About The Lens

Hooray for Personal Work

I have a history of doing things like this:

I get an idea for a creative project or idea, and jump in with both feet. Planning, designing, strategizing, creating … and then at some point, whether that is a few days or months (occasionally years) later someone jangles their metaphorical keys and my attention is drawn away and the project is eventually abandoned. To be fair I follow through on a lot of things, but to be equally fair, I have a dozen notebooks full of ideas that I’m going to get to … someday.

Personal projects are really important. They allow creative people to unleash their ideas without the constraints of art directors and clients. It also helps that, yes, art buyers love to see personal work in your portfolio. The fact of the matter is, though, that trying new things can be scary, because they don’t always work out. Developing a new ideas is frightening, because pushing the limits of your comfort zone can result in either amazing results or crushing defeats. That’s how creativity works: you can’t be afraid to try new things.

The Insatiable Lens is a food and photography magazine that I developed as a personal project that ultimately was meant to promote my photography business. I wanted something that was a little bolder, a little flashier than pieces I’d done in the past. A promotional piece that would hopefully stay on an art buyer’s desk slightly longer than the next guy’s promo. It started out as a newsprint concept and then through the design process with my wonderful friends over at Pak Creative, the piece morphed into a full-fledged magazine. The premiere issue came out in January 2015 and I’ll be honest, I love how it turned out. I was super stoked … I was going to make magazines all the time!! New issue every four months! Maybe turn it into an actual commercial magazine! I am awesome!!

However, these lofty goals were pushed aside by, you know, paid work. It took me 14 months to complete issue two. Sigh.

Maybe a quarterly magazine is a little ambitious for a single man operation. Maybe I miss my blogging days when I was posting at a ridiculous rate. Maybe I just want to play more. I want to expand the audience of the magazine, but also have a place to post new work, new experiments, new recipes, in general, new stuff. I’m not shuttering the print magazine or replacing it with the online version. On the contrary. I’m hoping to use the content that I publish on this site as a testing ground for what will eventually end up in the magazine. A creativity farm team if you will. Ultimately I plan to continue to publish new issues of the print magazine because I still love the way that hardcopy feels in my hands.

I’m not sure exactly how The Insatiable Lens is going to evolve from here, but I’m excited to find out!


Gayman-Signature copy

Jonathan Gayman
Photographer and Editor in Chief