Monday, December 24, 2012

Side by Side Celebrations

From the recent lights of Chanukah in the Sydney BIG office to the Christmas Eve carols of Perth HQ, we have been celebrating side by side and are thrilled to continue the good cheer with the announcement of a grant from the WA Department of Culture and the Arts. Hurrah! 

To celebrate two years of midnight magazine making we are giving away a limited print of our first ever flagship. Just email, comment below or post to Facebook what you most love about BIG Kids Magazine by New Year's Eve and you will be in the draw to win :)

BIG flagship by Lilly Blue
We wish you the most wonderful side by side celebrations with your loved ones this Holiday Season. 
xx Jo and Lilly and the BIG kids team xx

'Almost Cold Enough' (Dec 2009) by our Game On! cover artist, Stormie Mills.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Be in the mailout for a BIG side by side Christmas

As a child my stocking always contained reading material among the goodies to help me make it to a reasonable waking hour ;) Early start or not, we can promise side by side snuggles over stories and art inspired board games perfect for holiday play. Subscribe here by 8am (EST) on Tuesday 18th to meet the Christmas mailout (Australia)!
Our feature writer, Zali, age 12 relaxes with the BIG mag
Senior ed, Luca, age 9, perusing the BIG pages in final production week of Game On!
BIG Artist print - Free in Treasure Maps (Lilly Blue and Jo Pollitt)
BIG Artist print  - FREE in Game On! by the extraordinary Meredith Gaston 
If you subscribe to issue 2 and 3 you will receive BOTH Treasure Maps AND Game On!  for christmas. If you subscribe to issue 3 and 4 you will receive Game On! for Christmas and  Into The Dark in May next year. You can also purchase single issues. Each BIG mag mailed comes with a free 'side by side' postcard to complete and send to a loved one :) All subscribers until Feb 1st 2013 will be in the running to win a Mini and Maximus  goodie bag AND see a copy donated through our one for one scheme. Of course if you miss the Christmas mail date you can always run out to one of our fabulous stockists...including most of the major art gallery's in Australia and brilliant bookshops and storefronts.

"I feel that in every page there are a millions directions one can go... there is actually inspiration on every single page ... no.. on every inch of the page! Tiny little pictures to discover as well as the big idea...
I have my teacher, business & atelier hat on for most of my time but what I love and appreciate about Big Kids Magazine is how my Mum hat comes on, I want to play with my kids and never take that hat off!" Carly Schwerdt of Nest Studio

 Thank you so much for your support. xx Jo and Lilly, and the BIG Kids team xx

True Treasure by Elenor Stephenson, age 11

True Treasure 
Treasure seeker by Lilly Blue

Azure seas stretch out before me,
Forested hills rise and fall,
Wild winds howl in a ghostly rhythm
I feel the call.

The spirit of greed sings, “Come,”
The lure of treasure beckons,
I will search forever,
For all my living seconds.

I journey endlessly,
Not learning,
Never thinking,
Just yearning,

For something non-existent,
For something that’s not there.
Riches. The rest?
I do not care.

The seas?
They are of people.
The hills?
They are no more.
The wind is just the sounds of cars.
The ‘call’ had a flaw.

I see now.
Treasure. Nature. Find it.

by Elenor Stephenson, age, 11

I am eleven years old and will go to high school next year. I have three siblings: Anna, Ingrid and Gabriel. I am very interested in volcanoes, the environment and socialism. I like school and my favourite subject is Human Society and Its Environment and Science, because learning about your surroundings helps you to make the world a better place. My favourite colour is blue like the sea after a storm or green like the leaves of a snow gum. My favourite place on earth is Mt Ngauruhoe in New Zealand which is a volcano I visited when I was ten.

BRAVERY is facing your fears and standing up for what you know is right even if it is hard, 
never being discouraged just because you do not feel like you fit in.

IMAGINATION is the essence of creativity and the fuel of wonder. It is being able to create pictures and stories in your mind and to make other feel them too.

GENEROSITY is giving things up, even when it is a big sacrifice, or when no one is there to see.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Making of a magazine - two years in.

The nights are late and the work is as driven as it was when we began whispering this BIG thing to life more than  two years ago. Sometimes we are exhausted. Forever managing ways to mark out the time differently, to acknowledge the work done by the other and together, to do what we can, to remember our voice in the overwhelm. The administration is relentless and roles are necessarily divided. The creative work is ongoing between us and behaves much like a child demanding attention to the exclusion of all else. And sometimes like a child, it has to wait which, more often than not, ends with EVERYONE grumpi ;) As the BIG creative directors, we are also our own PA's  -  responsible for sleuth work on returned to sender subscriptions, for invoicing and advertising, for business, for responding to submissions, for curating the artwork, for the features, for collaborative design, for blogging, face booking, emailing, meetings and meltdowns. It is a BIG journey, daily, and mapped mostly by the energetic rise and fall of the four little people in our lives. 

Right now we are immersed in the beauty of a new work unfolding. The creative development of Issue 4 Into The Dark is well under way even though it will not be published for 5 months. It is the most exciting time, ideas drawn up and exchanged at all hours, words scribbled on scrap paper and paintings flown through a cracked iPhone screen for immediate response. It is a fuelled and firing process with the luxury of a slow burn over the holiday period before the speed and adrenalin of final design in the new year. We are beside ourselves with the quality and QUANTITY of artwork and words received from around the world. Current collaborations and exchanges are on the go between here and Russia, Helsinki, the Netherlands, New York...sometimes we pause and catch our breath and laugh a little for the enormity of this BIG project. Last night I was asked if we could speak to some artists about how we got BIG off the ground. Well, we can hardly remember the specifics (except that every step has been recorded here on the blog) and agree it was unthinkable that we made the bulk of the first magazine without a SINGLE spoken conversation! We could write a book on the making of a magazine (and yes, it is on the list!) 

As we watch the pages growing almost by themselves, we speak increasingly about a BIG pedagogy that is a realisation of where we have been working from for so long; that of valuing the work of children and artists side by side. That of giving a voice to the concept of not knowing. Of challenging the authority of art practice and paradigm. Of firing creative response without prescribed expectation or goal. Of contributing to the conversation about the value and accessibility of arts education. Of giving permission for new ways of open-ended art making and risk-taking. Of nurturing bravery, imagination and making visible the power and impact of generosity and collaboration.  Of a process of co-authorship that is significant and immersed yet driven with individual still voices maintained and spacious. And of this balance of particular practice of co-authorship and creative process in relation to collaborating with children. 

For us both we feel the BIG work is a growing culmination of 20 years each as practicing artists and educators. In arriving at a clear vision for BIG there is again space for the creative work between us to thrive and spark threads unexpected. Lilly works on a series of dark monsters and I respond with words scrawled over late night print-outs. We dream up the beginnings of limited edition artist books with our work published as a response to each of the magazines. We follow instinct and watch the BIG world build as a paper city between us. A continuous and evolving exhibition. Marks made and erased and made differently in response to the other. Live and in process. 

We are so grateful for the feedback and support given to us from so many circles and this enables us to continue. Thank you x You can subscribe here or help us by sharing the BIG work among friends. 

He was responsible for the final tree in the forrest with a water source that fell pouring from his heart. 

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