A large, veiny golden phallus and a very cheeky title made Headmaster a magazine sure to get our attention. And boys, boys, boys it did; mixing art, illustration, innovative copy and a smart curatorial eye, the mag is more than a smutty pun. It’s now in its seventh issue, so we had a chat with co-founder Matthew Lawrence about the print publication billed as “the biannual print magazine for the sophisticated man-lover”.
“While the work in Headmaster deals with masculinity and queerness, we don’t think of if solely as a magazine for gay men,” says Matthew. Its first issue started very much as a coterie project, featuring work “half [from] friends and half [from] strangers],” says Matthew. “The response from people we didn’t know was amazingly positive, especially considering that no one had any idea what the magazine was even going to look like at that point.
“Now it’s a mix. We get submissions emailed to us pretty regularly from artists and especially writers, but we’re always looking out for artists that might be otherwise off our radar. We always ask our past and current contributors for recommendations, too.”
Co-founder Jason Tranchida is behind the design for Headmaster, working alongside Matthew to ensure fluidity between the editorial copy and imagery. “Our main consideration regarding design is to showcase our contributors’ projects in the clearest and most interesting way, while highlighting how the work has addressed our assignments. For these reasons, we avoid being too heavy-handed with the design,” says Jason.
“We simultaneously try to relay a sense of humour that mostly comes through in how we play with the headmaster/school theme. To sum it up, we take the work in Headmaster very seriously, being cautious to not take ourselves too seriously.”
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