Nanaimo artist Amber Morrison flips through copies of her art magazine, ‘Sad Girl Review.’ Issue 5 comes out on Sept. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo artist Amber Morrison flips through copies of her art magazine, ‘Sad Girl Review.’ Issue 5 comes out on Sept. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo artist’s ‘Sad Girl Review’ magazine celebrates ‘girly’ art

VIU grad Amber Morrison publishing lesser-heard voices

A Nanaimo artist’s homemade art publication has been “officially recognized as a real magazine” and she’s hoping that designation will help her contributors reach their largest audience yet.

Two years ago, after graduating from VIU as a student of visual art and creative writing, Amber Morrison unveiled the first edition of her art magazine Sad Girl Review. She created the magazine as a way of finding like-minded creative people and publicizing their work.

“The magazine itself is a celebration of all things girly. As the title suggests – Sad Girl Review – melancholy, hyper-feminine kind of things…” Morrison said. “I was curious to see how this language of girliness might reach other people and see how they responded to it and it took off a lot more than I really expected.”

Since then the magazine has grown with every issue. Morrison said she receives hundreds of replies each time she makes a call for submissions and the magazine has now tripled in size from its 34-page debut to 90 pages in the upcoming fifth issue, which comes out on Sept. 12.

Morrison said she realized that a lot of people were entrusting her with their work and she decided the best way to honour that trust and take it seriously was to make their work even more widely available. To accomplish that, Morrison applied for and received from Library and Archives Canada an International Standard Serial Number, a numerical code used to identify serial publications.

“Through getting the ISSN number and sending [issues] to Library and Archives Canada people are going to be able to use these for research, they’re going to be able to look back on people’s careers, see what they did, where they participated, so it’ll basically make all of my contributors easier to find,” she said.

Morrison’s contributors range from teenage girls to grandmothers, and some men as well, of varying experience from Canada, the United States and Europe. The upcoming issue features work by poet Penn Kemp, who Morrison notes edited Canada’s first women’s literary poetry anthology in the ’70s, as well as Tess Majors, an 18-year-old American college student who was killed in a mugging shortly after submitting a series of photographs to SGR.

“I feel like a lot of more girly work or work by women and girls and other marginalized identities like non-binary people, trans people, racialized identities, aren’t very valued because they might not speak in a way that represents the more ‘mature’ literary community,” Morrison said.

She said she welcomes content that isn’t “highly polished” or that may not be accepted by publications with “a high bar of professionalism.” Morrison said she wants to give creators an outlet where they can be themselves.

“You can just be an 18-year-old girl in my publication,” she said. “You don’t have to pretend you have a masters degree, you don’t have to be a professional who’s only talking about certain things. I’ll meet you where you’re at and wherever that is, that’s OK.”

The fifth issue of Sad Girl Review will be released online on Sept. 12 at noon.

RELATED: Nanaimo artist Amber Morrison turns a set of stairs into a work of art



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Art

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Frank Ludwig in a forklift with his long hair during Trooper’s heyday. (Photo submitted)
Humble Island beginnings blossomed into storied career for Trooper keyboardist

Frank Ludwig got his start as a boy pumping the organ in a tiny downtown Chemainus church

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Lantzville singer Raymond Salgado will sing ‘O Canada’ before the Vancouver Canucks’ upcoming game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 17. (Photo submitted)
Lantzville singer to perform ‘O Canada’ at Vancouver Canucks game

Raymond Salgado scheduled to sing the anthem at Rogers Arena later this month

Nanaimo children’s entertainer Steve Romanik, represented by his character Mountain Dweller, is giving away his songs and stories to help raise money for children’s causes. (Photo courtesy Steve Romanik)
Nanaimo children’s entertainer ‘Mountain Dweller’ helping raise money for kids’ causes

Steve Romanik partnering with Nanaimo Child Development Centre, B.C. Children’s Hospital

“Racing Classics” by John Horton depicts sailboats near Trial Island off the coast of Oak Bay. The painting will be featured in his <em>Maritime Impressions</em> exhibit at the Winchester Gallery until April 14.
Greater Victoria galleries beckon spring with vibrant, whimsical nature scenes

At The Galleries: look at what’s on display this month

‘We Are All Beautiful’ by Elise Cole and ‘The Modern Thrall’ by Enigye (Happy) Amarkah (from left) are two of the pieces featured in VIU’s Anti-Racism Arts Festival. (Images courtesy the artists)
Vancouver Island University holds first Anti-Racism Arts Festival

Three-day online event to feature visual arts, performance, film and poetry

Thomas Kuecks, Bellamy Kuecks and Paula Foot have come together to create an album of stories for children. (Nina Foot photo)
Moments with Miss Paula creates musical stories for kids

Music and the spoken word from Island pair available on streaming

Author Eden Robinson poses for a portrait during an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Trickster trilogy author Eden Robinson hosts online conversation and reading

Haisla and Heiltsuk will join fans in event hosted by Vancouver Island Regional Library

Nanaimo author Lawrence Winkler’s latest book is ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa.’ (Bulletin file photo/supplied)
Nanaimo author wraps up trilogy following ‘antihero’ Island doctor

Lawrence Winkler presents ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa’

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Most Read