Pretty Litter is an independent, printed arts magazine based in Brighton in the UK. It’s packed tightly with inspiring and unusual art, stories, fashion, music, interviews, creative competitions and much more from around the world.
The team behind it are an immensely passionate group of creative people that spend their lives writing, interviewing, photographing, designing, illustrating, proof reading, staying up all night to meet deadlines, distributing, and all of the other wonderful things it takes to keep a printed magazine in production and to bring it to its readers.
The magazine is totally free for our Brighton readers, for the issue period and distribution zones, and outside of these we charge a small amount to get it delivered straight to your door, available here. Every penny we receive from sales on the newsstand goes straight back into printing the next issue, and other creative projects for our readers, such as creative competitions and affordable promo spaces for artists.
The whole ethos of Pretty Litter is built on the real belief that hard work and originality should be rewarded. It all started when Founder and Editor Lyssa had a vision of starting her own magazine; a magazine that was not only a great vehicle for creative individuals and businesses to engage with their audience, but one that was also an incredibly fun, intelligent and entertaining treat for people. She wanted to make a magazine that would inspire positive and creative movement in her home town, and she wanted it to connect the eclectic and enormously creative people of Brighton – and beyond. After two solid years of working our butts off, we believe that this is what we’ve achieved. And here are some of the things that people have been kind enough to tell us what they think about our mag:
I’m utterly impressed. I think the editorial tone is just right, the articles are varied, interesting – reverent where they need to be and playful where they don’t – and you’ve packed an awful lot into those pages. The overall look is fresh and original and the whole thing’s got such character. Brilliant, just brilliant.
Rob Beattie – advertiser
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of free, promotional and specialist magazines, dropped in to my offices in Soho but this is an extremely well-produced, content driven, high spec publication. I’m so impressed.
Mitch Mathews – reader
The magazine is absolutely wonderful. It’s arty, original, charming and eye-catching.
Bridie Ashton – reader
So a bit about the mag. In our first year we produced four issues, all on lovely thick uncoated art stock with a solid glossy cover that was perfect bound. In our first ever issue we featured everything from tattoo artists to aerial artists, and made sure that even though we were a free publication, this was something people *would* pay for. In fact, this is what set the bench mark so high for us in terms of production and editorial standards to come, and then became a rule in Lyssa’s mind when creating all of the subsequent issues. We then had graduate features, European festival guides, DIY gift pages, fun fashion shoots, creative competitions and affordable promo spaces for artists and creatives. Every single possible thing that you would want out of a creative magazine, and it was still free.
This year we’re producing three really special issues. We’ve gone up in pages and in dimensions, and we’re still featuring all of the above, but with some added important extras. Next year we may produce six, twelve, or even one issue. We haven’t decided yet. We’re huge advocates of creative freedom across all aspects in the mag, and this extends to how we produce it. We love that even we don’t know what we’ll be doing this time next year. It’s keeps our readers interested and it keeps things very fun for us.
We’ve recently made the decision to jump from being a regional arts mag to an international one. We’re still a Brighton mag, this is still its home and for the time being it will still be a free publication for Brighton, for as long as we can keep it that way. But this way we don’t have to limit ourselves with our content and our readership. Another part of the ethos was that it was never supposed to be an exclusive thing – we want our magazine to be inclusive in every way possible, especially with our creative comps and promo spaces for artists. ‘International’ is very accessible these days and with the power of the World Wide Web anything is possible in publishing now.
So how do we do it? Well as we all know too well, printed publications cost a hell of a lot to produce, especially ones that are of such a high spec as ours. So we fund it by the good old fashioned methods of selling advertising to go in the magazine. And we value the relationships we have with our advertisers hugely, as without them there’s absolutely no way we could print our lovely mag. We also like the fact that we are doing something important for them. They like being part of something unique to Brighton, that’s original and inspirational, and they definitely see us as a great way to market themselves to their audience, so it’s a very well rounded relationship.
Something you might not know – we started (and continue to produce) the magazine with no external funding whatsoever, and with just a few hundred pounds of our savings. Evidence that hard graft really does pay off. 100% of our revenue goes into printing the mag and other creative projects as we see no reason to do it any other way. We don’t pay ourselves a penny, we all have other jobs (even Lyssa – she’s the Art Director of another international magazine!). We absolutely love what we do, and we only seek to spread positive and creative words and visual inspiration wherever our magazine goes, and because we aren’t doing it for money we believe that this is what makes our magazine the special thing that it is; everyone who works for us does it because they love what they do and they believe in what we’re doing – and this is why it’s so valuable to us, it’s the product of so many people’s passions, talents and dreams come true. And now that we have a comprehensive website we can run regular content alongside the mag, which means a lot more people will see what we do. Moving onto:
The future of Pretty Litter is that we want to eventually bring important meaning to the name Pretty Litter and create serious opportunities for our contributors, readers and investors with a whole bunch of projects we’re soon to have going on, such as new media platforms, industry events, community workshops, large scale exhibitions and artist representation. So watch this space!