Exclusive Q&A: Chief Editor Ankit Love On Science & Tech Mag Mist
Online magazine MIST takes the digital generation by storm in revealing the seemingly polar opposites; fashion and science, are two halves of one unstoppable whole. Launched in September MIST magazine combines fashion, science and stunning photography to shed a new light on technological advances, fashion editorial and online content in today’s future digital generation. Is science the new rock ‘n’ roll? We find out..
Renowned for landing a No.1 MTV music video Beethoven Burst, two award winning films at Cannes Film Festival Runners and Whale!, and playing the role of Tybalt in London West-End’s Romeo and Juliet, Ankit Love is the modern creative chameleon. We speak to the editor about his innovative new magazine MIST, to talk about all things science, fashion and technology in the modern digital age revolution.
Looking back at your career it seems you are quite the chameleon! You’ve had success in acting, filmmaking, song writing and race car driving, with so many things under your belt, what sparked an interest in starting a magazine?
Well I like to tell stories and when I write a song, a script or perform you are a type of story teller in these realms, and this was another aspect of storytelling…it’s the power to communicate an idea, a story in your own way; curating what’s going on in the world that’s part of a story that you’d like to shed light on. When I realised I could have my two loves; fashion and science online in a magazine it sparked a fuse (even though my dress sense was awful when I was young…it’s been challenging…ha ha or rather or it was me challenging fashion…)
I think everyone has to go through that shockingly bad sense of taste right! What were we thinking?!
Currently there are 3,000 magazines in distribution in the UK and talking about science and fashion in one publication is tapping into a very untouched area of the magazine industry, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the merge between fashion and science and why you decided to group the two.
A lot of why I wanted to do this project was to break away from branding and tradition in a new way. I wanted to tell a story that expresses change and progress in society and I think this way I can get people to consider science as more attractive and fashion in a more intelligible light.
So it’s using fashion a gateway to expose the sexy face of science?
Yeah absolutely, negative associations with science go back to school… seeing science and technological gadgets as geeky; the guy with the big glasses and big calculator. Now those incredibly mega calculators are in our phones and iPads, so science even without fashion has become sexier but this publication helps communicate it on a deeper level to the masses.
Ah I see, the geek kids are now the cool cats!
Ye! It’s a beautiful thing that science is cool now and this is the digital age revolution, it’s only going to be the expression of thought and feeling from now on…and that’s all that’s going to be required as thought and feeling are more powerful than any message sent out of violence.
The pen is mightier than the sword! Too right…
I wanted to use MIST and its connection to fashion to give science a popular lobby which scientists themselves wouldn’t do because that isn’t there purpose. I want MIST to get people to think about something they wouldn’t normally think of
Through something they have thought of, fashion?
Your magazine is about merging fashion with science, do you think science changes people’s interpretation of fashion? In what way?
I think interpretations change when people realise fashion is a science, it’s an engineering. Science and fashion aren’t two different things, fashion is about measurements, weight proportion and fabrics serving different purposes; to protect you in certain conditions or fabrics that are more breathable. Fashion is dressing the biological form of the human body, and a friend once said to me ‘I don’t get why girls wear high heels’, but I’ve always had an aesthetic eye for these things and thought if you look at the shape, balance and the way it changes the posture, distributes weight and frames the legs, it shows beauty in a scientific light, making fashion a great example of when technology and aesthetics come together. There’s a superficiality to clothes but everyone has to wear clothes (I’m all for going naked, but maybe not in England…) and think it shows your level of taste and understanding of Aesthetics; which is a science in itself.
Really it’s demeaned sometimes as being stupid, like modelling for instance. But that’s why I wanted to group fashion with science not just for science to have a gateway to become more popular, but to see fashion in a more intelligible light. There’s an intelligence to what models do, not a lot of people can find a certain posture, moment, a certain kind of look. It’s an intelligence of the body. In design fashion is a science, from the great tailors, hand stitching, old sewing machines to modern day 3D printing.
