Promo picture in Victoria’s apartment to show V reading her creation

Victoria Hall, also known as V, is the editor and mind behind Emotional Magazine. Music lover, philosophy grad and all around geek for anything older than the 80s. She’s always had a fascination with fantasy worlds, magic and what glamorous meant in different eras. As the creator and head editor of Emotional Magazine, her goal is to create a space and community for readers and artists to feel safe in their exploration of emotional expression.

“I wouldn't say that I am anti social media, but I feel like there are a lot of aspects that we don't discuss and basically leave as something that is permanently a part of it. I think those negative aspects need to be reconciled through our own understanding of our mental health. The work must be done by each individual to take the steps necessary for healing. My part is curating and creating this tangible piece of work that inspires, motivates, and really says something of value about society today!”

Victoria and I met while we were studying abroad at the University of Hertfordshire. While we were waiting for the bus back to Herts from London, we got chatting. We only met a couple of times after that. However, we’ve remained in contact and I’ve had the pleasure to see Emotional magazine grow and develop.  She currently lives in Montreal but travels back to New Jersey, where her family lives ︎

︎ How did you get to where you are now? 

After graduating, I couldn’t really find work, I was figuring out what I wanted to do. I always liked writing, and I’ve always wanted to write short stories. I wrote for some people, my friend’s zine... they kind of faded away. I stopped writing my fiction stories and started drawing, getting more into art,  graphic design and photography.

I started working at a call centre because I couldn’t find a job. It was really depressing there. At that point, I started a blog, talking about how I felt as an artist. I kept seeing other people’s work on social media and feeling inadequate. It made me think, why even bother? Why even start? But that blog pushed me to write every week, and stick to something.

I was using pinterest pictures on my blog, which made me think that I wasn’t creating everything I wanted to create. I wanted something permanent, getting the idea of a magazine. Creating something that was tangible, taking people away from social media and the internet, putting them into a fun little glamorous and emotional world.

︎How did you stay motivated while making the magazine?

It’s hard, specially when people are like, “print is dead, no one is reading” Ok, but that doesn’t mean you just give up. I always think, if you can appeal to a 100 people who really love what you are doing, you don’t need a million followers to do what you want and love.





Issue 1 cover, released March 25th, 2019.


︎ How did you decide to study philosophy?

I always had this problem with the way school was working, I felt like a lot of classes I was taking weren’t really interesting or leading anywhere. I couldn’t ask the questions that I wanted to ask. From that point I felt like I had to steer myself and figure out what I was interested in. When I got to my 3rd year of high school I could take more electives, like philosophy and pop culture.

My parents were super against it. They wanted me to study, engineering, business or marketing. I told them, if I don’t study philosophy, I won’t go to university at all. Studying philosophy gave me a good foundation, to be able to critically think and expand on things, and I’m happy that I did.

︎  Where did the idea of Emotional magazine come from? 

The name came from me always being told that I was too emotional, that I wear my heart on my sleeve. Being in tune with my emotions wasn’t a negative thing.

I felt like social media was a popularity contest, who is best looking, who has the best life, who can create that image? The magazine was a reaction to that, I wanted people to be moved and actually feel something. It’s why I don’t necessarily put a lot of the content from the magazine on the instagram. They are completely separate worlds. What’s the point of print, when I’m putting it all online?

︎ How did you start the magazine?

For about 5 months I was thinking, no one is gonna read it, no one is going to look at it.  I still have those thoughts sometimes, but my boyfriend really pushed me: “you don’t know if it’s gonna be bad or good until you start it” he would say. 

I did the call out. I started doing the content photography, and bought a bunch of magazines,  studying what they had in there. I wanted to interview people, work with artists, talk with people. That’s how I came up with the idea of doing obscure themes. I wanted my magazine to be this packet of emotions, everything being tied to this one theme, and everyone interprets that emotion differently. 

Everyone cries, and everyone understands that feeling of being overwhelmed but not everyone would post a photo of them crying and that shouldn’t be the only way to express that sadness. 

I did a lot of experimenting, seeing what works, what didn’t, learning how to use Illustrator and Photoshop. It was hell, but I learned it! My friend helped me with the design, but I was essentially by myself. I didn’t send it out to graphic designers or anyone. It was just me.

