It’s been a bad news week in the world of craft magazines.
I’m sad to see Crafty Magazine is closing after only 11 issues. The official statement from the publication said that they hadn’t reached the number of readers they needed to sustain the publication. I’m not surprised. The sheer amount of craft magazines now on the shelves is overwhelming – I don’t think there have ever been so many. New launches over the past couple of years include Mollie Makes, Making, Simple Things and brand new title Hoopla launched last week.
I reviewed the magazine’s first issue here http://www.knitstitchsew.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/review-crafty-magazine and my verdict was a good one. At the time it was very different to other magazines on the market – no amigurumi animals or twee little cross stitch patterns. It felt cool. It was cool.
Crafty Magazine set out to showcase the makers, the culture and the craft movement which was burgeoning in the UK at the time. It felt to me, quite ‘bloggy’ in its content – chatty, informal, friendly. Crafty endeavoured to make you feel part of the craft community. Maybe this was part of its demise?
The crafty community has been re-born online – via blogs, social media and pattern sharing hubs like Ravelry. Where, perhaps, 50 years ago, women (and men) would get together to knit or sew in their local communities, these days, we get together virtually for tweet chats, commenting on each others blogs and with the occasional meet up in the real world.
Magazines are expensive – at least £5 per issue – and in order to keep that revenue coming in, the titles must be under enormous pressure to keep creating content that can’t be found on-line. I notice Mollie Makes has started adding more lengthy features and interviews, perfect for curling up with a cup of tea and taking time to read. Unlike a quick read through on-line, in your lunch hour.
I’ve definitely curbed my magazine buying habit, it was getting all too easy to spend £30, if not £40 a month on magazines if you count my must read lifestyle magazines each month as well as craft titles – Vogue, Red, Grazia, Stylist, Mollie Makes, Cross Stitcher Magazine… the list is endless.
I hope the ethos of Crafty Magazine continues on-line – the interviews, the introductions to new artists and makers and the inspiration to try something new.
Good luck guys.