Thursday, May 14, 2015

interview with Cara Livermore from CHICKPEA


CHICKPEA is the only vegan magazine we have, since a few years it is a hit on our expanding food shelf next to BEEF! magazine, which covers the complete opposite. There's an inspired team behind this beautifully designed independent magazine that covers recipes, articles on ingredients and a healthy lifestyle. We had some questions for editor -in-chief Cara Livermore


Why did you start Chickpea? why do you publish a printed magazine?

We started as a Tumblr blog, and as our readership grew quickly, we knew we wanted more. A book is too complicated and doesn't allow for complete creative control, but blogging is too instant - a magazine not only challenged us but allowed us to include all of our talented readers as contributors. It was a way to give back and also expand the world of vegan cooking at the same time. We decided to go to print because as a traditional artist, I'm obsessed with paper quality and the physical quality of words and images. It also just feels better, personally, to get away from a screen when I'm trying to get downtime.


There are many independent food titles at the moment, which ones are your favourites and what makes a magzine succesful now?

My favorites are the ones that aren't afraid to experiment and stay unpolished, despite the "professional" competition. I like funny/playful aspects as well - I like magazines (and pretty much any media) that don't take themselves too seriously. My favorites currently are Runcible Spoon, Put A Egg On It, and Lucky Peach. As for being successful, I think a magazine today has to have a very strong point of view, both in their mission and in their visual and written tone.

What are your favourite magazines and which ones inspired you?

Everything inspires me, from the most corporate established magazines to the $1 zines we buy at craft & book fairs. My favorite magazines right now are Martha Stewart Living, Donna Hay, and the ones I mentioned up there. And a local food zine to Rochester, called Eat.


What is the best thing about editing a magazine?

I love creating and managing it all. Getting our contributors' work in my inbox is like opening presents on Christmas morning, and it lights my creative mind. What do I do next with what they sent me? From prop shopping to recipe testing and photo editing, I love it all.

What are your future plans for Chickpea?

We want to keep doing what we're doing, but be better at it and better for the people we work with. (And better for our customers too.) We don't necessarily want to be in Barnes and Noble, but we do want to strengthen our content, style, and reach. We're thinking about coming out with a few e-books, too.

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