To get what you need from the world and the environment around you, you need to do certain things, behave in a certain way, and everything you do to get what you need from the environment is sense of intelligence; whether it be modelling, fashion or any other field. I think grouping fashion with science helps people realise that.
Science and technology is more innovative now than ever, do you think technology today changes the face of the elite fashion world?
Fashion is undergoing an evolution that I’d like to expose to people. 3D printing opens up fashion to people that wouldn’t have normally considered fashion. We covered an architect Brian Oknyansky who designs titanium heels, previously this wouldn’t be possible but now because experts from different fields use 3D printing software, they can use their creative eye to dabble in different fields, making anything from shoes to aeroplane wings. It’s also a cheaper more efficient method of production and now the guys who design aeroplane wings can now consider making clothes, sunglasses and shoes. It brings in people that wouldn’t have ordinarily considered it and widens people’s interpretation of the fashion world that way. So yea it certainly changes the face of the fashion world into a less niche collaborative industry which appeals to experts from many creative fields. I love that!
As the web is fundamentally a piece of technology, was there something about having a magazine online that a magazine in print couldn’t provide?
Yeah! Connection to the masses. Through the web people can come together easily and connect like never before.
This maybe gets a bit kooky…but if you suspend your disbelief for a second, and think of humans as kind of mechanical beings. The most powerful 2 organs are the heart and the brain. The brain has its different parts, and with the new digital technology of the internet; we now have another layer of the brain that we’re all connected to acting as an infinite spectrum of knowledge, diverse thought and memory which we can access at any time, question at any time with a responding answer; as convenient as your own memory. We carry our smart phones with us all the time so our normal brain is constantly connected to this artificial but incredible artificial cloud of a brain that’s everywhere, not only connected to us but every other person that has access to it. So in a way we’re all connected to this greater form of consciousness that is the internet.
So this online global collaboration of thoughts and creativity is a lot more of an effective outlet to connect to people and express knowledge. Great vision,
Yea I think the digital revolution is over and the effects of it we’ll come to see. It’s the start of something phenomenal, because a lot of changes in the past have been based on the misappropriation of power, misinformation and miscommunication, but the beauty of this modern brain (www) is that it’s so open to express thought without being monitored, and thankfully up to now most countries still don’t filter it and I think that’s important. Not that I condone some of the awful things that are written on the web, but I think the negative opinions put on the web should still be expressed because it maintains the integrity of this knowledge, this mind, brain, and the diversity of human thought. The more we can put into this greater consciousness that we all connect to the better, so I don’t think it should be policed and think having an online magazine that is in tune with today’s future digital generation like MIST is essential.
The beauty of this limitless, lawless society where freedom of speech is globally allowed really highlights the power of the digital age. As opposed to books and information in print, what do you think the fundamental difference is between information expressed in books and information expressed online like MIST?
I love how being online gives everyone a universal equality, gives knowledge even a greater equality; I mean a great author can be put next to an 11 year old writing jibberish or making a funny sketch. It gives everyone a chance, everyone’s a publisher! Blogs, websites etc. Online you can see Picassos next to work by Banksy through Google, where different areas of knowledge and expertise are contrasted and merged together, like science and fashion being merged together in an online magazine. The web is about putting different things and information next to each other, it doesn’t have to be so black and white. If it was in print or a book bounded in a library, I’d have to sort through and only look at information the certain way that publisher dictated to me, in a certain order through categories and genres set for practical purposes. Being online gives a diversity and significance to blurring the lines between genres and highlighting how unnecessary categorising things are sometimes! It merges the categories into an infinite haze,
What like a MIST?
It brings about a great potential and this potential made me realise if I was going to do this magazine it HAD to be online! It’s the excitement of having access to create and express a certain idea which has a great power. Luckily we’ve managed to get 30,000 visitors to our site in the first month and a million hits on our YouTube video, and to have that many impressions all over the world is something we couldn’t have done had we had physical print distribution.