I think I completed the first issue in a month. I would wake up at 6 am and go to bed at 1 am.  I had this event, an artist conference, which helped me to get it done. It went really well!



    A — Excerpt of Interview of Megan Cup of Trippy nails
B — Our First Ad for a fucks supplement called Sumextrafux, it was really fun trying to figure out a name that was funny but also sounded like a medication


︎ You mentioned you have a mentor? How did you go about finding her?

I just got a mentor for the third issue. I used to do this Youth Employment Service in Montreal, and she was one of the coordinators for events at the program. I reached out and asked if I could do the window for the event, no one else offered to do anything else so I had full complete control of doing this temporary exhibit for the pop up event. It was so much fun! 

It was really nice working with her. We both understood each other. I just asked her if she wanted to be my mentor. She was helping me apply to a grant, and running ideas past her. Not essentially content wise, but crowdfunding ideas and engaging people.

︎ What do you like most about your creative process?

I really love the mood boards. Because I can throw so many things on there and create something.

The second issue was the first time I did a photoshoot with other people, I had to think of props, of putting it all together and going as wild as possible. Taking a moment to think, this all came from my head. To be able to translate something from your head into the real world, to be able to execute it was a real rush.

︎ How did you find people to work with?

Social media and a lot of recommendations. It was mostly going through other people’s followers, people’s photos, asking who did their make up, which photos do I like, who took those photos?

I had to reach out to people and ask if they were interested, I offered to pay for certain expenses but explained I couldn’t pay them personally. Everything was coming out of my own pocket.

This issue I’m focusing on making it work, crowdfunding and making sure I can pay people. How do you convince people you’re not stealing their money, and if they are investing how do you convince people that it’s worth while?




  

Photoshoot created by myself and Megan Cup of Trippy Nails, Betsy May Smith was our Photographer, and Brit Phatal Fantasy was our Makeup Artist.


︎ When you were working on the first issue were you working on the side?

I was doing freelance when I was working on the first issue, I had a bit of money saved up from my call center job, but then I started doing this administrative assistant job, it was enough to take care of myself. I would answer emails and get most done in the beginning of the day and then work on the magazine when things were quiet. It just became a problem when that job stopped and I had to do the second issue. It’s been difficult to find work. Specially because I want this to work so badly, and dedicate all my time to it, but I gotta eat too.

︎ How do you stay inspired?
 
I try to take some days off, from thinking about everything. Trying to do more administrative stuff if I don’t feel very inspired. Do things not related to the magazine, like read books, and I’m always on Pinterest, looking for artists.

Sometimes I find that one vintage video of someone from the 1940’s dancing and I take inspiration from there. I have this idea of doing this big dancing number for some reason. Even when I’m zoning out from the magazine I can still watch videos that will spark an idea, and I’ll write it down and decide to think about it later. I always have a moleskine with me to write down ideas.

︎ What is your biggest fear as a woman or woman creative?

To never have made an impact. I’ve always had this fear of being average. I’ve always liked to think that I have the ability to make a change for good in the world. I don’t know how yet. I don’t think activism is the way I would go. As a philosopher, maybe through writing.

I think my fear is to never have done these things to make that impact. Keeping my fire teemed, to not be too loud. Holding myself back and never achieving the things I want to do is my biggest fear.



Content photography that went with the recipes in Issue 2!


︎ Currently, the society we live in now focuses so much on the result of things, how much money do you earn, how much profit are you making. I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s so much anxiety and depression right now, the pressure and the demand is too high at the minute.

It’s the amount of hype that you create around something. To what degree can you quantify it, what is the result, what are the sales?  It’s not necessarily about how many people are coming to see what you are making or how many people are buying. It’s how you are actually impacting someone, is what you’re doing affecting the world?

The Merchant Assembly shared something recently, asking,  what is your brand? what is your voice? what do you do that will possibly impact the world right now? It made me wonder if I’m saying everything I want to say. I don’t know if it’s necessarily masculinity taking over, but it is this greed for money. People are creating the same things as others because they see how well they are doing for others.  Same thing for articles, let’s talk about this issue, because this went viral.

Why aren’t people taking more risks? Why are we just going for things that we know will make money?

