The first thing to know about Anxy Magazine is that it's gorgeous. That is what prompted me to attend last week's Designers + Geeks event. Founder and Creative Director, Indhira Rojas, told us that she wanted the magazine to be rooted in design, precisely because it was centered around subject matter that is usually considered ugly–mental health. She made it clear that Anxy was not a place where you're going to see an article on How to be Happy in 5 Steps. Anxy isn't trying to "fix" things. It's an exploration.
It's an exploration the world wants. Anxy comes out twice a year and each issue has a central theme. The themes come from a personal, almost semi-biographical place. There have been three issues so far:
- The Anger Issue
- The Workaholism Issue
- The Boundaries Issue
The magazine used Kickstarter to initially raise almost $60,000 and has created other campaigns for subsequent issues. All campaigns have exceeded their goals and the campaign for the current issue mentions potential for a podcast if the $35,000 "stretch goal" is reached.
Bobby Johnson, Editor-in-Chief, spoke late in the evening. He told us that Anxy focuses on personal story, i.e. "Something happened to me and now I'm really looking at it." He mentioned that an Editor isn't there to fix typos, an Editor is there to help you tell a story. He also gave us some submission guidelines:
Anxy - Want
- Perspective (new, different)
- Insight (come with me on a journey)
- Execution (I'm assuming that this has to do with wanting good writing)
Anxy - Do Not Want
- Self-help (how to do something)
- Proscription (how not to do something)
- Expected (no surprises)
Submissions make up about 30-40% of a given issue, the magazine fills in the rest, finding ways to address what wasn't covered.
The evening ended with words from Floricel Liborio Ramos. She spoke passionately in her own language with English translation provided by Indhira Rojas. Her story, This Is What It's Like When ICE Detains You is in the current issue of Anxy, The Boundaries Issue. Read more about Pangea Legal, they are one of the agencies that helped Ms. Liborio Ramos get released after eleven months in detention.
I'll end with a Michelle Obama quote Ms. Rojas shared with us, “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It’s something to own.”