So it’s a widely more efficient way to get your message out to that many people, were there any aspects of the sentiment of flicking through a magazine in print that you still wanted to retain online?
I chose the scroll layout so I could keep the format of a magazine coherent; content to come every month periodically like a print magazine does. I wanted it to read like a magazine not like the click click click of online content where you have to wait for numerous links to load. Having a simple bold coherent scroll takes people through a story where you can browse the entire magazine in 3 minutes and get all the content in one go, plus the format stays the same wherever you are; on your phone, iPad, because the content comes right down the middle of your screen. It’s a reaction to frantic random information placed online and I wanted to simplify this into one fluent and bold layout with full pages ads (as opposed to tiny banners) paying respect to skilled fashion designers.
In your opinion, is science the craze? The new Rock’n’Roll?
Yeaah! I want to use this magazine as a gateway for people to know more about science. It’s an important set of knowledge which makes us more equipped to solve problems through understanding natural phenomena. The more people know about science the less people will get angry and frustrated, because they’ll be more aware about how to solve problems such as climate change instead of feeling fearful and guilty of the state of climate change, induced by statistics and such. Science makes us think in a different way, it’s the only tool to address natural phenomena and disaster by being aware of why something happened and how the problem can be solved. Science isn’t all doom and gloom! That’s why I think science is sexy. Not to mention all the incredible things the technology world is coming out with.
Knowledge is power indeed! From your career reaching success in acting, song writing, film-making, race car driving and now editor in chief of Mist Magazine, do you have any spare time!? And if so what do you fill it with?
I end up browsing the internet for nothing! It’s like meditation in a way, I find it fascinating. We’re given our physical environment and it’s our need as people to explore, create and find what we need. Going online, to say find a job or a partner, used to be limited to how much we could get from our physical environment, but now through the internet we can find it 3000 miles away, travelling to the far corners of the world we would never normally be able to reach.
So looking for love, financial stability and life’s good stuff is no longer confined to physical restrictions! I like it
What’s the most cutting edge piece of science that’s blowing your mind at the moment?
I’m really interested in life-extension science, I mean more time means we have more time to learn. And which girl doesn’t want to have younger looking skin for longer right?! It’s been taken really seriously in the scientific community, and Aubrey de Grey the director of the Sens Research Foundation found that 90% of people die of ageing, so if you can extend your life through science it really is absolutely ground-breaking.
If you could back track 10 years, what would you tell yourself back then that you’d wish you’d known?
I learn from my mistakes but in hindsight I would have told myself to focus more on quality right from the beginning and not to worry about trying to achieve anything at the time…I would’ve liked to have been more aware of what was going on in the popular world around me because I think that way you know what the audience wants and how best to communicate with them. I was getting involved in so many different things and I think at times maybe I didn’t fulfil my potential in any one thing to what it could’ve been, and that’s both a power and a weakness. So yeah I would have told myself to work a little less hard, focus on quality and always improve your skills.
For people wanting to create a magazine or start a career in editorial writing, what would you say are the key fundamentals to be successful?
I come more from a background of writing, reading scripts and screenplays so I may not able to go into too many specifics, but for sure I think voice is important, why you are writing, who you’re writing for and what you want to communicate to them. Find a good way to pull them into a story, one that’s going to catch their attention without being annoying or flamboyant. Also, the editorial world is massively about trial and error and responding to feedback, I can’t stress enough self-edit, self-edit and self-edit again! And also I’d like to say don’t ever be afraid of trying something out, if you try it out and get it wrong who cares? As long as you’re genuinely trying to achieve something, so what, if you keep trying you’ll get it the right the next time.
Ankit, thank you so much for speaking to me and all the best of luck with the magazine, what a fascinating concept and would love to check in again in the near future to see how it’s all going!
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epXPJqGmpG4