I've seen young people cry when their work is rejected from magazines. I've heard friends say they want to give up on being an artist because they feel they're 'not good enough’. I've been told myself by teachers and professors that I wasn't a 'real writer' or a 'good-enough' artist. Spread across our lives, sure, these larger moments are few and far between, but they accumulate. Together, these moments of discouragement gain strength and prevent young and emerging creatives to pursue the work that truly matters to them.
Why should anyone think their art isn't worth it? Why would anyone stop making what's beautiful to them? Why would they stop? Maybe it is a better question to ask: Who told them to?
Publishers, galleries, museums, record labels, media outlets, blogs, op-eds, awards, prizes, listicles, etc, etc. These are our centers of subtle, and immense cultural power.
These are our gatekeepers: the ones who say 'who's who' and 'what's what'.
There are well-meaning people and places using this role and doing excellent work in the field, and they deserve applause for their success, and I give it to them and welcome their collaboration.
At-large, gatekeepers work to exclude you, and us, from them: the ones who 'make it’. These institutions seek to maximize their cultural and economic power by enforcing distinctions between who is 'good' and who is ‘bad'. These institutions are not invested in the growth of the artist, the individual, or art-making in the community. And they will not reform.
We, as working artists, who form and give color to our communities, need to reclaim the gatekeeper role, its power, and open its doors for everyone.
That is what Callosum hopes to be: a new kind of magazine. A magazine that is human. A magazine that acknowledges the struggles of each contributor and celebrates each and every moment of expression and creativity. A magazine that invests in the local community and honors the achievements of its most humble and its most ambitious equally. A magazine that accepts everyone.
This is what you've found. A magazine that accepts and publishes everyone.
The problems facing a young and emerging creative are tremendous. Caught in a world of consumer-based division between 'high art' and the rest of us, the emerging artist is not alone. We provide access to arts materials, inclusion in publications, gallery events, performances, open mics, etc. We are an open source, radically inclusive and generous to all artists. In less than a year we have published and performed with over 150 local artists.
We're not slowing down. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading with me.
I hope you continue your blossom.
With love and thanks,
Founder, Artistic Director