was about.
I recently reviewed some student magazine covers for a former professor and I found myself copying and pasting the same comments to many of the students: "You have a great concept, but it still feels like it's in the developmental stages. Take it further. Exaggerate your idea. Make it clear to the reader what you're trying to say." I think the most important thing about creative work is taking risks. You must take risks to achieve your best work. Safe is . . . safe. No one talks about safe.
Bullett took risks.
There were parts of the magazine that felt "over the top."
Maybe even a bit . . . obsessive.