What started as an Editorial Photgraphy (ART 329) assignment has expanded into a student-run artistic magazine called .RAW.
Last year, several students in art and design professor Lana Caplan’s class put together photo essays and learned how to publish their work. With the help of Digital and Open Content librarian Dana Ospina, the class was able to publish the first issue of .RAW to Digital Commons.
The title of the magazine, Caplan said, represents the uncompressed file format the photos needed to be in so that they could print large scale.
“The idea for the class was to give them the experience working in [the editorial] capacity, but not just sending work off to someone else and hoping they would publish it, but to be proactive and figure out how they can publish themselves,” Caplan said.
According to Caplan, the students had to create the photo and editorial content, handle model releases and photo permissions and brand their magazine. Each step of the process was a lesson for the students, giving them real-world experiences.
“My hope for the journal was that the students would really take it on and embrace it and that it wouldn’t be just a class assignment, but that it would be something that they were invested in,” Caplan said.
Printing in a digital age
This year, .RAW editor-in-chief and art and design senior Noelle Merrihew took the magazine a step further and brought the second issue of .RAW to print through a collaboration with Club 34, Cal Poly’s art and design club.
“I took [.RAW] and decided to keep it running because it is really important that we have some sort of format for everyone’s work to be published in,” Merrihew said.
After contacting Club 34 president and art and design junior Shea Irwin at the beginning of Fall 2017, the two students decided to add a print component to the artist magazine.
“I hope that when other students submit their work they really use it as an opportunity to publish their work somewhere and kind of gain publicity for the stuff that they are working on,” Merrihew said.
Caplan said when the photography is in print form, the artist has control over the color calibration and size of the work, as well as control over the context in which the image is seen. In a digital context, Caplan said, the viewer could be scrolling through and not experience the full effect of the photo.
By printing the second issue, Irwin hopes to not only give viewers a different experience but also that the art content will be viewed by a wider audience.
“I don’t think enough people go on the Digital Commons unless they are doing like research projects per se,” Irwin said. “I think even though print is a bit more old-fashioned, it works. It is effective.”
The future of .RAW
Club 34 members hosted a release party for Issue 2 at Libertine Brewery Friday to celebrate students efforts and dedication finally coming together in physical form. The release party was open to all students with the intention of raising awareness and appreciation for student art among all majors.
Merrihew and Irwin said they plan to continue .RAW in the upcoming quarters and submissions are open to all majors and concentrations interested in showcasing their art. Caplan said she hopes the project will continue on in future years.