Monday, January 21, 2013

Non-Teacher Guilty Pleasure: FOLK Magazine

As important as it is to work effectively and efficiently while in the classroom with my Stars, it's also necessary that I have my time away from education-related responsibilities.

Rereading chapters from favorite books such as Jane Eyre, soaking in a bubble bath, playing Words With Friends, visiting blogs or surfing Pinterest work well for those times I can spare fifteen minutes.  For longer stretches, I can create down in the crafty nook, sit and crochet, or really immerse myself into the pages of one of my favorite publications, ever grateful for inventions such as the coffee maker, dishwasher, washer and dryer and crockpot.

Months ago as I explored the vendors' newest offerings at the Parkville Antique Mall in Missouri, I came across a magazine called simply "FOLK."  Intrigued by the beautiful photography on the cover, I picked it up and started flipping through the pages.  Amongst the articles, pictures and editorial comments I found something surprising: mistakes.  I was also left wondering what exactly the focus of the magazine ~was~, as each series of pages appeared to be a mini-magazine within the larger one: mismatched typography, fonts, and layouts filled the space between the covers. Still, the interviews, recipes and photos had me hooked.  Intrigued, I bought the issue and took it home.

I sat for over an hour, trying to figure FOLK out.  I loved it, but not as much as I could have.

The next time I visited the mall, a new issue of FOLK was for sale.  Flipping through the pages, I noticed fewer mistakes, and substantial changes.  Gone were the strangely aligned articles.  There was more flow between features.  The beautiful photography really *popped*, and the message from Ben Ashby, Editor, explained what was going on behind the scenes.  I realized that somehow I had stumbled across the birth and growing pains of a creative publication, lovingly produced by a whopping staff of ten people, many of whom were also juggling the responsibilities of college.

FOLK now requires the muscle power of fifty staff members, and each issue has become one of my essential non-teacher guilty pleasures.  The photography is sharp and inviting and the interviews and recipes prevent it from being a "quick-flip" magazine: I go back to swim in every page. I also appreciate that the advertisements don't jar me out of the ~feel~ of the magazine.

I've enjoyed witnessing the evolution of FOLK.  Perusing the latest issue online, sure, the teacher in me would rather "Live Authentically" than "Live Authentic," and the writer in me would drop a few unnecessary commas and encourage Ben to keep his thesaurus handy so as to avoid repeating himself in his personal message to the readers.  Even so, the vision of FOLK is much more clear now and as a result, I'm a faithful reader.

Ben has made the winter issue of FOLK digitally available to all readers, free of charge.

Go, look, read, and enjoy.  Head over to the blog to subscribe (the digital issue is fun, but there's still something to be said for having the actual magazine in your hands as you turn the pages and sip your coffee or iced tea) and enjoy even more FOLK-sie goodness.

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