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received a Lead Award and an ADC Award
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Victoire Jin
Victoire Jin

Vienna wunderkind

by Rebecca Sandbichler · written on December 13th, 2010 · lies diesen Eintrag auf Deutsch

Victoire Jin is a modern wunderkind. The 17-year-old successfully writes a blog, shoots amazing editorials, publishes her own respectable PDF magazine all by herself, talks to bands such as „We are Scientists“ and probably has to be pretty good at school as well to be interviewed by Oxford. We had a chat with the young talent – about work and leisure time, great photos and her childish hobbys.

Hey Vicky, tell us somehting about Vienna, your home?

I was born here in Vienna and it’s the only place I’ve ever really lived in before. I guess its overall image is relatively safe, clean and culturally rich. When I return from bigger cities such as London or Beijing, I feel really relaxed and at home, because Vienna is not as chaotic and busy, and it really grows on you.

You have two issues of KNEON now. How did you choose the themes for them?

The themes are simple words or phrases that jump to mind that I can imagine a whole issue revolving around. For the first issue ‘romance with an edge,’ the idea was to create a contrast with typical flowery and soft materials in summer, so it was linked to the season of the issue. The latest issue ‘big city life’ was more spontaneous and narrower in theme.

Our generation doesn’t seem to separate work and leisure time that much anymore. Do you consider KNEON work? And how do you get rest?

Each issue of KNEON takes up quite a block of time and effort, so in that regard it is work. The process however is really enjoyable and creatively-pushing for me, so I don’t look at it as a chore or ‘work’, as in a job. It’s something outside of school that I like to do!

Rest for me is sleeping in, taking and editing photos, catching up on series (Conan and Vampire Diaries being my current obsessions), and also listening to music.

When I published a PDF mag I was always quite frustrated about how little it is recognized in comparison to how much work it is. Are you content with the way things go or do you want to change anything?

Magazines in print and digital all have their own positive aspects. The good thing about digital ones is that they don’t require any considerations for distribution, marketing or sponsors. They are also available to a vast body of audience, since the internet is, well, quite massive. I quite content with KNEON being an online publication for now, since I have a lot going on at school and preparations for university. But I might consider attempting to push it into print in the future.

You have spectacular photo editorials in KNEON. What does an editorial have to “have” for being published in your mag?

Thank you so much! This is actually what I ask myself quite often as well, since it’s hard to explain to some artists or photographers why their work will not be featured. I guess they must fit the theme of the issue (or else what would the point be?) and contain original, creative and high quality content. I know all of those are subjective, but it’s a little hard to explain…I mainly rely on instinct and try to imagine what the photos will look like laid-out.

You obviously know a lot about photography and graphic design. Where did you get your skills from and how do you improve them?

I used to be the layout editor of our school magazine and I’m also on our school’s yearbook team. I think these really gave me a good foundation of design knowledge to base KNEON on. As for photography, I’ve never taken any classes so I don’t think my knowledge is completely at all, but I never stop taking photos and it’s definitely very enjoyable for me to take photos of people so they look beautiful.

How do you organize work with all those people? In the end you do all the layout yourself, but is there a team behind you for correcting and all the other stuff that has to be done to guarantee quality?

I’m the only person behind KNEON, so everything from the layout to the content review and the interviews are all by me. Editorials, articles and art features by other creatives are all sent in to me and I then decide if they suit the pages of KNEON or not. I’ve thought about including more permanent people on the issue, but I feel like that will just make things even more complicated, since it’s then harder to keep a constant flow of ‘look’ throughout.

Were you nervous before putting the first issue out there?

Definitely. I updated a lot about the process of putting it together on my blog, and some of my readers became interested, so I knew that at least 12 people would read it. This boosted my confidence a little bit, but it was still nerve-wracking to publish something that I spent so much time and passion on.

Which other online magazines or PDF mags should we read?

I love fake magazine. It’s also run by only one person: the talented Jolijn Snijders. She has such a great taste for layout and typography, and the themes are also always really original, not to mention attitude-full editorials that reflect some interesting stances towards fashion and designers.

Because there is a discussion going on about it: How do you see the future of fashion blogging?

Fashion blogging is already making a difference, and I think it’s just the beginning. Some say that it is causing the death of print, but I don’t really believe that. I just think print just needs to learn to evolve and develop faster with the industry and their readers.

And the future of your own blog?

I hope I’ll be able to keep up blogging when I get into university and that my readers won’t get sick of little old me!

Sometimes reading fashion blogs all day long makes me feel superficial. What do you think about it?

I guess fashion blogging could be seen as rather superficial, or even self-absorbed. But it’s simply another niche in a whole selection of hobbies. It just happens to require the blogger to take more photos of themselves than, let’s say, a music blogger.

What issues, besides fashion and art, are important to you?

Music and band news, what’s going on globally and what’s for dinner.

Are there still “childish” things you very much enjoy?

I watch Detective Conan, live for hot brownies, dream about band members and squabble endlessly with my little sister.

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