{ Wildland Magazine }

July 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hey look, a magazine! A beautiful magazine! It’s called Wildland.

It speaks to me! Perfect title, flawless design. The cover explains its essence, and I was hooked as soon as Stack shared its newest cover this morning.

Here’s what I found from further research (because beauty like this deserves a full going-over):

  • It’s independently published by one guy out of the UK. His friends help. They split the proceeds, if there are any.
  • It features lots of landscape and documentary photos (breathtaking photos!) from EVERYWHERE, anywhere wild! Slovenia, Scotland, Oregon!
  • It’s stupendously gorgeous.
  • It’s printed on A5 paper, or 5.83″× 8.27″. That’s mostly due to printing costs, but they flipped the narrative to say, “it’s a tough little book to accompany you on your travels.” Easy sell.
  • Each issue has a theme, such as “Natural Connection,” “Escape,” and “Lifestyle.”
  • The first two digital issues are free, the newest one costs $2.55. I feel like I want to hold the book, pore over the images, and pass it around to friends. But that would cost me $12, plus shipping. For now I’ll share the link.
The sparse design of Wildland magazine leaves plenty of room for interior thought and reflection.

The sparse design of Wildland leaves room for interior reflection and stirring-of-spirits.

What’s phenomenal about this little journal is how cohesive each issue feels. Not only do the photographers achieve consistently lofty, spirited outdoors shots, but the design never wavers from story to story. So despite a diversity of locations, each setting fits into the greater theme, almost without trying. And when they do try, with written words, I find it hard to focus because the images themselves are captivating enough. Apt, then, that the first issue should feature this quote:

“I don’t think I’ve ever yet, in any of my books, described a landscape. There’s really nothing of the kind in any of them. I only ever write concepts. And so I’m always referring to “mountains” or “a city” or “streets.” But as to how they look: I’ve never produced a description of a landscape. That’s never even interested me.”

– Thomas Bernhard from “Monologe auf Mallorca” Interview, 1981

So hey. Go check out this magazine. You’ll find deers and mountains and streets, and as you observe, you can write your own description. You also might want to bolt out the door and into the wild. Let me know what ends up happening.


{ Leaders: Truthful, Credible, and Real }

July 9, 2014 § 1 Comment

Rejoice! My spring of discontent is behind me, the Missouri Scholars Academy has disbanded, and the MR340 is postponed. All great experiences, but their collective dissolution leaves me, finally, with time to refocus on goals:

  • Tell important stories
  • Create something out of nothing/build a media empire
  • Build skills to make the service organizations I work for even better

The first one will satisfy me in the short term, both financially and emotionally. The middle will do the same for coming years. And as I researched social innovation strategies to enhance the last point, I found encouraging words completely relevant to my long-term pursuits:

“Over and over, the people I interviewed acknowledged the difficult social, political, and cultural terrain in which they operated, and expressed how valuable it was to communicate [dilemmas] clearly, directly, and publicly. Highly ethical, they were most concerned with being truthful, credible, and real—not convincing, persuasive, or right.”

“Leading Against the Odds,” by Aspen Baker for the Stanford Social Innovation Review

The takeaway of the article, for me, was that leaders can stay creative by making changes, exploiting gray areas, living lives of “deeply held ethics and values,” and addressing conflict head-on. This is good advice for business and nonprofit leaders, but also for journalists willing to create meaningful stories. Yes!

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