The first thing they taught me at school was that print was slowly dying, letting more space to the new technologies as tablets with novels on or the blogging sphere. We also told me that being a journalist wasn’t something easy. As a filmmaker. Or an artist. As soon the teacher said that it wasn’t easy and to make a living out of it was a lot of work, which involved sleepless night and worries, I’ve seen the faces of half the class changed. They were dreaming of money, of fame. Of something they could make a living from easily, without a single worry. But what about the passion, I thought. I understand that some people rather wait until they have an opportunity, wait until a good career fall on them, and wait until they have a diploma so they are able to touch a higher salary. But where does the passion go?
As I was exploring San Diego County, which was an attempt to explore people’s soul and what is driving them, I discovered a new zine, Full Bloom. Full Bloom wasn’t launched when I found them through the internet, but as soon as I exchanged some emails with one of the founders, Corey Smith, I knew they were the answer to all these kids that were facing the computer back in Montreal, dreaming of fame: you create your own dream. Chance doesn’t exist and fame doesn’t matter – your passion is the thing that should make you wake up at dawn. Get out your comfort zone. Try new things. Make you feel new feelings. And, that’s what Full Bloom is all about.
As he told me, ‘’you can expect to find interviews of local surfboard shapers/artists. Stories and photos of our travels and adventures. Photographs of what we are most inspired by and a collection of all of our hard work printed into 65 pages’’.
The first publication is sold out (I know, I am teasing you and you can’t even get one, sorry for that), but you can follow them through Instagram until the release of the second one.
Feeling inspired already? Dig through some questions I asked Corey.
Full Bloom is a new zine where we will be able to find photography and stories. What would you say to people that say "Print is Dead"?
I would say that print is very much alive and well; maybe not as much of the mainstream publications, but the smaller, creative publications are all over. I think having something tangible that you can see, feel and physically turn a page is special. These collections of stories and photos are something we will have to share with future generations.
How did you get the idea of launching a magazine? It doesn't seem like the easiest thing to do...
Before moving to California, I lived in New York City with my best friend Michael Dean (editor of FB). We were involved with another zine project called "Freaks of Nature" started by my twin brother Kevin who lived in Florida at the time. It was an adventure photo zine about 30 pages, stapled binding. That was the start of our interest in small print "zines". Moving to California a couple years ago, we all were really inspired by California surf history and culture. Print magazines like “Foam Symmetry" and “The Surfers Journal" were very inspiring as well as other great artists and writers like Thomas Campbell and Richard Kenvin. Just as these magazines, writers and artists have inspired us, we decided to create Full Bloom in hopes to inspire others.
Launching a magazine is for sure not the easiest thing to do. Creating/gathering content, shooting photos, writing articles, designing layout, etc. It takes a lot of time, but it's what we love to do.
Living in Leucadia is definitely the best place, allowing you to be around the coolest surfing spots and adventures. Will the stories feature in the zine will be coming only from there or are you seeking stories from anywhere in the world?
Yes, Leucadia is awesome! There is a lot of inspiration that comes from this area. Great waves and a beautiful coastline to explore. We are very fortunate to have made such great friends who live here like Ryan Burch, Andy Davis, and Jon Wegener, who are really stoked on the project and really wanted to be involved.
So besides the handful of local artists we featured, there are a few stories that take place outside Southern California. A great friend/writer of mine, John Brodie, wrote a story about his recent travels to Cornwall, and another great story about a first experience in Big Sur by Michael Dean.
Why did you pick the name Full Bloom? Any particular meaning?
This is something that took quite a while to come up with, we bounced around a few names, and “Full Bloom" was suggested by Michael Dean. Anyway, the name was very relevant to what we feel we have become or better yet are becoming since moving to California. Being in "Full Bloom" is striving for your full potential. John Muir explains feeling this way during his experience in the eastern Sierras as an early explorer. The same inspiration that Muir gathered from the mountains, we gather from the ocean and outdoors. People find this potential in different ways, this is ours.
Who is a part of the team?
The team consists of myself, Corey Smith, age 24.
Kevin Smith, my twin brother, age 24. Whom is a very talented surfer/filmmaker.
Chris Allen, age 21. Whom is a photographer that grew up across the street from my brother and me in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
Brannon Cooper, age 23. A great writer, who also grew up in Florida.
Michael Dean Wheatley, age 23. My best friend and a radical skater.
And many more friends who helped out.
The whole team now lives in Leucadia, California.
If you could describe Full Bloom in one word...