Indie Publishing
Field Notes

We love sharing our process of making a print magazine and building a sustainable indie publishing brand. New here? Start with our list of popular posts.

Meet our editorial assistant Ivana McConnell

Meet Ivana McConnell, who’s written an essay for issue 10 and recently took on the role of editorial assistant for Offscreen (next to her main job) to help me with the upcoming issue.

Kai: Who are you and what do you do when you’re not working on Offscreen?

Ivana: My name is Ivana McConnell and right now I’m based out of Vancouver, after stints in Toronto, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. I’m an apologetic Canadian with a weakness for typography, and as of lately I’m Offscreen Magazine’s editorial assistant.

My day job is that of interaction designer; when I’m not doing that or working on Offscreen, I’m probably either rock climbing or doing some sort of exercise. It helps me stay even-keeled, and listening to a podcast or some music while cycling helps me turn my brain off for a little while; something I find incredibly hard to do. I’m also trying to make time to learn how to draw letters, properly. It’s my ambition to one day design a typeface. Other than that, I’m usually enjoying a good conversation over a pint or a coffee (depending on the time of day) with my wife, or being dragged around the neighbourhood by our hyperactive jack russell terrier.

What apps and tools could you not live without?

Aside from the usual (Gmail, Skype, etc.), I’m not much of a tools person; I try a lot of them but nothing seems to stick. What does, I adore: Overcast for podcast discovery and listening, Clear and Captio to get tasks done, Byword to write, and the Longform app for great reads. Also, my wife and I recently had to spend six months apart due to work and a big move, and Evernote and Avocado turned out to be lifesavers.

Print is dead. Comment?

Lies. I think reports of the medium’s death are exaggerated and, in fact, it’s managed to reincarnate and reinvent itself into something that both complements and contrasts the digital, always-on world we live in. It can, like Offscreen, become an excuse to unplug from that digital world or, in some cases, allow us to connect to it in a different way. They encourage us to engage with the world a little bit differently; to create or read them is an act of commitment much different to reading or writing a blog post. There’s an honesty about it all — we know that a printed book or magazine isn’t collecting data on us while we’re reading it — and reading is a focused act that, in today’s world, requires just a little bit more devotion than it used to. We can’t share it with a click, we have to talk about it.

Technology changes but the printed word doesn’t; it’s a snapshot of time in a tangible, human way that web content can’t be. It’s permanent, and I think people are looking more and more for that humanity and that authenticity these days. So print isn’t dead, in my opinion, it’s alive and kicking our digital doors down.

What’s your favourite thing on the internet this week?

This 38,000 word interactive article which aims to answer the lofty question, ‘What is code?’ Sit down with a coffee, an open mind, and get ready to take notes (and a few breaks). It’s a cracker.

If you could pick any person to have a long dinner conversation with, who would it be?

I think my answer to this question would probably change every time you asked it, but today it would be Tommy Caldwell. I’ve been a rock climber for many years, and followed his Dawn Wall project since he first started checking it out and seeing if it was possible. He’s such a tenacious, humble human being with some epic stories to share, not to mention some invaluable climbing advice, which I could always use more of!

Please complete with honesty: Working with Kai is ___!?

Reassuring, but not in that cliche, ‘everything-is-going-to-be-all-right’ way, but reassuring in the way that only genuine honesty can be. I’m never in the dark about a suggestion I’ve made or an idea I’ve had, and that forthright clarity is so valuable to me. It’s also unfortunately fleeting sometimes, given the time difference of Vancouver-to-Melbourne, but it’s been brilliant!