Have ya’ll heard of Until Now? If not, then you’re in for a treat. It’s a publication started by illustrator/art director Alex Citrin and features stories about coming of age (AKA the transition from childhood to adulthood). Personally, I love these types of tales — they are by far my favorite subject to consume. So, needless to say that when I heard Alex was producing this for her graduate thesis, I was excited.
Alex was a cohort of mine in MICA’s MFA Illustration Practice program, where we’re encouraged to think about illustration differently and push the field to new places. As a result, the first issue of Until Now features a ton of great illustration showcased in gorgeous, large spreads.
I had the pleasure of interviewing her about being an art director and her love of coming of age tales. This is a long-form interview, but stick with it. Alex is hilarious and has some great things to say.
So, I’ll spare you answering a lot of questions that you’ve already covered, but for those that aren’t familiar with Until Now, how would you describe it? How long had you been thinking about putting a publication like this together?
Until Now is a magazine about coming of age, although I envision the readership to be broader than just those currently coming of age themselves. I suppose I’d been thinking about producing a collection of stories related to this topic for a while, though in different forms — collages, photo essays, a graphic novel…those ideas were reflective of my focuses at the time (a college art major, band photographer, and illustrator, respectively).
I’ve always been obsessed with documentation and I am also a believer in the traditional print magazine as a medium for communication as well as a kind of art object. Basically, I’m a complete luddite. Considering the vast cultural reach of your average mainstream magazine, though, there’s still something not quite serious about the format. I think there’s room to play with that contradiction. Similarly, coming of age stories are typically relegated to the “less serious” YA section of the library or within magazines aimed exclusively at teens. I’m still fascinated by coming of age stories at age 27.