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055: Creativity in Magazine Publishing with Wayward Arts Magazine

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Over the next three episodes in this Magazine Miniseries, we will hear from amazing people doing amazing work in the field of magazine production and publishing.

I’m currently teaching a Magazine Production and Publishing course, where my 13 years of writing for a magazine paired with my world of teaching Adobe Creative Cloud software, and my previous industry work in book printing (which is not unlike magazine printing) collide in one place.. As part of the course I invited three guests from industry to speak with students about the three main module topics contained within the course.

The first module focuses on the business of magazines. The second module is all about magazine design. And the third module is about magazine production; both print production and digital publishing.

When I invited our guests to chat with students I thought it was also a perfect opportunity to capture these conversations in an audio format; for this content to benefit a wider audience beyond the 40 or so students in class. I asked each of the guests if they would be OK with me packaging the audio content into a podcast episode. I was thrilled when each one of them said yes.

Wayward Arts Magazine

In this first episode of the miniseries, we sat down with Jay Page and Steve Frattaroli from Flash Reproductions to chat about a creative publication that’s unlike any other in Canada: Wayward Arts magazine.

Wayward Arts magazine is the brain-child of Flash Reproductions owner, Rich Pauptit. Flash Reproductions is an innovative printing company located in Toronto, Canada. They work closely with a number of creative agencies to produce work others wouldn’t dare take on. In fact, their motto is: "That's impossible, it'll never work. Let's do it!". Their can-do, environmentally-minded, adventurous attitude has resulted in lots of award-winning work. They can make just about any printed project happen with the wide range of equipment, skills and expertise housed within their facility.

Wayward Arts magazine was created by Flash Reproductions in 2007. Rich created the original iteration of the magazine to be experimental. He saw lots of work from the design community that wasn’t being shared anywhere, including side projects and “things that lived only on hard drives never to be seen”. In essence, the magazine was designed to be exactly what its name describes; a collection of wayward art. Giving art that has no home a place to live. What they’re able to do with Wayward Arts is reproduce work from hundreds of graphic designers and distribute it to thousands of graphic designers. Designers inspiring designers.

In 2012, the magazine evolved to include a common theme or connected idea that provided cohesion and allowed it to read more like a magazine. They invited agencies to curate an entire issue. This resulted in a highly sought after, beautifully experimental, vanity passion project, whereby no one person or organization could claim the project as their own. It’s a truly collaborative process between three parties:

  1. Agency (who donates their time and skills to have full control of the content of an issue)

  2. Printer (Flash Reproductions donates their equipment and expertise to make the publication come to life in a physical form)

  3. Paper supplier (who donates the material on which the job is printed and the postage, thereby alleviating huge costs of material and shipping)

By removing a number of prohibitive design, production and distribution constraints typically found in the world of magazines, all parties are able to make the publication of their collective dreams. Let’s hear more from Jay and Steve from Flash Reproductions.

Issues of Wayward Arts Magazine discussed in the podcast episode in the order that they were discussed. All photos courtesy of Flash Reproductions.

About Our Guests:

Steve Frattaroli and Jay Page are Account Managers at Flash Reproductions. They are responsible for inspiring clients, troubleshooting, and executing a wide variety of projects. Flash is widely regarded as one of the best print shops in the country, with a reputation for doing things others can't, our motto says it all "That's impossible, it'll never work. Let's do it!".

Music (public domain via Chad Crouch - Buoancy

Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle

Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Episode Cover Art: Canva (remixed by Apurba Roy)

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