#1: THE MESSY HEADS
Self-love, positivity, and authenticity are three messages you will find throughout the Messy Heads. Founded by Emma Mercury as a blog a few years ago, her platform has grown and evolved into a quarterly print magazine. Right now there are only two issues out but they are full of beautiful artwork, insightful articles, and even several activities for you to fill in and reflect on. You won’t find anything about “getting a bikini body” in these pages—her content dives deeper than the superficial pages of many mainstream media outlets. She interviews independent artists, photographers, and ordinary people who are deviating from societal norms to pursue their passion. Besides magazines, Emma sells stickers, journals, clothes, and other goodies on her site for people who want to support her; even if you can’t cough up extra change right now, you can get a lot of great content from her blog, which is updated weekly.
Frankie is a bi-monthly Australian magazine that perfectly encapsulates the word “aesthetic.” Their layouts are always incredibly artistic and neat, which juxtaposes the raw, honest content from the people they profile. The international shipping costs are stupidly expensive, but if you do spring for an issue then almost every page can be ripped out and used as an art print (they’re really that pretty). I recommend the digital subscription, however, so you can enjoy the full package for less. Frankie also offers a bunch of free digital wallpapers, recipes, and craft ideas on their website (plus even more bonus content if you sign up for their email list, which I actually recommend).
#3: LOCAL WOLVES
California is one of the meccas of imagination, so if you’re interested in the underground creative scene there then this is the publication for you. LW is almost entirely comprised of interviews with budding artists, entertainers, musicians, and filmmakers—many of whom are Cali locals. These features are a burst of inspiration (especially to us landlocked midwesterners) that take us deeper into the lives of these young creatives. How did they get here? What drives their passion? What makes them want to wake up every morning? BONUS: You can read every issue of their magazine totally for free on their website!
Bitch is a feminist response to pop culture. Beginning as a printed zine back in 1996, Bitch has grown into a quarterly magazine, weekly podcast, and website with daily article postings all centered on contemporary feminism. This is the magazine for the intelligent young woman who wants to stay informed on important political and social issues, and their effect on other women. Bitch critiques current issues and mainstream culture through diverse lenses and encourages starting a conversation between its readers. Besides the thought-provoking content, there are quirky illustrations and graphics scattered throughout the magazine.
#5: I-D MAGAZINE
You see that wink? It’s a staple of this iconic fashion magazine, which focuses on the street-style of British youth and other media icons. Eclectic and artistic, i-D was founded under the umbrella of Vice Media and aims to spark creativity in its audience. The name of the game for i-D is reinvention—they don’t shackle the future of their brand and are constantly making leaps and bounds out of their comfort zone to keep readers on their toes. Outside of its print magazine and digital blog platform, their YouTube channel is a visual treat for everyone, featuring many short films and behind-the-scenes interviews.