by Larissa Petryca, on 18 February 2021 15:13:18 CET
We are happy to introduce you to AGORA, a hybrid magazine for creative students and graduates to express themselves. We have built four platforms for creating and sharing content: a themed quarterly magazine, dedicated to reflective, thoughtful writing and work, an Instagram account for visual and motion productions, a podcast series with casual, light-hearted audio experiences, and finally a website, with timely, easy-to-read articles on art, design and the creative industries.
Our five person editorial team is from Graphic Design, Creative Media Production and Computing programmes. We closely work with a network of 15 content creators and wish to build relationships with more creatives in Prague and worldwide!
So where can you find us?
(Dis)connect, issue #1 of AGORA Magazine
In our first issue, we talk about the difficulties that we face when connecting with others and ourselves. We also touch on the effects of the lockdowns, particularly mental health and boredom.
Take a look at agora.praguecollege.cz and check back regularly as we prepare the full version of our web where you will be able to read articles from students, recent graduates and teachers!
The Design Experience podcast
Spicy design talks. Join Isabel, Marawan, Melvin and Silvi in their honest, unfiltered discussions revolving around design, creativity and work.
Hosted by Lizi and Mish, “Viewpoint” is a podcast that invites creatives, students, professionals, and teachers to discuss their outlooks on life, ideologies, and social-political matters which influence their creative outcomes and areas of success.
See creative productions made by fellow students at our handle @agora.mgzn. Why not also share your works?
Interested in participating?
Say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before that, hear about the experiences of some of our team members.
I always liked to flip through magazines, look at the layouts and amazing designs… thinking, would I be able to do this too? And here I am! One evening I received an invitation to create the cover for the first volume of AGORA. I was so excited since I could finally put my skills and passion into action and test them out in the field. Having the responsibility of combining school work and a job can be stressful but working for AGORA was some sort of an escape for me. Even if I still had to put my responsible self in charge, I could also have fun being my little creative self.
But it was not only about entertainment since I had the opportunity to sharpen my communication, teamwork and art experiences to push my limits. Just like my cover illustration, I went through a lot of changes and adjustments to work the right way and together with my beloved Paleekaree, we made it. It was a long process which I put him through, nevertheless I have to admit, it was wonderful to observe how my little illustration became the embodiment of me and the whole magazine aesthetic in just a few weeks.
Teaching 25 hours a week on top of the MA Fine Art can be taxing at the best of times. Throw in a global pandemic, the freezing winter months, an Open Studio exhibition, a lesbian documentary and Brexit’s demand for temporary residency, can make even the most diligent of worker bees somewhat depleted. Volunteering as tribute for AGORA, a college initiative, reminded me of my younger overly-cheery, naive self. Initially only as proofreader, I found myself creating content, interviewing students and professors, and giving my unsolicited opinion to the editor. I’m most excited about a future collaboration to create visual art focused on pronouns for the second issue.
Having multiple purposes throughout these unprecedented times has been vital for my personal motivation. I’m Spartan in my discipline, and have no problems with deadlines, but having a virtual team to creatively tumble with makes the dreary days feel a little more optimistic, albeit frantic. I had no expectations for AGORA and have been happy to sit on the sidelines like a benevolent fairy gay godmother and am grateful to be a part of something so design orientated, passion driven and idealistic. It almost makes me feel young again.
I was thrilled to hear about AGORA since it seemed like a convenient opportunity to explore different areas of interest and improve my skills while at it. Guess what? I was right. As someone who is no stranger to internal monologues, I always have an article planned out in my head but never see it through. Sadly, I'm lazy. Hence, I needed to be a part of a project and a sense of responsibility to feel motivated. For me, AGORA was just that (with the addition of a supportive team.)
AGORA allowed me to freely write about my interests within the constraints of a particular theme and decorate the article with my low-level illustrations. The writing process is pretty simple - topic, pitches, progress check-ins, finalisation, and done (at least for me.) For the first issue, I wrote an article titled "Perks Of Doing Nothing." At first, it seems as if I was trying to make being lazy okay. Though, I just wanted to talk about the incredible benefits of slowing down and refraining from multitasking, which I discovered on a "dull" afternoon and backed it up with research.
Currently, I'm working on an even more exciting project - tiny comedy animations for the AGORA Instagram page. This little matter includes a great deal of things I enjoy (cute animals, character design, animation, recording funny voices.) So, even though I'm busy, I can't complain.
I joined AGORA as I was curious about the type of content my fellow students from Prague College would create and how I could contribute. I also saw it as an opportunity for creative experimentation to diversify my portfolio and school work. For the first issue, I joined the graphics and visual art teams to offer 3D support and share artistic pieces. I also wrote an article entitled “Internal Discourse” to share my own experiences during the lockdown and how it affected my mental health. It was a liberating moment for me to share verbal insight of my inner workings, which is something that is abstracted in my visual work. Following a theme gave direction while still having room for our own personal take on the topic.
It was interesting for me to work alongside graphic designers as they have a different way of working and thinking. I considered the collaboration as an opportunity for me to learn new things and allow the process to influence my own skills. As I became a more active member of the graphic design team, we eventually decided to start a podcast. This is something I’ve never done before and had some apprehensions about, but the process was as easy-going as our conversations. Recording remotely has its challenges, but I’m confident it will evolve into something more comprehensive and entertaining for the Prague College community and even outsiders to listen to. Overall, I’m proud to be a founding member of AGORA and encourage others to join. Come gain some valuable experience and new friends to boot.