Among the things we enjoy sharing with our readers and friends are projects we believe in. Some months ago, we found out that one of the photographers we featured in Whattaroll started a cultural magazine, and we went to take a look. It’s funny how talented people have the ability of creating exquisite material no matter the field, and how the mission seems both improvised yet risky. With a joyful and passionate team, Maasåi Magazine brings an intimate and deep approach to design, illustration, photography, and music amongst other creative themes. We feel they just opened a refreshing window into the Spanish culture with their publication.
We got to chat with Alfonso, one of its editors, about this newly launched magazine, and we are proud to say we share so many points of view with them! Go ahead, keep reading and find out for yourself.
We believe Maasåi is a very carefully designed product that rewards quality content compared to other cultural magazines that just follow trends and only look at the surface of stories. How did you come up with the idea?
Our idea from the beginning was to stand out from other people’s work while also not being at odds with a careful and detailed design. We had the feeling that many publications, especially those on the internet, are beautifully designed and focused on the look, yet lacking quality content. We love both parts. We want to take a deeper look, get to know the creative processes, and get art, design, and culture professionals closer. We want to enhance their professionalism. Our motto summarizes that philosophy. During a conference, we once heard the director of a well-known cultural magazine say: “People create very beautiful things.” That’s not enough for us. People do both very beautiful and good things. That’s why we’re interested in the people and the stories behind the beautiful and good things they do or make.
How do you decide if one story is worth being told? Do you follow a creative path once you decide to include it in an issue?
You can say we’re following an editorial line but we basically go with the flow a little bit, and we go for a body of work that both is professional and has the ability of moving us in any way. We’re back to the beautiful and good things concept. We debate a lot because we get lots of proposals. Collaborators suggest artists or topics to talk about, even people you get to discover thanks to interviews we make. There are so many people creating beautiful work! It’s hard to choose because in the end, you have the responsibility of making someone’s work visible and someone else’s not.
Film photography appears in some of your articles. Does it add an extra value to your magazine? In what way?
Our graphic editor, Miguel Jiménez, is passionate about film photography (especially with instant photography) and, if he had the necessary means, he’d shoot all the interviews for the magazine on film.
We use the Polaroid pictures as a way of approaching the analogue work of many of the artists we feature, from illustrators to fashion designers, who keep using pre-digital tools on their jobs. Those Polaroid images allow us to make a difference with the images we shoot for every other interview and, at the same time, we are creating a family photo album full of creative and interesting people.
Can you tell us anything that surprised you — like unexpected pleasures — during the process of creating the magazine?
It has been a really exciting process. Let’s say there were two phases to this: the digital one where we created the website, and then going print. In general, the most amazing part was getting to create a product and a recognizable brand that people find interesting because of its content. Another thing that moves us so much is getting to know a lot of wonderful people – all the things we’ve learnt from them — thanks to this project! It was something unthinkable at the very first moment we started.
How do you see the future of Maasai? Any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
In the short term, we want the magazine to work, and we want the printed edition we have just created to be successful and the first of many new issues to come. We would like to work on some editorial projects on the side that are always based on this “maasåi” philosophy of great content with beautiful design. Beautiful and good things.
Get to know them better in the link below!