Camay Abraham Interview by Lela Sitki
Pixel writer Leyla Sitki caught up with Camay Abraham, editor-in-chief of Reflekt
magazine currently completing her master’s degree to talk all things creativity, what
inspired her and learning everything from scratch.
“I strive to make high quality content but don't want to go the route of a glossy or an
i-D wannabe. I'm always mindful of keeping that raw Reflekt spirit.”
L - What was the inspiration behind Reflekt?
C - The inspiration behind Reflekt was wanting to have a magazine and a community
that celebrated personal style. At the time a lot of magazines were focused on
celebrity and expensive clothes that no one could afford. I wanted to focus on regular
people who lead interesting lives and expressed that through their clothes. I wanted
to celebrate dressing for yourself which is the basis of our mantra: style is about the
people not the fashion. I was inspired by FRUITS, a Japanese street style magazine,
Ted Polhemus'; style tribes book, Sassy magazine. punk zines, and old i-D, which
were the foundations of Reflekt.
L - How did you get started and what was the biggest challenge you faced when
launching your magazine?
C - I started in the last quarter of my final year of fashion design school. I already
knew I most likely wasn't going to pursue fashion design so instead of working on my
final year project, I decided to start taking photos of people I've already admired. By
chance I had a friend who was pursuing photography, so I asked her to come with
me to these people's houses and take photos. I started off with the print magazine,
the format was like punk zines, afterward I opened a website and Facebook account
to get the ball rolling.
One of my biggest challenges was starting from nothing. I barely knew how to use
Photoshop, didn't know how to use InDesign, and had no basic knowledge of
journalism or publishing. I had to learn everything on my own through trial and error
which took a very long time. Another challenge was convincing myself that I'm a
publisher, I'm an Editor-in-chief, and feeling confident in my ability to produce my
dream magazine. These challenges I continue to improve on- I'm constantly reading
books, attending lectures, and having mentor meetings with other publishers to learn
more about the publishing and magazine industry, and slowly accepting that Reflekt
has its following and that I'm doing good job for the Reflekt team and our readers.
“Creativity is thinking outside of the box.”
L - How do you choose and approach contributors?
C - I choose contributors based on their portfolio-it has to visually align with the
Reflekt aesthetic and if their submission aligns with the current theme we are
working on. Most of the contributors approach me via email, in person, or as
recommendations through friends, but if I really admire someone I'll approach that at
the opportune time.
L - As a young freelancer, how important is collaboration to you and what do you
think the best way to approach it is?
C - Collaboration so important. Especially as I'm showcasing other people's work I'm
very mindful of what they want, what I want, and what the readers would want. The
best way to approach it is to establish a loose framework to play with and allow
collaborators to take the reins if they want.
L - What is the most effective way of promoting and advertising your work?
C - The most effective way is advertorials I feel. It shows that the brands we
advertise we truly like and believe in and showing the product in the Reflekt way is
more genuine and connects better with our readers.
L - What does creativity mean to you?
C - Creativity is thinking outside of the box.
L - How has your approach to your work changed as the magazine has grown and
become more established?
C - My approach has been more rigid and more focused on showcasing everyone on
our pages in the best way possible. I've learned to be more objective but still try and
retain that naive passion that I had when I first started. I've also become more
discerning of what enters Reflekt as we have our community and I don't want to
L - What do you find most difficult about being a creative?
C - Being objective and analytical and switching into business mode when I need to.
L - What is most valuable to you and your practice at the moment?
C - Most valuable is producing very high-quality content and retaining the Reflekt
ethos an aesthetic. I strive to make high quality content but don't want to go the route
of a glossy or an i-D wannabe. I'm always mindful of keeping that raw Reflekt spirit.
L - Would you or your readers benefit from a creative platform that enables you to
promote your work and connect with other creatives?
C - yes that would be great!
L - What would you like to be remembered for?
C - Hm, no one has ever asked me that question...I think I would like to be
remembered for making people happy.