There are some people in this world that are a true inspiration for all of us and we think Barna Nemethi is one of them. He is a graphic designer, photographer, film director, writer and editor-in-chief of an amazing independent magazine called All Hollow.
What we admire the most about him, besides having so many layers, is that he had the courage to launch an independent fashion magazine in a country whit not a very big market. Recently they launched their 4th issue and all we can say is that they are getting better and better, and now you can find All Hollow in 14 countries.
We got the chance to talk a bit with Barna about the magazine, the challenges of being an editor-in-chief and the future. Here is what he told us:
There’s a lot of music around me, although I’m a visual person, I think music is where I get most of my inspiration from, and also the mood to get the work done. It’s not enough to get inspired, you also have to roll your sleeves and make it happen.
- Tell us more about yourself.
Truth is, I’ve quite lost myself. I can’t stop and just do one thing, then maybe even do it well. For now, I’m in this storm of doing everything all the time. After a photo-shoot I want to start up a band. Then I want to do a magazine. Then I want to film something. Then I have to pay for all the stuff I’ve been starting and I need to get a real job, or three. Then back to shooting something, writing something, watching something. So I guess more-about-myself would be more about what I’m doing right now. So. I’m blasting Kanye in my headphones, his latest album is dope. I work well on Kanye. Also, I’m going to a Queens of the Stone Age concert this weekend, very excite about that, their new album is almost perfect, and last time I saw them they did a shitty show. I felt cheated and now I want what’s mine. There’s a lot of music around me, although I’m a visual person, I think music is where I get most of my inspiration from, and also the mood to get the work done. It’s not enough to get inspired, you also have to roll your sleeves and make it happen. Meanwhile, I’m reading Quiet, a book about introverts and how they are misunderstood, and how society would prefer a world full of extroverts. By the way, I feel that in social media too, how we are all pushed to communicate, show, expose ourselves. I don’t think it’s the right way to go, but then again, I’m a textbook introvert and I do have an Instagram. Go figure.
- How did the “All Hollow” project start?
The initial idea was to create ourselves a playground, a place to experiment. So we did a blog. Thing is, as it turned out, we weren’t as alone as we thought. So as we started to play around we found ourselves meeting very interesting people. You have to understand that this was a big surprise to me.
A couple of years ago, when All Hollow begun, it was out of frustration and isolation. It’s called All Hollow from a T.S. Eliot poem about hollow men, emptiness and the ending of the world. So, after a few months the dynamic shifted dramatically. It wasn’t about our stuff anymore, it was about meeting and getting together with people we found interesting. We opened our doors and extended the playground to anyone willing to join our desire to be involved in projects that they believe in. Since we started we’ve discovered many many talented artists and creative minds and the pleasure of working with them is what I consider our greatest accomplishment. To twist Eliot, it started with a whimper, it will end with a bang.
- What are the concept and the main idea behind the magazine?
Right now I think our main push is to be a bridge between eastern European pop culture and the rest of the world. This works both ways, we think Bucharest is a genuine hot spot for ideas, subculture trends and creative work. At the same time, we believe it’s highly expected and about time that these artists start creating content at a gold standard. It’s not enough to have good ideas, you also have to deliver them at a certain level. And I think the standard of an international magazine is the place to begin pushing for quality in an industry that always had awesome ideas but sloppy executions. No pressure, hahahhaha. Now take this and add it to the initial concept. What you’ll get is a playground of experimenting, where people meet to create amazing things and push their limits. Honestly, that being said, it’s just about doing something that feels cool.
- Was it challenging starting an independent magazine in a country that doesn’t have a big fashion market?
It’s not that it was challenging. It IS challenging. Every single day. Sometimes it’s a fucking nightmare. Big fashion market means the latest runway clothes, luxury brands, advertising, competition, sample shoes for shootings, the list is endless. A big market means an industry, that for better or worst works. A small market means that all these people make their living from something else. You know, time is money. So that means our biggest challenge is time, hahhahaha. The worst being said, there’s also a lot of good and a lot of hope. When circumstances are dire people find the will and strength to step up. You’ll find a lot of artists delivering with more passion and endurance here than in the biggest fashion markets of the world.
- On the cover of the first issue, you had the beautiful Roxana Voloseniuc, who is the editor in chief of Elle Romania. What was the story behind that choice?
The rational was very simple. Roxana Voloseniuc is one of the most iconic persons in the Romanian fashion industry. From her strong grip on Elle magazine she’s pioneered many many challenges of doing relevant fashion in our country. Also, she’s now not only the Editor-in-Chief but also the publisher of the magazine, that’s an insane amount of work and I think she’s doing an amazing job. In many ways doing commercial mainstream and Elle equity here is a lot harder than eccentric avantgarde. Now, because of her position, she could have never made a cover on a magazine. She’s far too discreet and refined to put herself on her own magazine, although she could, and there’s no way another glossy
would feature her. So in the end it was an homage to one of our biggest fashion icons, and also a statement that we want to take things from where the existing magazines left them. We want to work together. We come in peace. We wanted to acknowledge the work done before us. And since we’ve had
amazing talent from all the other magazines as well, starting with Elle and ending with Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar.
- What are the best side and the worst side of being an editor-in-chief?
Damn. Worst part (see how I always start with the bad), is that sometimes people feel that when you own and are the editor-in-chief of the magazine you somehow suck a part of the credit from them and their work. And that you’re a blood sucking arrogant asshole. Hands down, worst thing about it is that you become what I call an ego-target. There are a lot of people out there that want to pick a fight. Thing is, I am an arrogant asshole. So I don’t give a shit. Best thing is having a team. I love teams, I love collaborations. I think it’s the most creative and awesome way of doing things. And with Hollow I’ve got both. A great team to work with, and some amazing collaborators that understand our vision and want to be a part of it.
- Who are the people in your industry that inspire you?
Well, it’s actually their industry. They own it. I’m just knocking at the door. Well. Did I say Josh Homme before? hahahah. Well, him. Pop culture inspires me. Cris Hitchins inspires me, even from the grave. John Stuart. Cara Delevingne. Ashley Smith. Tumblr. I’m bad with names. All those photographers that take awesome pictures that come up on my feed inspire me.
- Fashion is so consuming. Do you ever feel like you need a break from it? And if yes, what is your escape?
I always take breaks. Being a quarterly magazine it kind of gives me a precise time of two weeks to have a break from it, hahhahahha. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s like a blackout. I don’t open a single magazine, don’t scroll on one blog, it just becomes noise. And then, when I start working again, I slowly catch up. It’s the only way I can have a picture in my mind of the direction I’m going in. Step back. Catch up. Step back again. Catch up again. Also, on a side note, i don’t think artists should necessarily be that obsessively informed of their industry. Sometimes they should just do their thing whatever it is. Because you may get caught up in it, you could spend all your days watching and liking that shit, and you would be right to do so, because there’s so much amazing work out there. But sometimes you just have to make your own mark, whatever that is.
- What or who would say is your endless source of motivation and inspiration?
Tribes and fiction.
- Where do you see yourself and the magazine in five years from now?
I see myself in front of a lens, shooting someone, like Josh Homme or Dave Grohl or Jack White, and I see the magazine in every news stand that matters. Booom. No pressure.