Victoria Jin, founder and editor in chief of KNEON magazine shares with us some inspirational information on setting up and running a business from a young age alongside her school and university studies. She is currently in her second year at the University of Edinburgh studying History of Art with Chinese. Also meet Snoopy.
Where did you find the confidence to launch KNEON?
I think ‘confidence’ and ‘launch’ wouldn’t really describe how it started, more ‘idea’ and ‘start’. I was 17, on the editorial team for our school magazine, and was just told that I wasn’t allowed to do it anymore because of the IB. So I thought, hey why don’t I just start my own thing? So, with a less-than-boom, KNEON began that summer. The ‘team’ was essentially me, Photoshop, and InDesign.
Have you had a lot/ any support with the development of KNEON?
Definitely. I’ve had great support from friends, and have met some great people through the magazine, people who I’ve become very close friends with, who inspire me, who push me, and who make me want to do more. They keep me on the right track. People working in the industry have also been more than helpful with insider advice and branding-activities for me; their passion for what they do helps me to mold my own dream.
What audience are you targeting?
Readers of KNEON are between 15-30, aspiring artists, talented established creatives, and/or individuals with character, spunk and intellect. They’re global-minded, they love the Internet, they’re not your typical Tumblr-personalities, but they have a sharp eye for judging what they like and don’t like. They also like collecting things they appeal to. They have opinions. They’re sassy. And they love looking at and collecting beautiful work by driven individuals.
What have been three significant points in the KNEON journey?
The first day I received a press release (wow, I count as ‘Press’ now?); the day when KNEON received her first internship application; and every time a person I respect tells me they appreciate what I’m doing.
How did you choose the name?
Haha this always comes up. So this is the story: I was hovering between a certain number of names, and posted the final options (‘Nude Lips’ was one of them, from what I remember) onto my blog at the time to ask my readers to vote which one they preferred. They liked ‘NEON’ best, but that was already taken by another German magazine. So I added a silent ‘K’ to the front, and thus, cheekily, KNEON was born. That’s probably going to be how I arrive at the name for my first child.
Do you give yourself daily/weekly/monthly targets for KNEON?
I work with three targets: the upcoming issue, the current day, and the long-term project. I think keeping the larger picture in mind is so important: having a business plan, knowing what kind of lifestyle I aspire to have, and not focusing and re-focusing on the minute details at hand. It’s like a Tetris game: you see what groundwork you have, you see the immediate next piece coming, but then you look ahead and see where you want the ultimate picture to look like – always reacting and acting. Also, the game never ends until you truly give up.
Where do you get your material from for KNEON?
They’re created exclusively by artists and journalists from all over the world. Most of them are in Vienna, London, New York, Tokyo, LA and Beijing… all over the world but rooted in the same passion for creation. Sometimes teams submit completed editorials that we’ll publish if we like it a lot, but mostly we plan the shoots from scratch: from moodboards to the model-castings, to assembling the perfect teams and then to the final imagery, working closely with social media along the way. For interviews of DJs/musicians/talents, we have relationships with some great agencies that send us pitches of artists each season, which we then pick out of.
What is your next big goal for KNEON?
The next big goal spreading the KNEON identity and brand further: developing a great team relationship, setting up a dope office, having print editions distributed around the world, and ultimately having a KNEON umbrella-brand including consulting, talent/artist/model representation, and advertising. I’m excited by the future 🙂
KNEON website link: http://www.kneon-magazine.com
Victoria Jin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview and photos by Lucy Henshall