Traditional glossy magazines may need to reinvent themselves to keep up with the digital demands of our time, but niche magazines are thriving these days—proving the point that print is anything but dead.
Enter Effable, a new local publication featuring artwork, essays, book and album reviews, photography and more. Effable published its first issue in August, and has a second coming this winter.
The magazine’s creators are Chloe Connaughton, 23, who is both a florist and the drummer in a band called Bad Thoughts; and June Vivenzi, 24, a tattooed pie baker. Both women live in Santa Rosa, where Effable is produced. More than anything, the magazine is the product of a lifelong friendship. “June and I have been making art of various kinds since we were teenagers,” says Connaughton. “We would make little zines with drawings we did, or poetry we wrote, and used our parents’ printers at home and gave them to our friends. We noticed that as we got older, this trend seemed to die out a little bit, and we wanted to revive that.”
The two set out to make Effable a platform for their friends’ art and poetry. “Everyone posts stuff to social media these days, but it’s hard to get your physical art out there into the world when it doesn’t have a place to go,” says Connaughton.
The first issue included photography by Sarah Foremski, comics by Oakland-based artist Arielle Lehmer, and writing by James Ryall, and presented a carefully curated world reminiscent of magazines like the Australian Frankie and American teen mag Rookie—a mishmash of art, photography, fashion and culture.
“For the first issue, we asked pretty much everyone we knew to submit their art,” says Connaughton. “All of our friends are so talented, and it’s really great getting to see a sort of physical scrapbook of all their talents.” The launch party, which took place at Atlas Coffee in August, showcased art by Cleo Malone of Cast Away Yarn Shop, music by Mercutio and Slow Bloom, and a poetry reading by Adriana Jackson.
“We are endlessly inspired by our friends and the artists, bands and makers of Sonoma County,” Connaughton says, “and also by other lady-run magazines and publications like Tom Tom Magazine.”
For the second issue, the two invited people to send anonymous diary submissions, suggestions of cool Etsy pages and music samples for reviews. The issue will be heavy on writing and the editors also plan to include a fresh batch of material from musicians, artists and makers.
As anticipation grows, readers can get a quick Effable fix in the form of stickers, pins and mugs created by Connaughton and Vivenzi. When placed in the broader context of overpriced avocado toast and “artisanal” paper products, prices for both the magazine and related art are affordable—$9 for the magazine, $8 for a mug.
Like the name, the designs are tongue-in-cheek: one mug reads “Whine Country” beside a cringing face; another proclaims “Cup of Mayonnaise,” because—why not.
While deeply rooted in the local community, Effable has big ambitions. “Santa Rosa has this rare kind of magic about it, which we love,” says Connaughton. “Everyone is passionate about something, and it’s really exciting to live here.” Having said that, she adds, “We don’t want to limit the magazine to Sonoma County, though. We will of course always accept art from our friends, but we definitely have dreams of reaching a larger audience and expand a bit into the greater Bay Area.
“We really want this to take off and be able to showcase more art from more people.”
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