DEDICATE / Create Your Gang and Then Create a Magazine
How does one decide to become a doctor or a janitor? Or to run an independent magazine? Is there not enough of media buzz around? Is it a wish to do something others have never done before? Or you don’t even care about others when a true passion hits you and no room for extra distractions is left? You then decide and dedicate yourself to that one special baby of yours. Just like Olivier Bouché did 17 years ago starting DEDICATE – an independent printed magazine, born in Paris.
13 February, 2019
by RINGAILE PAPARTYTE
DEDICATE is like a brave young-blooded teenager. Had you ever thought you'll be dedicated to one project in your life for such a long time when you were sixteen yourself?
Well, I am not dedicated to one project exclusively, but DEDICATE is my main thing. The one where I can put my passion, my creativity, where I can work with and meet people I like and respect through our contributors and our guests. When I was 16, I was more concerned about dating than projecting myself in a career, especially a long one.
17 years is a long time for a professional commitment, especially these days, when people need to change jobs every 3 to 5 years. But this project fulfills me coming as a whole package of writing and images, marketing, development of new projects and media, distribution, communication, management of the team. I am changing my job every day, in fact, and several times per day.
When and how the idea about DEDICATE popped out in your head for the first time?
I have always been surrounded by images and magazines. My dad was a production director for magazines, like Photo, Lui and Playboy in the 70’s. Later music, skate and surf magazines together with fashion ones – Vogue and Vogue Hommes – were always around.
And so was photography. At the age of 10 I started printing my black and white photos. As a shy teenager I was the one taking photos and playing music at the parties. Fashion industry and fashion photography came to my life after moving back to Paris, in my early 20s.
Then 2000’s happened. New technologies, new computers, experimenting in photography and graphic design. I remember using Xpress and Indesign programs. It was cheap to produce a magazine back then. We saw the same happening in music, people setting up their own home studios. Only film was still expensive to deal with.
For me, possibilities were here, I had friends in different fields needed for a magazine team, also met some investors. It was the right time to realise a dream and push the experiments with images further.
Comparing that experiment – a newborn magazine of yours – to the teenager it has become, what are the major features and differences that shape DEDICATE now and made it special back in the 00s? How do you know DEDICATE is still wanted in a world full of different media and a variety of news it presents?
When we started, precise targeting was the thing. If you were a tall blond looking for a grey jacket, you could find a magazine about it. I was tired to buy 5 to 8 magazines to find what I wanted to read: one about electronic music, another one about rock, same with hip hop, plus one about traveling, fashion, art, graphic design, photography, etc.
I wanted to have a magazine where global taste would be presented. We were all sharing this idea. People were telling us, “Don’t do a general magazine, you have to be specific”, but we wanted to talk to people like us, the ones wishing to get essentials in one issue. This was our specialty. It was also my goal, to choose our contributors by their passion, taking the risk they might not be the best writers, but the content will be interesting and precise.
Today there are plenty of professional creatives reflecting the vibes of their generation extremely well in the media. And they are often very young. Also, internet made online media more affordable – you don’t have to buy paper anymore. But in fact, there are still huge international players with all the classical media, including print, behind the online content. So, there is still huge competition and struggle to get and stay noticed.
I hope DEDICATE is still wanted. I see that when talking to the youngsters, they just check the Instagram to know who we are and what we do, they don’t even go to the site anymore. And they don’t buy print obviously. But we still sell copies, and people seems to appreciate our work. However, we have changed the form of our magazine, the periodicity, the price, the quantity. We have become more of a “collectible” than a magazine.
How many more dedicated souls do you need to run a magazine? Few are enough or do you search for a whole army of creative minds? Or maybe other features are more important than creativity while constructing the new magazine issue? What helps DEDICATE to shout out the best stories?
We are 7 in the heart of the project, then of course there are contributors. But what is important, it is to create your gang, your family. DEDICATE also produces events, so partying in Paris, London, NY or Copenhagen is our little tradition as a gang.
How much time you dedicate to DEDICATE?
My brain is dedicated to my project, always thinking, always working somewhere. But I find time for sea, exhibitions, concerts, movies or traveling. These are also part of my work, so, it is a cool job for sure.
What would you call the biggest dedication to yourself you never find time for but dream about this special treat once in a while?
I wish I have more time to travel. I am learning new languages, I try to read authors in their native languages. It’s not always easy, but it’s so inspiring. I give myself another 8 months for learning Portuguese then I will start Chinese. I would also like to explore more creative fields like writing a movie, playing music or acting. I am starting all that now.
Any universal dedications to oneself anybody could use? Could you give us your top 5 short-list?
Be curious, all the time about anything.
Take time for yourself to get back to your inner self and time for self-reflection.
Watch movies in their native language.
Listen to different style of music from various countries. radiooooo.com is a cool project for that.
Read printed books.