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Aesthetica Magazine: focusing on contemporary visual art and design

BY SQ Abbas/ Birkbeck, University of London | 06-Aug-2018
Aesthetica Magazine based in York is one of the leading publications for art, design and photography.
Kate Simpson is the Assistant Editor of Aesthetica Magazine. After starting out in March 2016, her role has involved; writing, researching, curating, editing, proofreading, organising and commissioning content for both the printed magazine and the digital platforms, including the Aesthetica Magazine website, the ASFF website, and their affiliated social media.

The experience of working for Aesthetica has been invaluable for Kate. “The company as a whole connects with so many different visual and cultural forms, and in doing so, creates global dialogues about the world around us,” she says with pride. “I feel very humbled and grateful to be part of a team that does this so successfully and meaningfully.”

On a daily basis, Kate’s articles delve into the crux of the contemporary condition. Interviewing artists and curators about exciting things that are taking place within the industry, from sustainable design and 3D printing to new innovations in photography—every day offers something new to her.

“Aesthetica is an arts and culture magazine that covers visual art, photography, film, music and performance,” reveals Kate. “It’s published bi-monthly, which is six issues per year. The company was founded in 2002 by Cherie Federico and Dale Donley. It has since grown to include a Creative Writing Award, an Art Prize, a Symposium and a BAFTA qualifying film festival. We’re now on Issue 84 of the magazine, which will be published on 1st August 2018. We distribute internationally, with a combined print and online readership of over 340,000.”

Kate stated that “the publishing industry faces challenges daily, through the entrance of the smartphone, to the notion of post-truth, and the role of the digitalised platform in providing free content. In today’s world, art magazines need to find a balance between offering freely available content whilst still creating sales.”

For Aesthetica, this has been achieved by maintaining the highest standards possible across the board—in the content that they produce, the print quality of the magazine, the visual and grammatical precision of every page, the relationships with the wider artistic community, creating a sustainable brand, and offering platforms to emerging practitioners through talent development.

The industry is fast-paced and competitive. Every piece of work for the next edition of Aesthetica needs to be completed to strict deadlines, to the highest quality possible. “Every issue we strive to create something better than the last, building lasting readerships and providing something completely original and innovative,” Kate tells with enthusiasm.

Her advice to aspiring journalists: “Read. Write. Engage. Get involved with the industry in any way possible, whether that’s through placements, internships, voluntary work, short courses or further education. Read every single day, write every single day if possible, and be aware of what’s going on in the industry. It’s incredibly competitive, so accruing both knowledge and experience is key, whilst polishing up on personal skills such as grammar and an unparalleled attention to detail.”

Visit Aesthetica’s website to read the latest issue.