LM Woman #27 / Beth Wilkinson
Blessed with a clear vision into the content she shares with the world, Beth Wilkinson has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to create Lindsay, a publication dedicated to culture and place. Beth's drive is instantly recognisable; Lindsay is a labor of love, evident across the pages. Each detail is considered, every word deliberate. With a penchant for the poetic, Beth has created something to hold, a physical manifestation of knowledge from around the globe, allowing us to experience new cultures through the written word.
Congratulations on the launch of the first edition of Lindsay! Can you tell us a little about Lindsay and how the magazine evolved from a thought, to a publication with a first print run of 3000, stocked in over 50 retailers across 15 countries?
Thank you. Well, Lindsay is a new biannual print and online magazine celebrating the importance of culture and place. I’m based in Melbourne, but the magazine is created with contributors from all over the world and our readership is international.
It doesn’t look at places from the perspective of travel, but rather with the hope of trying to really understand and appreciate them. What’s their history? What’s their identity? What are their stories? For example, in our first issue there is this deeply personal essay about the importance of home, an interview with a translator, and a fashion shoot documenting the hair combs and longyis of Myanmar.
The magazine launched online a year ago, and a few months later, I started work on our first print issue. That first print issue launched just over a month ago, and its reception has been rather extraordinary. Lindsay is a labour of love. It’s a product of passion, long working weeks and resilience, which is something I’m still working on. Because it’s never going to be easy: there will always be unanswered emails, mistakes, roadblocks, but that’s all part of the process. For the past 18 months, I have poured everything I have into bringing this project to life. It’s pretty thrilling to finally see it out in the world and have it available in so many stores I have long admired. Just last week, I was contacted by a buyer from Gucci, and now we’re stocked in their Gucci Garden museum store in Florence!
Lindsay features such a diverse mix of culture, photography and journalism; is there an overarching message Lindsay aims to convey?
As borders tighten around the world and places become increasingly homogenised, Lindsay hopes to celebrate the difference that exists in the world. We want to be give readers an opportunity to learn about places they may never visit, cultures they may never experience. Because when we learn about that difference, we have a better chance of understanding it and appreciating it.
In a world of increasing digital subscriptions, what inspired you to move forward with print?
I’ve always had a penchant for printed matter. Print is nostalgic and poetic. It will never die. If anything, it’s become more precious. It’s tactile and it’s engaging and it’s real. It gives readers a rare opportunity to step away from the screen and really connect with a piece – read it slowly from start to finish and learn something new at the turn of a page.
You also run a digital arm of Lindsay - lindsaymagazine.co - how does your approach change across digital content and print?
Just because we’re in the print world now doesn’t mean I want our digital arm to come in second-best. I love that that content is free and accessible, and most of those pieces will be read in much greater quantities due to the nature of digital. So I spend just as much time considering each piece for digital as I do for print, but the type of content we publish differs slightly. And sometimes it’s about timing – the turnaround time for digital is obviously so much less, so it’s easier to publish pieces relating to current affairs.
You have an impressive list of contributors from all over the world. What do you take into consideration when deciding on the names that will grace the pages of Lindsay?
As a magazine that celebrates different cultures and places, it’s important to publish diverse voices. I am drawn to writers whose writing fits with Lindsay’s tone. Our pieces are brave and thoughtful, but they also have this quietness to them that gives the reader space to think. We’re never yelling or telling – it’s gentle but informed. My aesthetic is pretty strong and I think that comes through with Lindsay’s brand, so I am pretty particular when it comes to sourcing photographers and artists. All of our photography is shot on film—it’s honest but also considered; real moments captured through an artistic lens.
Something interesting I’ve noticed is just how many women contributors we have. This hasn’t been a conscious choice, but I am very aware of it. Perhaps I am naturally drawn to women, or perhaps their style is more suited to Lindsay. But it’s interesting, because most publications are so male dominated, yet in my experience looking for contributors, there is certainly no shortage of brilliant female talent. I’ll certainly keep an eye on the balance and continue to have male voices in the magazine, but I’m proud of how many great women are involved. I’m proud their voice is strong.
What are you most passionate about lately?
Making this work. I cannot believe how much I love working from home and making Lindsay. I am passionate about finding a way to keep Lindsay going and thriving, so I can spend the next 10, 20, 30+ years making issues I believe need to be in this world.
What is your approach to style? And do you have a daily uniform?
Day-to-day I am pretty casual, but I certainly love to dress up when I get the chance. I wish I could wear all sorts of wild colourful clothes, but with my pale freckly skin, I find myself in a pretty consistent palette of white, navy and black. I definitely have a uniform now I work from home. No one knows if I wear the same thing! My uniform is stylish comfort clothes: jeans I can cross my legs in, but ones nice enough so I can have a meeting at a local coffee shop. It’s nice having the occasional work event where I get a chance to get out of my sneakers and have a little fun.
Your most treasured piece in your wardrobe?
I have this beautiful pale mauve dress that was my mum’s from the 70s. It has shoe-string straps and from the waist down it has these very fine pleats which sit just below the knee. It’s one of those pieces that hasn’t ever dated. I could wear it to a wedding or a party and no one would know it’s vintage.
You manage all aspects of Lindsay, what do you do to unwind?
I have a regular yoga practice, I like to go for a walk with my dog, I enjoy cooking (when I have the time) and I love watching films. I also love to go out for a good boogie, but that seems like a rare occurrence these days.
What book/s are you currently reading? Or podcast that you are currently listening to?
I have been re-reading Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels after interviewing Ann Goldstein (who translated them to English) for Lindsay Issue No. 1. I think I am going to start reading André Acimen’s Call Me By Your Name next, after falling very much in love with the film. And I’m obsessed with magazine-related podcasts: Monocle’s, Magculture’s and The Stack’s.
Oh I just finished Call Me By Your Name and loved it! While we're on the subject of novels, do you have a favourite author?
I’m not sure if I have a favourite author, but I certainly think Zadie Smith is irrefutably talented and an important female voice in today’s literary landscape.
You’re currently based in Melbourne, VIC – do you have a go-to:
Café? Allpress, Minanoie, Mavis and Alimentari are my local favourites, for sure.
Cocktail bar? The Moon just opened up nearby and it’s the perfect spot for a wine or G&T.
What can we expect from Lindsay Issue 2?
We’ll be celebrating language again, but from a different angle and region this time, we’re working with Stanislava Pinchuk (Miso) on a piece that I think a lot of LM readers will love, and we’re interviewing some pretty powerful women (again!). Stay tuned.
Shop Lindsay Issue No. 1 here.