Students launch new online art magazine

Grocott’s Mail | Binwe Adebayo:


Inspired by a growing trend in international online magazines, a team of Rhodes University students has recently launched Archetype, hoping to showcase local arts and culture talent.

Fiona Christensen, co-editor of Archetype

Fiona Christensen (co-editor), a Bachelor of Fine Arts student, teamed up with her room-mates, Danielle Vorster and Chris Booth, to create a publication which mirrors their interests and reflects their skills. Both Vorster (co-editor) and Booth (online and sub-editor) have journalism training in the areas of Design and Radio, respectively.

“We’d heard about so many talented people here, but there was nothing to properly showcase their work. We thought, ‘why not do it ourselves?’,” said Christensen.

The Archetype team sources content from contributors, some of whom have been sought out based on their reputation, while others have approached the magazine.

The art forms featured include photography, writing and cartoons.

Since its launch, having marketed strongly on social media platforms, Archetype has generated a buzz in the Grahamstown arts scene.

Despite enjoying this process thoroughly, the team admits that the final product required much time and hard work.

“There were a lot of late nights. We thought of the idea in October and it’s taken a lot of time to get it here. We changed a lot of things but in the end, it turned out exactly as we wanted it to,” said Vorster.

In thinking about their readership, co-editors Christensen and Vorster are clear that they are targeting those interested in different art forms, but are wary of drawing in a “stereotypically artsy” audience exclusively. Their objective is to provide the youth with a space to share their ideas and for readers to get ideas.

“It’s hard to pin down. I mean, we don’t just want a ‘hipster’ magazine, we want to branch out in all directions within this genre,” said Christensen.

The team has received positive responses from readers and contributors alike, and hopes to grow readership in the next edition.

Despite glowing reviews, the team knows that constructive criticism is important, and hopes to improve the content, design and layout with every edition.

Team members will be presenting at the The Arts Lounge’s Lucid Lunchbox today, and hope that attendees will share insights and suggestions.

The next few editions will focus on particular themes related to the arts.

Edition Two will be released on 1 April and focuses on words in the form of books, writing and even recited poetry.


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