Sunday, February 22, 2015
Inside Scope on Kaneo Biggs - Owner/Editor of Elléments Magazine
Meet my friend Kaneo Biggs, owner and editor of Elléments Magazine. I had the pleasure of catching up with him to talk about how it all began! If you're a creative and want to reach out to magazines for submission, check out Elléments Magazine! My interview with him will get you the inside look on how he started Elléments Magazine and what has kept him inspired and innovative.
1. Tell us about yourself and what do you do? (Name, age, based where, job)
My name is Kaneo Biggs, I am 28 years old, based in New York, and I’m the Owner of Kaneo Biggs Inc, Owner and Editor of Elléments Magazine.
2. When did Elléments Magazine first start and how did it come about?
Elléments Magazine started June 1, 2011. It first started out as an online blog, where I featured the work of young talented photographers. In the space of a month I was talking to one of my good friends and I told him I was going to do a magazine, and right he said go-ahead do it. He said it with no hesitation or questions as to how it would happen. With my graphic design and creative background I went ahead created all the design and layout. Then together we contacted photographers we knew that would fill it with great work. At first I thought it would have just be just a one-time try and then it would fade away. December 2011 I created the first digital issue, and the reception was awesome, everyone loved it and wanted more; the following month I created the first print issue and Elléments Magazine that you come to know today was born then.
3. What's the story behind the name Elléments?
The crazy thing is, I just came up with a name randomly; but then after the name sunk in, I then created the meaning and put some weight to the word “Elléments”. Most fashion magazines focuses on the Designer, it’s all about who or what you are wearing. While other editorial magazine focuses on the Photographer. For this magazine I wanted every person on the team creating an editorial to feel and be seen equally important. So then came ‘Elements’, which would mean all pieces and parts of the magical project. But ‘Elements’ was both taken already and just a regular & common word. This is where “Elléments” came about. Still meaning all parts of the Project, but with a different look, taste and spelling.
4. What sets you guys apart from the rest? What helps you keep the magazine innovative?
Ahh its simple, “Elléments”. There is no fancy, creative, compelling explanation I can give. Being a creative person I just think a product works on its own. If it’s appealing, have a purpose and mean something to others, it will draw its own attention. As our motto says, we represent the NEW GENERATION OF FASHION AND BEAUTY. We sincerely push the work of young creatives; give them an un-interrupted avenue to showcase their talent. The amazing thing about Elléments Magazine is that it has a community of creative and Fashion & Beauty lovers who loves young talent, and also loves supporting each other. Therefore Elléments’ real success lies in the contributors and the fans/followers. What helps keep the magazine innovative is the fact that I pay attention to everything the community says, not that I react to all but I at least read and hear what they say; from that, daily I come up with new and exciting ways to make the magazine bigger and to make the magazine mean much more to community. Again, my focus is mainly on creating something that means the world to the followers.
5. For artists who are submitting to be featured what's your advice to them? What are the key points you look for in a submission?
The most important thing is to take a few minutes to look up the magazine, follow the social media pages and just get a little taste of what the magazine really is and represents. Once you do that it gives you a clearer direction in how to create features and editorials to submit and gives you a better chance of being accepted. Most importantly! Don’t try to be like other photographers you see in the magazine or elsewhere, be yourself. Be confident in your own style, you will be rewarded and recognized for your own idea, taste and direction. Finally, read the submission guidelines, so that you know what to do, which also reduces redundant questions and any uncertainties you will have. With the volume of submissions and emails we receive it’s hard to answer all questions in detail via email. So be best friends with the submission page and our EditorialCalendar.
6. What's one of the biggest lessons you've learned in this industry?
One of the biggest lesson’s I’ve learned is, never ever take anything people say or do personal. It’s a difficult thing to do, but it will save you a lot of heartache and make you successful in what you are doing. This industry is one of the most diverse in the world as it relates to opinions and rules. They say creative people are crazy, and also there is no rule to art. Hence, if someone says something that comes off to be rude and deflating to your vision or career, don’t take it personal. Go home, or go sit in a corner; replay in your head what was said, dissect it. You have to be honest with yourself, if there is something in that comment that make sense, take it and apply it, throw away the rest. If all of it is crap, throw it away and move on. If all of it makes sense, be honest, apply it and move on.
7. Where do you see the Elléments Magazine in 5 years? What's coming up?
I see Elléments Magazine moving up the ranks as one of the biggest and most successful independent magazine. Creating and influencing the new Generation of Artists. I don’t want it to be Vogue, or Elle; but leading a generation of creative individuals as how they have. For me it’s about making people fall in love and stay in love with what they love. Coming up? For 2015 Elléments Magazine will be collaborating with a lot of influential creative personalities; most of all the magazine will be sponsoring and working with a lot of creative and fashion events. Elléments Magazine will be hosting a number of its own creative initiatives! So be on the look out!!
Hope you guys enjoyed the inside scope on Kaneo, Editor of Elléments Magazine!