We caught up with newly launched Blink Store owner Anna Jay to ask her a few questions. A past guest blogger on WB, Anna graduated in 2012, after a few key internships with MACK and the Times, she became a freelance picture editor working for various well know titles. Now with her new position as a Picture & Art Editor at a newly launched digital magazine The Debrief and the launch of Blink store, it’s exciting times and here is what she had to say.
Hello welcome back to WB, so it’s been a month or two since you launched Blink Store, how is it all going? What’s been the top seller so far?
Hey! It’s going really well, it’s just such a great chance to be exposed to so much great work that is constantly being produced by talented photographers everywhere. The magazines have been selling really well, especially Printed Pages by It’s Nice That. Those guys do great things.
What prompted you to open up an online store and books and magazines in specific?
I have always been fascinated with photo books, I think publishing is such a beautiful way to communicate photography. For me, opening a book store is a great way to stay involved in the book world and just to look at a lot of interesting work. I also use it as a personal space to experiment visually, working with different artists and making concepts come alive.
There are so many amazing books in the world, how do you make the selection for your website?
I spend a lot of time researching online, my job gives me the ability to look at photographers for most of the day which is really nice. I keep an eye on blogs like SPBH, and Source magazine do a good self-published edit. I also always keep in touch with small publishers such as Lodret Vandret who are continually producing amazing books. I really like it when people submit their books, it’s especially nice when the artist tells a story of the work, which makes the submission a lot more personal. See the website for details of how to submit.
Your personal book collection must be amazing right? Whats your all time favourite photobook?
I am quite selective of my own collection, I prefer to keep it small and curated. Morel make beautiful books as do Lodret Vandret. I don’t think I could name an all-time favourite, but at the moment I am in love with Stephanie Noritz’s book Somewhere Else. It’s a stunning example of a self-published book, where every element has been so carefully considered. Somewhere Else is coming to Blink Store very soon.
There is a really nice aesthetic that runs throughout the website, where does your photographic inspiration come from?
I’m a sucker for bright colours and just try and inject some fun into the way the books are shot. I am really inspired by a lot of the surreal still life work that is popular at the moment. I love to look at Stephanie Gonot’s curated blog Please Excuse The Mess which always delivers a beautiful stream of work. And of course Wandering Bears is a great resource to discover photographers, which come in useful for Blink Store and The Debrief.
There also appears to be a personalised relationship with the photographers your using such as Trey Wright for your Winter edit, is this an aspect other photographers in the future can get involved with?
Definitely. I started working with Trey in my work as a Photo Editor and I really admire his style. Because Blink Store is in the early stages I wanted to involve people I have communicated with before, as I feel that there is a level of trust which helps get things started. I am really open to photographers getting in touch who would like to be involved in the website visuals. The Edit is a great space to work with a photographer to collaborate over an edit of products and an image to represent the selection.
We really like the idea of your ‘editions’ section, can you tell us a little more about it?
Over the past couple of years I have started to collect some prints from photographers I have worked and really admire. I just wanted print buying to be more accessible and at a price point more appropriate. All the prints on Blink Store are priced between £35-£100, in editions of five so it’s a great opportunity to start collecting work and they look great on the wall!
The last time we spoke to you your were just about to graduated from a degree in Photography, where have you found yourself in the past year and a half?
I moved to London straight after my degree in 2012 and started interning at Steidl/MACK and The Times. I loved the pace of working on a picture desk, so pursued a year freelancing before accepting the job of Picture & Art Editor at a new digital magazine, The Debrief. It’s a really amazing opportunity to work on a new digital launch, and to be able to create the visual identity. I have quite a lot of creative free-rein which is really nice and have the freedom to work with some really talented and emerging photographers.
It’s the season for promotions, can you offer our readers an incentive to go check out your site?
Definitely! WB readers can get 10% off until 31st December using the code WB10.
So that’s 10% off for all Wandering Bears readers until the 31st December using code WB10, so go check out Blink Store for some amazing books.