START : For the artistically smart

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START MagazineMost of us who come under the category of ‘youth’ and have access to the internet are web addicts or internet junkies. Our lives revolve on and around the web. We share stuff, a lot of stuff – our life, our personal moments, pics, memories, our talent, our creativity, our art etc. Most of us are either college students or in the initial phase of our jobs. Yet some of us find time to pursue our passions, hobbies and broadcast them on the web. A few of us are so talented and artistic that they deserve to stand out and get appreciated & recognized for their art but unfortunately, we lose them in the flurry and deluge of ever increasing data on the internet.

Then I came across Priya Prakash, an undergrad student majoring in B.E. Biotechnology from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, an internet junkie, a photography enthusiast and a blogger. Priya decided to handpick such people and tack them together. And thus started START, an eMagazine with a vision to provide a platform for the upcoming and unknown young artists to showcase their work. Priya says, “What we usually see on the web is only superficial. I was interested in knowing their journey as an artist and their views on certain topics. I wanted to get to know them and document their best work.”

START specifically targets the youth. The magazine is exclusive to those who’re students or working professionals and pursue art along with their mainstream life. When asked about the gist of the magazine, Priya said, “Not everyone can be a professional designer or a photographer. But every one of us can take our hobbies one step further and make something out of it… It’s remarkable to see a 10th grader who’s involved in art in spite of all the academic pressure. Most of the people give up art once they grow up and start working. START also features those folks who’re still pursuing their creative hobbies along with managing their work/personal lives.”

Priya runs the magazine single-handedly. There are no official writers so far. Every segment of the magazine consists of the interviews she conducts with the artists. She says that it’s because of the pressure of her academic life and creating a study-work balance that she hasn’t involved more people in her project yet. But in the time to come, she wants to collaborate, form a team and take it further. I was also interested in knowing if she plans to stay in electronic media or move into print media as well to which she replied, “START will continue to remain as an e-zine. I do not want to get into printing as it is not feasible. Also, I think keeping it digital works great. It is the future of all publications anyway”. Well, I agree with this.

Started in August 2010, 8 issues of START have been published so far. A new issue is released once in every two months. You can follow both Priya and START on Twitter at @pricelessjunk and @start_mag respectively.

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