We spoke with Tori West of Bricks Magazine, ahead of Publish Cardiff this week

Editor and Welsh native Tori West has created Publish Cardiff – a day of talks, networking and celebration of all things print.

The day is a forward-thinking yet necessary step in the right direction for an area home to a wealth of creatives and forward-thinkers. Talks and live Q&A’s with BRICKSRefinery29, Typical Girls, Ashleigh Kane (Dazed) and Naomi Pike (British Vogue) will be held throughout the day, which will take place at Clwb Ifor Bach this coming Saturday.

London inherently holds the crown as the be-all end-all for a career in the arts industries, it is up to creatives and companies both within and far from the perimeter of the city to change that notion. We caught up with Tori West to discuss the relevance and reasoning behind Publish Cardiff..

What sparked the initial idea for Publish Cardiff?

I’m from Cardiff and lived in Bristol for a couple of years, I’m currently based in London, although I never actually wanted to live here, I just got offered a job here and couldn’t really turn it down. But since living here and working in press, I started to notice a pattern – publishers were only writing and supporting the work of either those in their immediate circle or were already based in London. Writers and editors get a lot of blame for that, but being in the industry myself and having to pump out about 20 pieces a week, it’s not because they don’t want to support new talent – they just don’t have the opportunity to find them, they are way too busy. I really want to change that. I started this project in Cardiff because I grew up there, although I do want to take it further afield. The fact that creatives live 3 hours away from where everyone networks shouldn’t mean they should be ignored or receive less support.

What are you hoping people will get out of the day itself?

I’m just hoping they’ll understand that the fashion and art publishing world isn’t like stepping into Miranda Priestley’s office, it’s not unattainable or exclusive. I had no experience in publishing whatsoever before I started BRICKS, I had to learn everything on the spot. I do think I probably would have saved a lot of time and money if I was taught by someone at some point, but all the speaker’s journeys into the world of publishing and editorial have all been so different – there’s no straight path, but it’s not unachievable.

What do you wish to see more of in South Wales with regards to the creative industries?

It’s not necessarily what I wish I could see more of, there are some amazing creatives in South Wales already, it’s more that I wish they were being recognised and catered for. I would love to see more companies that aren’t based in Wales, make more effort in providing alternative education methods – we can’t all afford to go to university and live in London – so why are they only based there? If I can somehow single-handedly organise something like this, with no money, no experience in event planning, surely they can.

Days like these are imperative to the development of local/independent projects, are there any ideas you’re particularly excited to be pushing during the day?

I think Refinery 29’s talk will be so beneficial to those who want to create something but are unsure of how to articulate their ideas in words or images, the UK office is such a young team (just over 18-months or so old) but they’ve grown into the second biggest beauty and fashion platform in the country just behind Cosmopolitan, I think they produce some incredible pieces, their imagery and social strategy has been key to that – it’ll be exciting to understand how they did it. I’m also really hoping that my talk with Typical Girls will demonstrate how you can literally do something out of nothing, even Ashleigh – her previous experiences before her editor role at Dazed is never what you’d expect.

Cardiff itself is rich in its musical and artistic foundation, what difference could the correct representation be doing for the area?

We know that, but I can’t wait till everyone else knows this too.

Learn more about Publish Cardiff and purchase tickets for the remaining talks here.

Words by @rhimarilou

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