We’re happy to feature LA-based music and culture magazine, Local Wolves, as Issuu’s Publisher of the Month this December. We asked editor-in-chief, Cathrine Khom, a few questions about Local Wolves magazine, the team, and creating a magazine to kick off the festivities!
Tell us a bit about the magazine.
Local Wolves is an independent print and online publication for young creative minds. The publication focuses on diverse talent among the many creative industries of everyday people. The issues are based on themes, including girl power, mental health and self-love. We focus our craft by showcasing artwork, photography and written words from our amazing readers through our Wolfie Submissions. If you’re ever need a boost of creative inspo, head on over to our Instagram for all the dreamy goals and quotes on the daily.
How did Local Wolves get started?
During my senior year of high school, there was one random weekend where I was on Tumblr and I saw a post from a publication that was looking for concert photographers to join their team. I had no prior experience to taking photos and only concert I’d been to was the Jonas Brothers. I was like, “why not!”, so I emailed their editor that night and received a confirmation email to join their team. I wrote live reviews and took photos at concerts and tours –– it was the life. I began to meet concert photographers in my area and I thought it would be neat to have my own media outlet to showcase my work and theirs. In April 2012, Local Wolves was born. It started out as a music blog that showcased live reviews, concert photography and later, evolved into more industries that I was passionate about: art, design, entertainment and local spots from LA and OC neighborhoods. We’ve come from a music blog to a publication with original content.
Tell us about your team –– who are the forces behind LW?
Our team is seriously what keeps me going as an editor-in-chief, not only from their positive energy, but they such talented individuals who embody what Local Wolves is all about. With a team from all over the U.S. and beyond, our writers and photographers are the kindest people who create beautiful and original content that captures raw and in-depth stories. Our design team (Lisa Lok, Kelsey Cordutsky + Bethany Roesler) has brought my Pinterest design board to life. It is always a good time to work with our illustrators (Leah Lu, Laura Filas + Megan Kate Potter). We love to create something new and fresh in every issue. A huge shout out to our classic features crew (Hanna La Salvia, Madisen Kuhn + Celeste Scott) for being the absolute best with their column pieces that are beyond goals = ultimate girl power. For the aesthetic feed we thank our social media coordinator, Nicole Tillotson and marketing coordinator, Elizabeth Eidanizadeh. Last but certainly not least, our copy editor, Sophia Khom who continues to inspire me daily and taught me that risks are never scary. Trust your gut and make it happen.
What is the best part about creating a magazine?
The best part of creating a magazine is hands down the pre-production where our team and I brainstorm ideas, create vision boards and design concepts for layouts based on the theme of issue. I love to curate and create, and I believe all the hard work and dedication is from the planning, discussions and teamwork.
What made you decide to publish digitally?
When I started Local Wolves, I was a full-time student so it was cost-effective but also accessible to our readers to read our issues on the go. It was important to our team to make sure that our readers is getting the best experience when they flip through the issues. Issuu provided a way for us to showcase our publication and track the progress every time we uploaded, which has helped us grow tremendously.
How do you choose your features? What are you looking for in your content?
I often get inspired from my surroundings, which leads to certain themes throughout the year. For example, some of our standout issues that we focus on every year are ‘rise up’, featuring up-and-coming artists and bands, self-love and girl power. I value in-depth stories that everyday people can relate to. I remember growing up where I came across articles that I personally didn’t connect with and I wanted to make sure that the content that we publish not only inspires others but connects with our readers.
How can creatives get involved with Local Wolves?
Wolfie Submissions is your best route and I absolutely love when our readers would suggest ideas or themes to discuss next. From our past Wolfie Submissions, we’ve received artwork, illustrations, photographs and written words of poetry and short stories from creatives who submit their work by the deadline. You can learn more on how to submit your creative masterpiece here.
Tell us the biggest challenges you face as an editor.
The biggest challenge that I’ve faced as an editor is dealing with creative block. I know there are times where I think, “Is this good enough? Who is going to be on the next cover? How will we top the next issue?” and there are times where I am just stuck with no ideas to move forward. I think everyone goes through a creative block, whether it’s several times a year or even just once. I am not afraid to admit that Local Wolves is a work in progress. We are not perfect but we continue to learn from our mistakes, listen to the feedback and find ways to grow and be the best that we can be as a publication.
You have a very engaged social following. Any tips for up-and-coming publishers?
Create goals for your social game and don’t expect success overnight. It’s plain and simple; if you stay consistent with your following then you’ve got their attention. It’s a lot of trial and error to see what your readers want to see. For up-and-coming publishers, it may feel like there is no progression, but patience, motivation and self-care will take you farther than you’ll ever know. Yes, it’s great that you are creating and doing what you love, but make sure to take care of yourself and know what your limits are when it comes to work. Find a balance for your health/fitness, family, and friends and continue to do what makes you happy.
What can we expect from Local Wolves in 2018?
We’ve diving into video this year so who knows what 2018 has in store. I’m optimistic that whichever path we go as a publication, it’s a collaborative effort as a team. We recently did a collaborative event with Mad Sounds Magazine, sponsored by Issuu called ‘The Age of Influence Party’ so definitely keep an eye out for more on-site festivities and more ways to get involved with Local Wolves very soon.