The New Tough is the new, independent arts and culture zine offering alternative reading for those bored of reading what they should and more into doing what they want.
Cherry picking the contributors involved with the curation of each quarterly, non-commercial issue of The New Tough, creative directors Robin Black and Nick Tamburri pride themselves on their talent scouting skills. Describing their self-coined magazine’s mission as being primarily concerned with freedom of expression, Robin explains, “We wanted to make a publication free from censorship, commercial requirements or having to reach a specific demographic and that meant keeping our day jobs. Our creative process is a strange and instinctual collaboration. We usually decide on the theme of the next issue quite late at night, totally by accident and often while walking our dog”.
Inspired by the moment and uninterested in beauty, this raw zine focuses on exposing and exploring the ideas and dreams of anyone who has ever felt deeply. Nothing is out of bounds as far as content is concerned, whether a contributor wants to profile an unknown, just some special person for personal reasons or a famous face tipped for big things, the aesthetic is focused upon emotion. Editing with gut instinct as their only guide, each issue features new artists, unknown photographers or obscure interview subjects as well as more established names. Raw, elegant, intellectual, disturbing, refined or purely visceral and always tough, this is not a magazine for the faint hearted. i-D online toughened up and took time out with the magazine’s creative directors to try and find out more about where the new blood flows.
Which magazines or fanzines have influenced your aesthetic? I grew up with punk and music zines. Nick grew up with science journals. I suppose our aesthetic is a combination of punk spirit and scientific fascination. Nick’s design style is very much about elegant typography and iconic minimalism. It makes for a rather lovely collision with my tendency toward the raw.
You state on your website that The New Tough does not make a profit, do you feel money can be creatively detrimental to your processes? Money without obligation would be fantastic since it would allow for our bigger budget ideas to be realised. However, money in publishing is typically from advertising revenue, which is always attached to obligation. We wanted to do a publication free from censorship, commercial requirements or having to reach a specific demographic and that meant keeping our day jobs.
What is beauty? Beauty is boring.
What up-and-coming photographers would you tip for big things? Asger Carlsen, Frankie Nazardo and Jonathan Waiter are doing exciting things involving cameras.
What advice would you give to aspiring young creatives? Create because you have to, not just because you want to. And if you love it enough to keep doing it, even knowing that you might fail miserably at it, well… that is the right attitude.
How do you hope to expand the magazine over the coming years? Funny you should ask… we are in the process of making some exciting changes right now! Look to our Spring 2012 issue for a new collaboration, triple the content, larger print size, limited edition distribution, gallery show, etc. I can’t say more at this time but it will definitely be worth the wait.