As you guys know, last month I made my writing debut for Brisbane-based art & design mag, No Cure. We’ll be releasing our very first print issue soon – you can help make the dream happen by pre-ordering a copy now (I did!). I interviewed No Cure’s boss man, Mark Zeidler recently so you guys can get a better idea of what No Cure is all about and of the creator behind the mag supporting creative culture.
Where did your passion for art and design spark from?
MARK ZEIDLER: I guess spending a lot of time with my grandmother and uncle when I was younger sparked my passions for art and design. They were both artists heavily into drawing using pastels and watercolours.
I’ve always lived an arty life, ever since I can remember. Drawing everything I could see when I was younger was all I wanted to do. I even wagged school two out of five days to stay home to paint and draw. School did not inspire my imagination one bit. I absolutely hated it!
What’s your creative background? You’re essentially a designer, right?
MZ: I’m pretty much a self-taught artist and graphic designer. I was a full time artist for seven years having exhibitions around Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne under my label called Audiodirtbath. My style was kind of pop art /grunge/ vintage. I love to experiment with screen printing and stencils. A couple of years back I lost the plot with the artist lifestyle and I had a meltdown and this led me onto working freelance design. I later enrolled into uni and I’m currently completing my third year in Bachelor of Communication Design. I also have a background in music. I played in bands and in my room throughout my younger years and studied classical guitar at the Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane but ditched it in the third year…that place gave me the creeps. Sorry Julian.
Can you share with us some of your favourite trends and happenings that you’re currently digging in design culture?
MZ: I don’t know exactly how to answer this one but I guess I’m enjoying minimalism in design at the moment. Less is more.
Who are some of your design heroes?
MZ: I’d have to say Paul Rand. I loved his minimalistic approach towards design and all the wise things he had to say and contribute to design. The guy is a complete legend and godfather of design, so many designers are influenced by him today. No matter how lost you get in design always go back to the Paul Rand approach it will put you straight back on your feet. (“Don’t try to be original just try to be good” – Paul Rand.) Stefan Sagmeister is also a trip he’s so clever, clever, clever!
What do you look for in a piece of art?
MZ: Originality, taste and good composition. I like all types of art but I swing towards more contemporary pieces. I love art pieces that smack you in the face when you walk into a room. Pieces with impact, a good story or a clever concept behind them.
Why did you start No Cure?
MZ: I started No Cure because I love editorial layout and design. I was inspired by the lack of art and design inspiration out there on the news stands and online. Don’t get me wrong there are some amazing titles that I adore such as IDN, Monster Children, Wooden Toy Quarterly just to name a few. I guess I just want to be a part of this culture and join the battle because the art world needs all the help it can get. We all have to stick together like an army because art will kill you if you’re not careful… If we could change the majority of our culture from going to the Friday night footy to catch an art show opening that would be amazing, but it’s not going to happen! If more art and design is making an appearance in everyday life the more opportunities there will be. From my experiences I have a good understanding about how hard it is to make a name for yourself in the creative world and all the dicks you have to suck to get there. No Cure gives the creative community another great outlet to help get exposer. At the end of the day I just wanted to launch a young fresh magazine and a look book full of eye candy with good layout and design because I couldn’t dream of doing anything else.
What is the ethos of No Cure?
MZ: Good design, Good art, hardworking artists and passionate people.
No Cure magazine has been exclusively available digitally online; currently you’re working towards the very first print edition. Why print and why now?
MZ: No Cure is currently an online flip book magazine and in just over a year we have released five great issues. I believe these days people are so used to getting things for free like ripping off music on the net they don’t feel they need to pay for anything anymore and yes I have been guilty of this but it must stop here. My point is that the artists that give us these wonderful things have worked their ass off to the bone and have suffered dearly to be what they are. At the end of the day money controls our way of life and we have to live so therefore we must start being responsible and give back to the people that provide us with these simple joys of life. If you’re an artist or musician you don’t really give a shit about the money because you get up in the morning inspired and pumped about what you’re currently working on but we all need to eat. Working a 9 to 5 day job is out of the question because you can’t concentrate on anything else except your craft and that’s a sign of a true artist.
The reason I want to take No Cure to print is that in hope I can obtain a little budget I can work with. Supporting my contributors and paying artists by providing jobs within the magazine, putting on cool exhibitions and expanding the magazine little by little. I’m not a greedy person I would just like to be able to survive doing what I’m doing. Is that too much to ask?
As editor-in-chief, how do you source a good story? Which are the elements you look for?
MZ: Tough question. My mind is always on overdrive in trying to achieve this. I usually go with what I’m passionate about. I think thoughts just randomly jump into my head and I go with the idea. The idea for a story might be triggered with something I see in the paper or online but most the time it’s just from thinking too much. Back in issue three when we had the ‘Driven’ feature – the journey of nomadic businesses, I just thought wouldn’t it be cool to get together a bunch of people from all over the world who live on the road travelling around in a van to make a living. We featured Mimsy’s Trailer Trash Tattoo, Eldiablo Tacos, The Little Van That Could, The Green Pirate and Grill’d. I just appreciate people that work hard and go with their ideas and do something they like with their lives apart from being an economic slave to society.
What single skill do you rely on most of all as editor?
MZ: Probably having a good eye for detail. Selecting the overall content of the magazine. Having good taste and to know exactly what’s interesting and works within the magazine.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
MZ: Worrying what’s going in the next issue!
What are your favourite pieces from the first five issues of No Cure?
MZ: This is hard to name because I dig everyone and every article that has been in No Cure since the beginning. Kindred Studio, Jasper Goodall, Faile, Birds barbershop, Bleed studio, Mr Bingo there are so many!
As well as visual art I know you love music too, what is one of the most memorable concerts you’ve been too? Why does it stick in your mind?
MZ: I would have to say Radiohead last year when they came to Australia. Thom Yorke hand downs would have to be one of the most influential musicians of this time. When you look back through the history of Radiohead the band has always looked forward to the future, time and time again they continue to reinvent themselves and I admire that. I’m also a big believer of visuals accompanying music because it stimulates all the senses into overdrive. For me Radiohead ticks all the boxes.
Other than the magazine is there anything else you’re working on?
MZ: I’m always designing and giving my life away to the computer and it’s really starting to fuck up my chi. Ever since I started No Cure there has been no breaks. I work freelance when I can, at the moment I have a heap of branding and website design jobs to do and I don’t know where I’m going to find the time!
*all art/designs by Mark Zeidler.