Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Introducing ET/AL, an interview with Annie Nguyen



In the interest of our readers we have started an interview series of alumni and their pursuits post academia. For our first interview we are proud to present ET/AL Magazine. ET/AL Magazine is comprised of Annie Nguyen , Gary Saito, and Matthew Honda. [Annie and Gary are alumni and Matthew is a current undergraduate student]. I had the pleasure to interview ET/AL's creative director Annie Nguyen.

How was ET/AL formed, and who is involved?

The name "ET AL" came about late last year. I (Annie Nguyen - Creative Director) had wanted to start an art community of some sort. Ideally, I wanted to have a group of people who threw art shows and various events and at the same time, could share their creative projects with one another. School and life got too busy - I had to graduate so the project never came to fruit. It wasn't until May of this year, while having a conversation with my friends Gary Saito (Photo Editor) and Matthew Honda (Editor/Public Relations) that we turned it into what it is today. All three of us come from a design background and we're all obsessed with finding new creative people and projects. Everything that you see from our publication is personally hand picked by us and we're genuinely really big fans of.

What is your mission statement/objective with the publication?

Looking at Hawaii, we felt that there was no medium with an emphasis on design and a focus on art. With ET/AL, we hope to be able to collect all of our findings and present it in one neat, hopefully nicely designed as well, publication. Right now, we're using the internet as our means of communication just because printing is too expensive. One day, we hope to be a printed medium as well.

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Our mission statement reads:

ET/AL, the latin term for “and others”, is a magazine that will be at the forefront of Hawaii’s ever growing presence among the global community through our online website, printed publication, and artist forums. Furthermore, with our unique geographical location we can provide service that serves as a media link between the mainland U.S. and Asia. ET/AL magazine is a premiere media platform to promote and establish all aspiring artists around the globe.

We celebrate creative thought and encourage the pursuit of passion.

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How has receiving an art education been beneficial to this process?

While I can't speak for Gary and Matt, I think having been through an art program really helped me. My relationship with design is kind of strange. When I was 15, I was fixated on electronic music and I remember visiting this DJ's website done by a design firm called We Work For Them. I was so amazed! At the time, I had already been doing some of my own web design and thought that I could turn that into a profession. Upon viewing what WWFT did, I discovered the realm of design. The following years after involved a lot of self teaching and exploration. But somewhere, I kind of knew that this was what I was going to do. Having that as a background, going through an art program and actually getting the education really helped me finesse my work. While I strongly believe that one who is self-taught can very well be successful, I think the education really laid a grid work for me to find my niche and build upon. While going through UH Manoa's design program, I was constantly being challenged and tested on both my love for design and my own ability. Overall, I've seen myself progress and grow so much and I'm glad I did it. It's always good to learn the rules and then break them.

Has forming ET/AL opened the door to more art based opportunities?

Forming ET/AL has been so very exciting for us. It has put us in touch with a lot of new, creative people and we couldn't be more thrilled! On an internal level, I think we started as our own personal, creative outlet. It's different from doing a school project or working with a client because we are our own client. We are allowed total creative freedom and it's really refreshing. So in that sense, it's given us many opportunities for personal artistic growth.

As for externally, we've really pushed ourselves to seek out creative individuals, not only abroad (like we usually do), but locally as well. We started booking interviews, and arranging meetings with a lot of artists both established and up and coming. On a more "national level", if you can say that, one of our biggest ventures this past summer was flying up and coming LA producer, Nosaj Thing, to Hawaii. This was done in conjunction with Travis Tokuyama of Peanut Butter and Ghosts who I met while working at KTUH. That's another thing - we love working with our friends on projects. There's so much that can be learned from others. We're fortunate enough to have friends in California, New York and England who are involved in the arts. Because we can't be writing all our articles, we've asked them for contributions. It gives us a wider scope on what's going on in the art world. There's just so much going on. We can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

For those interested how could they get involved?

On the note of contributions, those interested have many ways to get involved! We're always looking for new things and would be willing to cover creative (art, music, design, architecture, cooking, fashion, etc) events. We're not limited to just art (in the traditional sense) as we've done interviews with our favorite Thai restaurant Spices and our lovely BMX friends of Bike Factory. We're into the passionate and creative groups. I would say, if you're doing something fly, let us know! We can be reached at us@andothers.net and now with our official but still under development website, http://andothers.net. For the interweb savvy, we are also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/andothers and Facebook.

1 comment:

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