Lauren Tresp, Publisher & Editor of The Magazine
Publisher & Editor of The Magazine
Wellness, yoga, cooking & travel
When did you start working with The Magazine, and how has your role evolved since?
I first started working with the previous publisher as a contributing writer in 2013. I wrote consistently for The until I became the publisher in early 2016. It wasn’t a gradual transition at all, I really moved straight to the top, for better or worse!
What was your professional journey before working at The Magazine?
Prior to becoming the publisher and editor of The, I was a freelance writer, worked in a number of contemporary galleries, and my academic background is in medieval art history and early Christian studies. I also taught yoga on-and-off for a few years (a refreshing reprieve from a lot of cognitive, analytical work!).
What do your days typically look like?
It seems like there is no such thing as typical! And as much as I try to embrace the concept of time-blocking, as the owner and publisher, I’m responsible for keeping all of the many moving pieces in motion, as well as the financials, which keeps me on my toes throughout the monthly production cycle. On any given day this looks like a lot of communication between myself and my two employees, our contributors, advertisers, and other community members. It looks like an unfortunate amount of bookkeeping and admin work. It looks like editorial planning, event planning, reviewing our marketing plans, doing our in-house graphic design, designing the magazine itself. It looks like sales meetings with our clients. And of course, simultaneously working on the big picture vision I have for this business, keeping the ball rolling on some of our behind-the-scenes work of upcoming projects. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, it means going out to see art and meet artists.
What are your future visions for The Magazine? What are some dream projects you'd like to work on?
Right now, I am in the midst of finalizing and launching a new business (!), which will encompass The Magazine, but also be an umbrella under which we can begin to build and offer other, non-magazine projects and forms of content. These are ambitious plans and may take some time, but they include expanding our content to include video, podcasting, and more live events. It also includes creating a membership model to create more community momentum around contemporary arts and help sustain our work. It also includes launching professional development opportunities for artists and arts professionals in our community.
Ultimately, I want to tell a new, more authentic story of contemporary arts in New Mexico on local, national, and international levels. There is so much to be proud of here in terms of our creative culture, it is so special compared to so many places I’ve been and seen art. I think that the old narratives around Santa Fe and the southwest need to be broken, and a new narrative needs to be told to draw new audiences to discover the amazing work being created here.
Do you have any notable events or announcements on the horizon?
Yes! We will be launching this new business model around July 1, so please stay tuned for announcements coming out in June!
What's your favorite thing about your work?
The creative problem-solving that is involved in making a very scrappy, for-purpose business model work and grow.
What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
See above! But also, sales. As a creative-type person, I went into this business with aspirations to work on the creative side of the business. The reality of being the business owner, however, is that my number one priority and obligation is to keep the ship afloat, which for our current business model means selling advertising. While I’m happy to serve our clients in getting visibility for their businesses, I’ve never been a natural salesperson, so it’s a personal challenge, and this is on top of the fact that this is an incredibly difficult moment for the media industry across all levels and advertising seems to be untenable in the long-run.
Who do you go to for professional advice, and what's the best advice they've given you?
I actually wish I had more mentors locally, that is something I want to work on cultivating. I do work with a business coach, and the most valuable principle she expresses consistently is that, as small business owners, we need to think about and plan our business around our lives, to set things up so that the business supports all of the things we want for ourselves and the lifestyles we want to have, rather than allow the business to suck up and overtake our lives, a pattern that is so easy to fall into.
What advice can you give to budding creatives and entrepreneurs in Santa Fe?
You can make money and lose money, but your time on this earth is short, and always getting shorter. Whatever it is that you feel called to do, just do it. Of course, do it responsibly, especially if you are considering starting a business, as the financial realities are serious. But don’t wait around out of fear or uncertainty.
Don’t do it unless you truly love and care about it. You’ll work harder than you ever have, you’ll care more than anyone else ever will, and there will be blood, sweat, and tears. But if you truly love it, it’s so rewarding and so worth it.
When and why did you decide to move to Santa Fe?
I moved to Santa Fe from Chicago, where I went to grad school, in 2012. At the time, I was working multiple part-time jobs and was looking for something more stable. I randomly looked online and found a full-time gallery position and moved here two weeks later. I wasn’t sure how long I would stay since I’d never been to New Mexico before, but I fell in love with this place right away.
What makes Santa Fe special to you? What is your favorite thing about this place?
Santa Fe makes me feel closer to reality, and closer to the earth… is that an odd thing to say? This place feels grounded and authentic (setting aside some of the tourism BS). There is something grounding in the environment, in the people, in the collective sense of value placed on art, food, community, nature, and civic engagement.
Have you found community and support here in Santa Fe? If so, how and where?
I have felt so supported by so many people! I’ve never had such a large network of friends, colleagues, and supporters before. And they all come from different parts of the community, too. I think my first network grew out of my yoga practice and the friends I made there, and their friends of friends. When I first moved here, I didn’t know a single person, so I went to yoga classes every single day and met close friends that way. Then, working in the arts is sort of a built-in community of like-minded types, so I’ve grown close to many of the people I encounter through that and through work. Now that I’m in a position where I am meeting people all of the time, I feel like my network is constantly expanding. I’ve felt so supported the whole way.
If you could change one thing about Santa Fe, what would it be?
I think sometimes I sense a mentality of scarcity, rather than a mentality of abundance. It feels like that scarcity-mindset goes hand-in-hand with a fear that causes people to think small, or defensively, instead of thinking about the big picture and the possibilities of being totally open-minded. I’d like to see and feel more optimism and less hand-wringing.
What are you passionate about outside of art and design?
Travel! I’ve had the opportunity to travel over the last few years to some amazing places, both in the US and abroad, and it is so enriching to experience other cultures and to see art and design in other places. It truly jars the mind open to more possibilities and certainly informs my work here as well. Besides that, I’ve always been interested in wellness, fitness, cooking delicious, healthy food, and my personal yoga practice, which have all pretty much fallen by the wayside since becoming a business owner, and I’d like to get back to those. I’m working on that right now!
At the end of the day, why do you do what you do?
Because engaging with the arts has made a huge impact on me and the way I see the world, it’s enriched me intellectually and emotionally and made me a better person. Because the arts are an important avenue for considering what defines our humanity and how we communicate with each other. If I can share those concepts with others and contribute to a thriving, sustainable arts community, I think I’ve done something good.