What I started noticing in comedy, is that the low hanging fruit is to talk about white guys. White men are definitely a problem but we need to evolve on that. What are we doing next? It’s not our job to teach white men what to do but how do we teach ourselves to not be affected by what they’re doing? How do we build, instead of breaking down everything?

︎ Is there anything specific that you think we could do to change that?

I think we need to invest in people that are genuine, we need to invest in people who want to make a change, instead of capitalising on what’s already working. We have to critically think about artists and what they’re saying and doing. Making the choice to put money towards people who are actually trying to do something.

The dollar is very loud, and if you’re spending your money, likes and comments on people who won’t appreciate it, we are never going to change.

︎ Because everyone is focusing on making a profit of every little thing they do, is there a specific thing you do just for the experience, the feeling, rather than the result?

Baking. It doesn’t have to look good, it just has to taste good. I enjoy he process, measuring, mixing, zoning out to that. Also, listening to music, finding new bands, book shopping, just for fun.

Plants as well, I fucking love plants, I have like 75.




Issue 2 Cover, released September 2019



︎ Are there any women/non-binary creatives you look up to?

Rihanna. I just admire her so much. Being a black woman who expanded on her own genre. She doesn’t fit in into the hip hop or stereotypical categories they want to put black women in.

I’m also really starting to like Doja Cat. It’s really important for black women to have this space to be Indie and independent. I feel like that’s been relegated to white women and culturally ambiguous women for a while and when black women try to do it they are automatically put into the R&B category.

︎ Why do you think society rates creativity higher when they know a man is behind it?

I think there’s this side intellectualism that goes along with art, that it can be studied and calculated. Creating art through a formula. So when someone sees a piece of work, there are certain things they are calculating. In that calculation there’s this idea that wether a woman or man did it has to do with a history of how men and women are relegated to certain things. With that understanding, with women not being allowed to speak about philosophy, art, not allowed to go into art school or even becoming chefs.

There’s this assumption that women don’t want to be there and women are just “too feely” or “too emotional” so they can’t have that formula or mathematical aspect to create art. With that assumption that art is mathematical and taking the fact that women aren’t mathematical, there’s that assumption that if a women does it, there’s less mathematics in it. I’m not saying that art should be considered mathematic but I think that’s how a lot of people approach it.

︎  Is there anything specific that you struggle with/want to improve in your practice?

Everything! I was talking with my mum the other day, and I realised how the magazine was a way for me to hide from the world and do my art, and not to deal with other people.  I want to be able to speak more about the magazine through my own voice.

I didn’t want people to think I wanted to be an influencer, that I was trying to get attention. It was easier for me to not show my face, because then it wouldn’t be associated with me. I need to step out more, because that’s my fear, being seen, having attention on me. I want people to critique the magazine and not me. It’s been a self confidence boost because I can create that character and put myself out there and be the model that I want to be.

︎ What’s your dream situation in terms of your work?

 I want to be an art director, do more events and more conferences about mental health, talking about social media and starting conversations. I’d love to do bigger photoshoots and interesting videos. I want to create a huge body of work. To create this world of alternative media, through the magazine. For experimentation, for people who are not trying to be the mainstream.

 I’d love to be in New York, working there. Because there are so many interesting artists there, not to say there aren’t any in Montreal, but I think I’d have an easier time funding there. I think New York definitely has this raw edge to it, which would be fun to add to the magazine.

Content Photography from Issue 2.



︎ What would you tell your younger self, knowing what you know now?

To stop asking for approval so much. It’s ok to make mistakes. Just go for it and stop worrying about what other people are thinking. Be unapologetically yourself, if they don’t like it tell ‘em to fuck off.

︎  What else would you like to know from other women/non-binary creatives?

What would help me a lot is hearing about the struggles and not only the good stuff. We tend to just put the highlights up, and then we feel this pressure to only be happy and positive, setting those expectations that just drive us crazy. It’ll be good to hear like, I had this really shitty meeting but I got through it.



Victoria is currently crowdfunding for the third issue of Emotional magazine, support her here: Gofundme

More of Victoria and Emotional magazine: 
@emotional.magazine

by Luthiem Escalona

Mark