Guest Lecturer – Ian Lowey

Our first guest lecturers of the year was Ian Lowey. Based in Manchester, Lowey cannot define what he does in his profession, he prefers to be seen as versatile ‘Keeps it interesting’ although it came across quite early on that Lowey valued the graphic/pop arts quite a bit. He mostly talked about the magazine he and Suzy Prince (ex-wife) had created together and the ways it worked and didn’t work.

The magazine was called ‘Nude’ and the graphics inside were made to be offensive. It was seen as something of a success as the later issues were distributed globally, in prestigious institutions and companies such as the Tate Modern, Borders and Barnes and Noble. However they never really made a profit from them. ‘we wanted to contribute to the art culture rather than make money’. (although his lecture sounded more like an unsuccessful story of how not to produce a magazine).

The first issue of ‘Nude’ was free and only contained a small number of pages it was also entirely funded by Lowey and Prince, which is understandable as they probably saw it as a small investment for future issues. One major problem with this issue is that they expected people asking for advertisement space (this would give them a profit for the next issue) but no one came forward. so the second issue once again, had to be funded by Lowey and Prince. Luckily, by the third issue, advertisement opportunities began to show up.

By the forth issue, the magazine was much thicker, with a lot more content. They also made the decision to charge a small fee for each issue (£1.50) which gave them profit to supposedly live off.

The Magazine was active from 2003 until 2011 which saw it end due to two reasons;

  • the book chain ‘Borders’ closed (being a large part of distribution for Nude, this had a massive effect on its sales)
  • Lowey and Prince wanted to settle down and start a family. (Nude was time consuming, a full time thing which couldn’t be continued if they wanted to start a family)

This lecture has opened my eyes to the ways in which magazines are created, as it is something that I have never thought about doing myself. its made me think that if I did want to create one there is a lot more into it, such as where it is distributed depending on audience. it is also interesting to hear about how the magazine goes from an unknown text to something that had avid readers/followers and successful audience around the world. These are thoughts that I would like to apply to my work which would hopefully rise its chances of being successful in the times to come.




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