We catch up with the GRAPHITE team after sending the second issue to print.

We’re waiting for the second issue of GRAPHITE to print, and are now working onissue 03! The team offers their thoughts on the project’s progress, and their hopes for the magazine going forward…

Q: How did working on issue 02 compare to working on issue 01?

Simon: The creation of issue 02 seemed like a relatively calm process. Once the first issue was completed and printed it really helped us to cement and solidify the concept we had for GRAPHITE. Instead of reveling in satisfaction, though, we got straight into the next issue and began thinking about how we could continue to build on what we think is a really strong start. Marisa (Editor) and Matt (Designer) were able to pick up from where we left off very quickly and work really well together (interesting side note – they’re actually cousins) which makes managing the overall project very easy and rewarding.

Marisa: Everything about issue 02 seemed much quicker now that we’ve already laid the foundations. Issue 01 went through a lot of revisions, tweaks, and trial and error before getting committed to print, so 02 reaped the benefits of all that. We already knew how we wanted it to be styled and structured, and what the recurring features would be. It was great to be able to tell artists about our first issue doing so well – just confirming that GRAPHITE’s a real thing now, not just a hypothetical!

Matt: With issue 01 I spent a lot of time creating templates, logos, and cover designs, whereas in issue 02 I had more time to focus on the individual articles. Again it was a real joy to be able to lay out artwork from so many top artists!

Adam: I’d say it was like returning to an old friend, but 01 wasn’t all that long ago! With 01 in the bag, and all the editorial rules now set in place for how we want GRAPHITE to look and read, the process was more efficient. The content was just as great, if not better than 01, so there were no problems there; as proofreader, it was a joy to work on.

Q: How is issue 02 different? What did you like about it?

Simon: What I really like about issue 02 is how it continues to employ some of the strong tutorial concepts and structure from issue 01; however, the techniques and subject matter couldn’t be more varied if we tried. What that means is that GRAPHITE 02 retains a strong identity at its core, but is also totally different from the first issue.

My particular highlight from issue 02 is the tutorial on the Norse god Odin. As someone who loves to draw and create, I really enjoy seeing a style and pipeline which is very different to my own. Yrgane Ramon (below) didn’t only create an amazing character concept, but really demonstrated the effort she puts into generating something unique and remarkable. I found it very inspiring.

Marisa: Like Simon said, I like that we took the framework established in issue 01 and made an issue that feels completely fresh and different, but still covers everything you’d want to see if you enjoyed the previous installment. The tutorials, interviewees, and range of techniques on display are completely different, but still a perfect fit for what we want GRAPHITE to be.

One of my aims for the magazine is for every issue to feel individual like that. I’d love for each issue to be varied and surprising, while making sure that the styles, techniques, and genres that readers will find useful are represented. So far, every article has something exciting in it, and every artist has been a delight to work with. It’s been great to make contact with so many talented people that I admire.

Matt: In many ways issue 02 is much the same as issue 01, full of really exciting and high quality artwork, with a lot of different styles on show. I particularly like how the layouts for Thomas Cian, Rob Turpin, and Yrgane Ramon worked out.

Adam: The artists in 02 are all outstanding; I particularly enjoy the articles about drawing on location by Tin Salamunic and Susan Yung. The narrative illustration project was also interesting for me, as the artist (Rob Turpin, below) had to interpret a piece of text that I wrote into an illustration. As with GRAPHITE 01, it was fascinating to see what he would come up with, and I thought the end result was really cool and detailed.