What did you do before you started VanguardRed?
Right before VanguardRed I ran a small creative studio called Renegade House in which we made a whole bunch of design, photography and video projects as well as a digital pop culture magazine. But for the last 12 years I’ve been a photographer and graphic designer primarily in the design industry.
1. The first thing is to define what success means to you. For some its money, for others it’s fame or legacy. So outline your goals clearly and concisely and then figure out your path to get there. This generally means building some kind of framework to work within. It’s the equivalent to going grocery shopping without a shopping list; you end up doubling back to what you needed and somehow have a lot of junk food at checkout. So have a plan. Even a loose one will do to begin with.
2. Do your research well. What you will find out when you research extensively is that your awesome idea is already being developed by someone else. It’s not exactly like someone else’s, but its close. Find out what other people in your field are doing. Find their fuck-ups, learn from them, make your stuff better.
3. Get help. there are many people out there who are willing to help you out so ask for it. You will not get anywhere without pulling a few favors. I make it a point to help everyone who asks for my help and I’ve always got those favors back.
4. Love failure. get used to it. if you are creative professional failure is your best friend. But it’s not a bad thing. its just there to keep you on track like brakes down a curved slope.
5. Have paperwork. Don’t start any job or venture without adequate paper work outlining agreements between clients or partners. Paper work is like getting a flu shot, mildly painful but safer in the long run.
The thing about corporate 9-5 jobs are that you will always have to report to someone who is responsible for your salary. You play by their rules. Your work is generally uninteresting and the guy you take your orders or ‘suggestions’ from doesn’t really know what they are talking about. But you HAVE to do it or your bills don’t get paid. I always knew that there was life outside the corporate grind because there were people out there doing it. I just had to be brave enough to take that step. It’s scary when you are out on your own.
I don’t think there was a specific event as such but I realized early on that if I worked for myself I could control the amount I worked, choose my clients appropriately, potentially earn more than a base salary and have fun doing it. It’s not all awesome however. I’ve noticed that when you are working for yourself you are constantly hustling. And when you stop, you don’t get paid. But I enjoy doing what I do so it doesn’t feel like I’m ever overworked.
I used to. Mostly because I was young, excited and had big ideas. Sometimes I wouldn’t be taken seriously because I’m indian. Not because the people were racist, its just that they considered me an outsider. It takes time for people to understand that outsiders generally have an objective view on things and can change the market completely since they see the flaws from the outside.
Not any more though. I have a very large body of work that spans a lot of creative fields. I can also articulate my ideas more clearly now that I understand the NZ creative culture. I choose to believe I personally don’t matter, the work should speak for itself.
You are not afraid to voice an opinion in the public media.
What effect has that had on the way that you work and do you think you’re making a difference?
Yeah, its inevitable to make enemies when you stand for what you believe in. It’s the nature of the game. You can’t change anything if all your are doing is pleasing people. You become a YES man. Everyones got a choice to either be a sheep or a shepherd. I chose to be the landowner. I didn’t like the magazine publishing culture here in NZ and I just started my own one. I hate complaining and dislike people who complain. I’d rather come up with a solution than harp on about the problem.
I’ve got to say that VanguardRed is the most excited I’ve been about any project. It’s going to be full of inspiring multimedia content and awesome interactivity. Also, it’s giving the younger generation of creatives a chance to get their work seen in the market. I also have a great team of professionals I’m working with so it all feels great.
Yes, its our very own store with high quality products specifically curated for the youth and fashion conscious market. You can buy products directly out of the editorial page or adverts that feature our stocked products. Thats not too far away but stay tuned on our blog at vanguardredmagazine.co.nz where we are actually sharing information on how to start your own digital magazine.