Magazine Feature: THORN


THORN is a bi-annual magazine that was created earlier this year by 20 year old, fashion journalism student Kerrie Donnelly, and has since garnered the interest of over 18,000 people including Melanie Rickey of Grazia magazine and Jefferson Hack, the co-founder of Dazed and Confused and editor of AnOther Magazine, who chose Kerrie's project from hundreds of other entries to win the Media Design Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2012. Thorn is described by Kerrie as "a magazine that explores the symbolism and transience of flowers in art, fashion and culture."
It is easy to see why Kerrie, who acts as editor-in-chief AND creative director, shone through the interviews and went on to win the award. She shows a true passion for her publication which shows in every beautiful detail and interview featured in Thorn. LIQUORICE was lucky enough to do a short interview with Kerrie to find out more about the magazine...

Tell LIQUORICE a little more about THORN Magazine:

I created Thorn magazine as my final major project at university (UCA Epsom). The brief was to create either a print or online publication that was original and different to anything that's out there. I studied fashion, but I really wanted to move away from it for my final major project and focus more on something that I wasn't used to. Ever since I was little girl I've loved flowers, but I don't just appreciate the beauty of the flowers, I'm also really interested in the symbolism and the meanings behind each flower. 'Floriography', which was the Victorian language of flowers was something that really inspired the magazine, but I wanted to keep the issue modern and artistic. I wanted to create a beautiful and very visual print magazine that explored the transience and symbolism of flowers in art, fashion and culture. I studied fashion journalism, so I'm not the best at art but I knew exactly what I wanted when it came to the visuals. I contacted an amazing graphic design student called Bethan Amy Sands and she created the artwork for the front cover. I was incredibly lucky to be able to get some great artists on board to create original pieces for the issue. I started it in January of this year and printed it in May. It was the most incredible and satisfying feeling when I received the printed issues!

What was the original concept and how did it come about?

Flowers are beautiful and can light up any atmosphere in an instant, but the meaning and the language behind each flower was something that I felt hadn't been explored in a magazine before. Maybe there are magazines that have dedicated an issue to the symbolism of flowers, but I couldn't find a print magazine that was solely based on it. So I knew I had to do it! I wanted to steer clear of a frilly and very girly magazine, as I knew that would be the expected route to go down, but instead, Thorn is very dark and macabre, hence the name! As much as I loved flowers, I didn't exactly know enough to write and design a whole magazine on it, so the challenge was exciting. I wanted to have quite a few interviews, as I know that I'd rather read an interesting interview with a creative than a 4000 word feature on the history of Floriography. I spoke to some amazing visual artists, fashion designers and graffiti artists, including the designer behind divorce rings, Gisele Ganne and the incredible collage artist Ashkan Honarvar

How much interest has THORN's first issue received?

As it was a university project, I unfortunately had to add fake adverts to the magazine, which has made it impossible to sell anywhere. I'm working on the second issue at the moment, which will have no adverts so I can hopefully sell or distribute that easier. But overall, the response to the magazine has been amazing. I've had over 18,000 views of the online version on issuu.com and lots of lovely emails and feedback. 

Tell us more about your 'Media and Design Award'.

It was open to magazines, films, websites and concept ideas from all over the UK and unbelievably I went on to win it. It was the most surreal and amazing experience I've ever had and the fact that Jefferson Hack and Melanie Rickey chose me, made it even more special. I never imagined it would do this well! I also got a first in it at university, so I was pretty pleased with that too!

Why did you decide to create a magazine as opposed to a blog?

You can't beat a print magazine! I love blogs and I have every form of social media outlets up and running for Thorn but it's not the same reading a magazine online as it is when you have the paper in your hand. I especially love matte paper and thick biannual style magazines, so that was what I was going for with Thorn. It's sad to see the decline in print magazines, so even though it wasn't going to make much of a difference to the publishing industry, I wanted to make mine a 'proper' magazine! 

Thorn Magazine Issue 1 cover art by Bethan Amy Sands

You can read the magazine here:  http://issuu.com/thornmagazine/docs/thornmagazine

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