Written by Cendrine Marrouat
Back in the mid-2010s, I was looking for interview opportunities to promote one of my recently released photography books. During my research, I came across the website of UK-based poet and author David Ellis, one of the greatest supporters of indie authors and artists you will ever find.
As a former digital journalist and experienced interviewer of indie artists myself, I knew what I was looking for in an interviewer. My email exchange with David quickly revealed a great work ethic and a level of professionalism that I had not seen in a while. The interview was, of course, a blast!
David and I decided to keep in touch and connected on Facebook. A year or two later, we started chatting regularly.
Creating The Idea Behind Auroras & Blossoms
In early January 2019, I was in the process of founding my own artist collective with fellow photographer Isabel Nolasco. So, my brain was in a full-time creative mode. I was quite irked by the way the publishing industry, especially magazines and online publications, worked. David was in the same frame of mind. We agreed that the acceptance process of many magazines was misleading.
It was all about marketability, “who you know” and how many big publication credits you had garnered over a short period of time. Talent and the message behind your work were often disregarded completely. In a nutshell, your chances of being published in a magazine were likely to be limited if you did not have what was deemed to be a “normal” résumé.
I suggested that we start our own platform to try and even the playing field. David responded with great enthusiasm.
What We Wanted From Our Publication
Within a few days, we had settled on four basic tenets:
1. Our focus would be on inspiration and positivity, something that very few magazines actually promoted;
2. Our platform would be family-friendly and accept work from young and adult artists alike, so as to encourage families to read and discuss the art we publish and promote together;
3. We would consider everyone, no matter who they are and where they come from; and
4. Our acceptance process would be solely based on talent, professionalism and respect of our guidelines.
Auroras & Blossoms
The next step for us was to find the right name for our publication. We chose Auroras & Blossoms because of our common passion for poetry and love of nature. It is a memorable name that conjures up positive images of renewal and hence leaves your mind in a peaceful state.
As inspirational artists ourselves, we have always believed that changing the world and the status quo can be done in many ways. Our way is to create, publish, and promote works that invite people to rethink their relationship with the world around them — whether it is our own work or the work of other like-minded artists.
Launching Auroras & Blossoms
In June 2019, we launched our first submission call for the inaugural issue of our Auroras & Blossoms magazine. It only took a couple of months for that issue to be filled, which blew our minds.
The following October saw its official release, along with an incredible wave of positive reactions from artists and readers alike. Those reactions confirmed that we had been right all along. The world was hungry for positivity and inspiration!
Our initial goal had been to just focus on poetry. However, an increasing number of inspirational artists from several disciplines asked to be included in our magazine. We needed to offer them a home too! So, we extended the invitation to more writing genres, as well as visual art.
Around the same time, we decided to create a year-long artistic movement called “PoArtMo”, whose flagship event would be a yearly anthology open to writers of short stories, flash fiction, six word stories, poetry, and essays, as well as photographers, painters, and drawing artists. The first volume of the PoArtMo Anthology was filled weeks before the official submission deadline had been reached. We released the book a couple of months later.
Now in its second year, the PoArtMo Anthology has once again been filled before the submission deadline; and we are currently working on releasing volume 2, while submissions are already being accepted for a third volume! The novelty this year is a separate volume dedicated to 13-16 year-old creatives, which is also in the process of being filled before its deadline!
Growing And Developing Auroras & Blossoms
Auroras & Blossoms has grown by leaps and bounds to meet the growing demand of an audience who want more positivity and inspiration in their lives. We now run a podcast, along with a series of guides and workbooks to help artists find their styles and promote themselves better. We organize occasional digital exhibitions to give more visual artists a chance to grow their résumés. We have also created several artistic forms (the Kindku, Pareiku, Flashku, and Sixku) to encourage more people to be in touch with or discover their artistic side.
The PoArtMo Collective, my artist collective, is now run under the Auroras & Blossoms banner. We have released two beautiful multimedia collections so far: Photography of Life and Living: The Black and White Book and Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography.
Finally, something else that has rarely been done by publications similar to ours… We pay the artists (through ongoing royalties) who choose this option if they are accepted into our publications. Auroras & Blossoms started as a small publication.
A Home Of Creativity
It has now become a home for many inspirational creatives from all backgrounds and at every level in their careers. We have featured people from around the world, including Canada, South Africa, Australia, and India; for some of them, it is the first time that a publication has accepted their work!
We cannot wait to continue providing incredible opportunities to the artists interested in working with us, and look forward to reading your continued feedback. We hope that you will join us on our journey!
More From Cendrine Marrouat:
Our artistic forms: https://abpositiveart.com/about-us (last presentation on the page)
Current calls for submissions: https://abpositiveart.com/submit