Angela Blumen is the creative talent behind Sucre, a print-only paper that features inspiring artists from around the world. Radar spoke to her about independent publishing, creatives supporting each other and the importance of featuring female artists.
It all started with Tumblr. Spending hours on discovering new artists and expressions online, Angela Blumen developed a genuine interest in art and design. Today that passion has channeled itself into becoming the internationally recognized art paper Sucre, where Blumen manages everything from art direction to print logistics and sales herself.
How was the idea for Sucre born?
– I had been talking with a friend, Sophie Tajan, about doing some kind of design project together back in 2013. We met through Tumblr, and since we both had these long lists of people that we though did great work we thought that it would be nice to create a space where we could highlight some of them. The choice of creating Sucre was a “hit or miss” – we knew it was a gamble to go into print-only, but we both loved the idea too much to not give it a try.
The gamble was a smart one. Three years later, Sucre has published four issues and gained a fanbase spread out all over the world.
What makes people like Sucre?
– I think people like the paper because it’s straightforward, almost uncomplicated in a sense. It doesn’t provoke, it doesn’t upset. It is purely a tribute to great artistry.
That Sucre features great art is clear. The past issues have followed the themes “Soft tones”, “Matter”, “Delicacy” and most recently “Celestial”. Starting with just 50 copies an issue, the latest edition was printed in 200 copies with editorials on young, up-and-coming artists, fashion designers and photographers.
Who gets to be featured in the paper?
– Sucre typically features artists that aren’t represented in big media. I’d say that female and non-western artists are generally underrepresented. It’s a shame, really.
Why is it important to feature women?
– Women are more often interviewed about the private life rather than their artistry. An artist’s private life isn’t that interesting, but his or her art is. So, I want to focus on female artists in Sucre, because other magazines tend not to.
Sucre is a print-only paper. Why?
– There’s something about print that lasts. A printed magazine is not hurt if a server fucks up. It’s real.
There is a lot of talk about the death of the (especially independent) printing press, but Angela Blumen doesn’t believe it. By combining printed issues with a presence online, she thinks that independent magazines will continue to play an important role in the global art scene.
– I think it’s important to show people that independent publishing works. It might not be very lucrative, but as long as creative people support others in the field I really believe it will survive. Selling five issues is a big thing when you’re an independent publisher!
– I have gotten so many emails from young artists looking for work or internships. They all seem to believe that Sucre has this big team behind it, that there’s a cool office and loads of financiers. They are always so surprised when I tell them that it’s just me! But I kind of like that. I used to think that great layouts or well communicated brands meant big organizations too. But now that I’ve realized the there’s so many amazing people creating magazines out there, I have started to buy independent magazines instead of supporting the already established ones.
Are people buying your paper?
– They are! Sucre has readers from all over the world. The most papers are sold in France, England and California. Sucre is based in Scandinavia, but the aesthetics aren’t really compatible with that. I think the design – soft, colorful, feminine- is more south European.
Sucre is a true lovechild. It is not run by financial interest nor strives to become commercial. It is a passionate project, and with edition numbers written by hand on each copy, Blumen’s personal love of the arts is shown in every paper.
What does the future have in store for Sucre?
– Great things! I have met such amazing people through this project, and I am always looking for interesting collaborations.
Stockholm / Copenhagen. “Easy choice.”
Photograph / Painting.
Instagram / Tumblr. “It’s impossible to compare! But in 2016, I guess I have to go with Instagram…”