Constance is a limited edition art magazine out of New Orleans that premiered in the aftermath of Katrina. New Orleans, in my opinion, is an undervalued center for the arts, so I was very excited to see this extremely well put together full color magazine that showcases artists and writers living and working in my favorite city. The second issue of Constance, Delicate Burdens is out now.

Why the name "Constance" and What is Constance's editorial mission?

Cord Bueker, JNR and I lived on Constance Street before the storm. We lived on a great block. Our year there was very important for my personal and work development. It was a creative household and we had fantastic neighbors. We had originally conceived a sort of exquisite corpse of Cord’s work and mine and wanted to publish it in a book form. However, the storm put the wrench in those plans, so as we slowly returned to NOLA, I had him help me conceptualize the theme of ‘Replicas and Replacements’. After the storm, Constance was more necessary than ever for collecting and cataloging peoples’ work that never really had a chance for gallery space as well as up-and-coming, younger artists. Constance, at its core, wants to create a historical document of the times in which it is published. The aim of the publication is to let people outside the city know that there are still people working in the visual and literary arts. And then to share that work outside of a city that can be so insular about sharing its work.

How Do you Pay for the printing?

Paying for printing is the least exciting part of the project. Before, I asked clients and friends for handouts/donations/sponsorships. For this issue, it has been much of the same, but we were also lucky to receive a grant from the Arts Council of New Orleans. The rest comes out of my pocket. I handle distribution, accounting, preparing and promoting in NOLA. Patrick Strange, the other editor, handles PR and the same duties in Los Angeles, where he lives now.

The aftermath of Katrina shapes the themes of the first two issues of Constance, but how will the magazine (book) grow in the future?

I think that Constance, keeping with its model of creating a historical document of the times, will continually change. I feel that the production of the third issue will involve more collaborators in the design department, as well as possibly pairing local artists with an outside artist to interpret the similar themes in their respective settings. Keeping things fresh and leaving Katrina behind is something we all want to do. I think with the recent issue, it dealt more with the idea of staying vs. leaving, the duality of living in the city with senses of hate/love or frustration/contentment. It’s hard to say what the focus of future volumes will be.

What do you think artists and writers living in New Orleans have to offer to an international audience that they can't see elsewhere?

I am firm believer that great art/writing/music comes from hardship and struggle. Seeing the passion and the determination of the people is the driving force behind so much of what is going on here right now. The energy and vibrancy of the art scene specifically has grown more powerful than pre-K levels. With more galleries and artists getting work out there, outside of the usual Julia St. fare is refreshing and something that the city desperately needs in continuing to thrive. Also New Orleans was chosen for the Biennial. It’s the city’s time to be in the spotlight again for the arts. I think that this compendium of arts and literature shows a broad range and that anyone interested in seeing work from the city has something welcoming to view. They can see that the city still is actively creating and with more passion than ever.

As you may know I'm from New Orleans. As much as I absolutely LOVE my hometown, I find that people there can be a bit slow about deadlines and promoting their work. Sometimes it can be a little lazy and provincial. When I saw Constance I was really impressed that you got all these people to get their work turned in and I was impressed by your efforts to get noticed outside of the city. Can you describe how you inspired contributors to get stuff done, especially before the first issue of Constance?

Getting artists to be excited about the second issue was truly much easier than the first time around and for a few reasons. Some being that people are now more familiar with the publication and that I learned a lot from my mistakes on the first issue. A ton of email blasts, phone calls, constant monitoring and faux early deadlines to cover people’s general lateness were some of the things that I had to do to get work in on time. Setting a regimented schedule of dates, similar to that used in a schedule of milestones used on any design project. As far as the first magazine was concerned, most of the people involved were people I knew: friends or friends of friends of friends, etc. It was easy to get people together and stay on top on them. I think participants were genuinely excited about the publication. Patrick Strange, the other editor of Constance, has done a good job with press with print media. We had a minor success by being posted on with the first issue. That really propelled our book outside of New Orleans, almost immediately. Along with some postings here and there on various design portals, it seemed to help get the word out. I think what also helped on the first issue was that people were still interested in New Orleans and its plight. Today, I’m not so sure. Other news is more sensational and people forget.

Where are you from, and what drew you to New Orleans. More importantly, what keeps you there?

I grew up in Alexandria, Louisiana and left to attend USL/ULL in Lafayette for Graphic Design. I had a desire to leave the state after school, but decided New Orleans might be a good jump-off point to somewhere else. I came to NOLA with the hopes of finding design and client work and, of course, all the obvious things that normally draw people there. It’s a place with a lot of opportunities, without being completely overwhelmed by a ‘big city’ feeling. It’s tough to put a finger on what keeps me here now. Maybe I’m not sure where else I would enjoy living. The charms and letdowns of this city keep me interested but it’s hard to say for how long. I want to see New Orleans bounce back a little bit. I enjoy peoples’ enthusiasm and the art scene is more vibrant than ever. The community feeling of being here reminds me of home. I’m comfortable with Louisiana living as a whole because of its laid back nature.

What are your favorite magazines and/or zines?

Some of my favorites are graphic, The Drama {rip}, Lemon, Tokion, S, Monocle, Faesthetic.

Numbered editions of Constance: Delicate Burdens are on sale at the Constance store for $25 ($32 for orders outside the U.S)

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