In the lead up to Carbon Festival 2013, we’ll be running a series of interviews with the lineup of speakers appearing at the festival of contemporary design, style and culture. Returning for its third year, this inspiring mix of creative entrepreneurs and artists will gather in Melbourne over the weekend of the 13th and 14th of April for a collection of forums and creative events. Third in the interview series is Andrew Montell, the Founder and Editor In Chief of our very own ACCLAIM magazine.
After many years immersed in the media industry and an array of publishing and marketing ventures under his belt, Andrew Montell has seen his once niche operation prosper into one of Australia’s premier lifestyle titles and boutique youth creative agencies. Montell’s independent approach to media began with Out4Fame, the Australian hip-hop and graffiti zine that launched his career. The title attracted a cult-like following and off the back of its success, Montell curated and toured many concerts and events, most notably the popular MC Battle For Supremacy series. 2006 saw the birth of ACCLAIM magazine. The title has been noted as an essential player in celebrating and progressing street lifestyle and creative underground culture in Australia. In its expansion into a full creative agency, ACCLAIM is also responsible for a range of marketing initiatives for clients such as New Balance and New Era. Montell is also the man behind CARBON festival itself.
What inspired you to start ACCLAIM?
After six years producing a core hip-hop magazine I wanted to create a publication that represented a broader creative lifestyle and mindset. Something for the guy who grew up with hip-hop music but had evolved his interests.
What are some of the highlights of your career journey so far?
Building a company from scratch to where it is today, travelling, interviewing, and sometimes working with people I’ve looked up to.
What have been some of the biggest challenges?
Working within a limited and isolated population, dealing with backwards-thinking marketers, teetering on the verge of bankruptcy on more than one occasion.
How do you stay ahead of trends?
These days a big part of staying ahead of trends is keeping a young, forward-thinking staff around.
How important are marketing and networking to what you do?
Hugely important. Our business model depends on both marketing and networking for almost everything we do.
Where do you find inspiration on a daily basis?
My inspiration can come from anywhere but mostly from observing the creative hustle of individuals in art, design, music, film etc. My city, Melbourne, often inspires me. There are a lot of talented people here.
See Andrew Montell as he speaks at Carbon Festival over the weekend of 13th and 14th of April at RMIT’s Storey Hall Auditorium on Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD. For more information on speakers or to grab yourself a ticket, head over to We Are All Carbon.