Editor and creator of Bricks Magazine, co-owner of Disaster Zine and former social editor at i-D magazine, Tori West chats with Grrrlizm about her involvement in print culture.
Hey Tori, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, Amy! I’m a 24-year-old publisher and the editor of independent publication BRICKS Magazine and Disaster Zine.
Photography Clara Nebeling. Styling & Direction Tori West. Featuring Lilian Brower.
Where did you study and how was your university experience?
I graduated in 2014 and studied fashion communication at Bristol UWE. I originally started on the design course but realised I hated pattern cutting and switched to communication to focus on marketing and fashion publishing. I absolutely loved the course and super thankful for how much the course leaders have helped me since graduating. I was super lucky to receive a grant to help me print the second issue of BRICKS and I sometimes go back to guest lecture the fashion students.
Tell us about your current job and previous jobs you have done.
I currently work as a Content Editor at Village, a communications agency in London that are launching their own Fashion News and Broadcasting platform. I previously worked at i-D magazine, Amuse and VICE as a Social Editor.
Describe what you and your team do at Bricks Magazine.
I currently put together all the content and run the business side of the magazine. I’ve met such brilliant people over the years that are now regular contributors, helping to put the issue and website together.
Who inspires you and your work?
Relationships and people. BRICKS is one huge celebration of young creatives, people I’ve met over the years that I believe deserve recognition. Whereas my personal work is influenced by my own relationships with people.
What is the most important thing you have learnt about the art industry?
To express yourself. My work is so personal, for a long time I didn’t share it with the world as I was scared how people would react. But in reality, people relate to you more if you’re honest.
Tell us about you Disaster Zine. How did you start the collaboration and how have the public reacted towards it?
Disaster zine was inspired by my best friend Josh Cook’s drawings, we were sat on his bedroom floor one night getting drunk when he pulled out his sketchbook. He’d been drawing these hilarious fictional characters and one just happened to reminded me of someone I used to date. We sat up all night laughing about these awful dates I’d been on, drawing out the characters. It ended up becoming a zine of my own dating disasters and break-up woes and a few things my mates have done. In all honesty, the reaction was really overwhelming, it got a lot of press attention and suddenly my feelings were poured out all over the internet to laugh at. My exes weren’t happy though, one called me up furious. We ended up getting back together because of it and he moved to London to be with me. It only lasted two months, but it inspired me to make another issue.
What advice would you offer to other young creatives hoping to have a career in the fashion and art industry?
Don’t rush into it, I’m full of ideas but I think if I got more experience and didn’t rush into them it would be more beneficial in the long run.
What is your greatest achievement?
It sounds really sad, but I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything yet. I think it’s a good thing because I keep working.
Who is your phenomenal woman?
Every woman is a phenomenal woman.
Any future plans you wish to share with us?
I’m starting an erotic art publication. It’s called FLAPS.
Interview by Amy Smithers @photogrrrlx