Art without context is just decoration. Readers want to know where the art is coming from, the thinking behind it, the process, and of course the story of the artists themselves. While the plan has always been for Zoion to be image-driven, the supporting writing is no less important. Here are several ideas on what types of articles we’d like to include.
• Artist profiles and interviews — The difference between a profile and an interview is subtle, but important. Some folks either don’t interview well, or prefer just not to be quoted directly. A profile contains information about the artist, written about them as a third party. An interview is a one-on-one dialogue. What’s interesting about this is how interviews are often better conducted as a conversation. That gets into something I’d like to write about more in the future: how a “magazine” in today’s media landscape is more than just a printed booklet. It involves a variety of multimedia which could include podcast interviews, as well. Regardless of how it’s done, it’s obviously an integral part to the magazine itself.
• Discussion on the artistic process — Details of artistic processes are often covered in interviews. But in the case where the artistic process is particularly novel, interesting or altogether different, it’s common to have a separate article that goes into more detail.
• Art tips — This is more of a general category, but insomuch as the magazine is targeted at other creatives, any extra guidance we can provide is valuable. I know that personally I’ve spent a lot of time over the past several years tutoring folks on different aspects of art practice. It was my intention at one time to collect a lot of what I’ve talked about into a book. That may still happen, but a magazine such as Zoion would be a good platform for that as well.
• Reviews — When Zootopia came out in 2016, one of my first thoughts was how neat it would be to have a review of the movie specifically from the perspective of the furry fandom. Plenty of mainstream newspapers and websites covered it, and a lot of furry friends talked about it too. But there was no dedicated furry publication writing from the perspective of furries in particular. (At least none that I was aware of at the time.) While Zootopia is a particularly mainstream example, there is no shortage of media being produced within the furry fandom that would also warrant professional review.
• Critical analysis — This is perhaps the most nebulous in scope, but also has the potential to be the most compelling. My previous discussion on the artistic nude in anthropomorphic art is an example of critical analysis. It’s a look at anthro art from a more philosophical perspective, comparing it to culture and the arts, or popular movements in society. Another good example of critical analysis is the work done by Culturally F’d, in particular this video which compares furry to punk. It’s very much worth watching.
I feel like this covers a majority of what the focus of Zoion should be. There is room for additional ideas, but we also want to make sure we’re not getting too far away from the scope of the project just for the sake of having additional content. For example, something else to consider is serialized fiction. It may even warrant its own magazine like Analog or Asimov’s is for science fiction—certainly enough is being published each year in the furry fandom—but is perhaps not right to include in a magazine focused on the visual arts. Additional items which might be useful in an anthro themed magazine include a calendar of events for conventions and con registration deadlines, news of general interest, or announcements of other large projects such as the launch of a new convention, or anthro-themed gallery shows.
Exactly what all might be included will change as the magazine develops, but these are all ideas we’ve at least considered. If there’s something that hasn’t been mentioned here but that you’d like to see, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.