Interview + give away: Tanya Collier of Tickle the Imagination magazine

If you're coming along to our speaker event in Melbourne this weekend, you'll go home with a copy of Tickle the Imagination magazine! Tickle the Imagination is full of inspiration and ideas to spark creativity. It showcases talented artists, crafters and designers, discovers emerging talent and shares real-life stories and DIY projects. They publish regular issues online and in print.

This week I spoke to Tanya Collier, editor and publisher of tickle, to find out the story behind this beautiful publication.

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Tell us about the mission behind Tickle the Imagination. Who do you hope to reach and inspire?

Tickle the imagination is a lifestyle and craft magazine. My hope is that it inspires creativity - by showcasing Australian designers and makers, sharing real-life stories and offering crafty projects.

What has been the evolution of Tickle the Imagination - from first idea to the print format we see it in now?

I had always dreamed of creating a magazine, but was never sure how. After many years as a freelance graphic and web designer (along with lots of little handmade businesses) I guess the idea for tickle really evolved in May 2011. I was studying interior design at the time and one of my assignments was to create a spread for a design magazine - style it, shoot it and design the layout... I was hooked! About the same time I discovered Adore Home magazine... and, in turn, digital publishing which offered an affordable entry into the world of magazine publishing.

tickle combines all my passions and love of design and handmade... I imagined a magazine filled with inspiring stories about creative people, beautiful images and gorgeous craft projects... and that is what I set out to create. I was also aware of just how difficult is is to market a handmade business and I hoped tickle would create a new platform for people to share/market their creative businesses.

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I shared the idea for tickle on my facebook page at the time and got a great response. Two of the first people to get in touch were Leanne from Possum & Banjo and author, Tania McCartney - these two were my biggest cheerleaders and really helped spread the word and introduce tickle to lots of new people.

The next step was developing a website and facebook page for tickle to help spread the word. Then I worked on developing an underlying theme and inspiration board for the first issue - 'the road less travelled', and invited submissions from our small group of followers. I am forever grateful to that group of contributors who showed such faith that I would create something beautiful with their hard work!

And, after many hours of work and lots of late nights, the very first digital issue was released in September of 2011. I was so nervous pressing the upload button...after all this was a magazine of everything I loved, in layouts that I had put together... what if no one else liked it? really felt like I was baring my soul to the world!

Thankfully the response was overwhelmingly positive. Almost immediately people started asking if/when it would be available in print...

peek How did you fund the transition from an online magazine to a printed magazine?

It was our lovely readers and advertisers who funded the first two print issues of tickle through crowdfunding campaigns with Pozible.

While I was super keen to see tickle in print I didn't have the capital myself and really wasn't in a financial position to risk taking a business loan. And so, I continued publishing digital issues - a second in Nov, and another in Feb - all the while our Facebook following and mailing list were growing.

Then, in April of 2012 I was introduced to the idea of crowd funding when a friend of mine supported Littlesweet Baking's campaign. What a fantastic concept! How had I never heard of it before? After researching printing costs I discovered I would need $15,000 to take tickle to print. I submitted my idea to Pozible, and it was accepted! I had ninety days to spread word of the campaign and ask people to pledge their support for a print issue in return for rewards. I Facebooked constantly, emailed everyone who had ever been part of the magazine and we did it!! With just over a week to go our target of $15,000 was achieved.

The first print issue of tickle, Annual 01, is a compilation of our favourite stories from digital issue 01 -issue 07. A second print issue (also funded with crowdfunding!) was released in May, it is a special celebrations issue.


What is your favourite part about curating a magazine?

There are so many amazing creative people out there, I think my favourite part is introducing them and their creations to our readers. Having the opportunity to meet and chat with some of my favourite designers and makers is rather special. And when someone emails to say tickle has inspired them to start their own creative journey... that's pretty awesome :)

What are your hopes for tickle in the future?

My hope is that tickle continues to support and inspire the designer/maker community of Australia. I would love to see quarterly print issues :)

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To receive a copy of Tickle, come along to our event this Saturday. And Tanya has a special offer for friends & members of Creative Women's Circle: Bonus digital issues when you purchase the Celebrations print issue. Visit this page for more info!