Spotlight: Lewis Sutherland
Article by: Liam Shearer
Art is a concept that, to many young people in Scotland, seems pretentious and abstract. While high school guidance counsellors from across Scotland reinforce arbitrary distinctions between the ‘creative arts’ and ‘lucrative professions’, many young people are forced into the mindset that art is something to be created by others and consumed by themselves. Without an outlet, creative potential is left unrealised, and Scottish culture and society suffer because of it.
This issue is exactly what Aberdeen-based photographer and graphic designer, Lewis Sutherland and co. are trying to tackle with their project, InPerspective Magazine. Appealing to aspiring artists, writers, graphic designers, and other creatives across Scotland, InPerspective accepts contributions from everyone and anyone, giving a platform for artists from all backgrounds to receive exposure and experience.
I had a chance to put a few questions to Lewis about the upcoming first edition titled Influence: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
What is InPerspective’s mission statement?
Create, Promote, Build – simple as that.
Being from the secluded Far North, do you see as much need for a platform like InPerspective in more rural areas as you do in Aberdeen?
Of course! What we are building is for everyone, and I would say that is especially true for people in rural areas like Thurso. In Thurso, it was a massive challenge as an aspiring creative to make anything of what I was doing. This was largely because of the reinforcement of other career paths and no real advice on how to pursue a creative career. I feel that a platform like InPerspective would do any community some good. We are based in Aberdeen, but we want to have roots everywhere. Creativity needs collaboration, and I hope we can give many people the platform to make that happen.
Is this your first project? Describe the process of building a magazine like InPerspective from the ground up.
Yes, this is my first project – but hopefully the start of many sub-projects to come. When I came to Aberdeen, I would never have thought of starting something like this. But I’m really happy to be pursuing it. I was shocked at the lack of any real platform for creatives to promote themselves that didn’t ask for money or wasn’t subject to tight submission criteria. Although we are trying to make the platform as free from constraints as possible, in terms of submissions we had to come up with a standard set. This is just simple business if we want it to be as widely appealing and marketable as possible.
Truthfully, it is hard to make everyone happy with your mission. I feel like this has been our biggest challenge. When you start something with no clear competition you are setting a standard. This is daunting, but it also drives me to make it the best that it can be. It has taken far more time than expected, and during the process of building something like this you are forever finding new aspects to improve, so really the start-up never ends. I’m so excited to see where this magazine can go and what positive impact it can make on creative culture. One piece of advice I can give is to be as driven as possible and focus on achieving goals, rather than on making impressions with little substance. Build the initial platform and the world is your oyster.
The first issue will be released shortly. If someone were to ask you why they should pick it up, what would you say?
The creative community needs you! Put briefly, I’d describe it as an organised mess of brain-stimulating designs, photography, and articles in a professionally printed magazine. How could you go wrong for a fiver? Watch this space…
‘InPerspective Volume 1: Influence’ will be released in a single print run in Aberdeen on the 26th of February 2019. Those outside Aberdeen who are interested in buying can arrange for a copy to be sent to them. For further info, please visit inperspectivemagazine.bigcartel.com or via the link on their Instagram page, @inperspectivemag.
ST.ART Magazine does not own the rights to the visual content used in this article.