• johnschengber

12: It's Here — Skinny Dipper Issue Two

Jump to the Issue Two Kickstarter page here

Photo by Patricia Nygaard

My team and I are proud to announce — in between a scream and the more intimate whisper, the latter of which my 3rd grade teacher employed when really excited or really mad, the former of which I am right now, dizzied, almost, scattered, by the proximity of a dream — that Issue Two of Skinny Dipper is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

For y'all that already know about the magazine, and are linked in to its channels — thanks! — I want to make sure y'all also know about our pivot since Issue One. And for those who don't yet know about the magazine, well this is like walking up to a group at a party and the lead extrovert says "oh how perfect, we were just talking about you!" And only in the nicest way.

First of all, let me back up and introduce you to the team. The picture up above is most representative of the team behind Issue Two — TJ and I basically doing a one-two punch on everything from cinematography to cooking dinner — because Lynn has been busy, killing it, graduating from art/branding/advertising/grad. school and moving to San Francisco to be an artsy techie with Facebook. Meanwhile, the picture below, taken on the same day as the first, back in October, is representative of where this all came from — from the desire to make a magazine that captures a spirit and a range of interests and a medium that we couldn't find all bottled up in any other magazine. That is, the spirit of diving into everything headfirst and naked; of all that is raw; of skinny dipping. That is, a range of interests including outdoor adventure, ecology, travel, photography, literature, visual art, social issues, environmental issues, issues of the vulnerable heart, of youth, of not knowing what's next. And the medium of print, that is.

So that was that, we thought.

Photo also by my friend Patricia Nygaard

But it turns out you don't have space in one iteration of a magazine (even if it's 114 pages long) to speak to every interest or value you embody, and nor does the first iteration have the evolved clarity or foresight to exactly align with your vision, the one you all big fussed and came up with. Even if you did translate all your values — some active, some latent, some yet to exist — into stories, your values, or the ways in which you act upon them, CHANGE.

Since Issue One, we've changed. This is what we look like now:

Ha, that hasn't changed much — unfortunately still three ugly ducklings — but we have somewhat dramatically changed the direction of our magazine. Dramatic from the perspective of the editors, at least.

With Issue Two, we’ve been on a mission to demonstrate how art and adventure can serve as compelling lenses to examine issues within society and the environment. It’s a hypothesis borne of our own experiences — of going camping in a place and learning different things than any journalist or researcher would glean from their more formal approach there; of capturing our experiences in poetry or painting or photography and inevitably leaving with more nuanced and empathetic perspectives than any other type of record could provide. And we find that when we parlay these 'approaches' of art and adventure into mechanisms for critical observation of society and the environment, we produce a realm of storytelling that strives for the rigor of research, the justice of journalism, and the aesthetics of art.

This is a slight but powerful shift from Issue One, which was an intimate, self-reflective mission to prove that raw still matters; an admittedly inward and experimental prototype that allowed us to work through our artistic and intellectual ideas. And I have to thank a lot of close friends and mentors for encouraging a more ambitious direction for Issue Two. We're no longer simply contributors to youth culture in the vein of art and adventure. We are examiners of social and environmental experience as witnessed through the lens of art and adventure. Each story in Issue Two testifies to this inherent capacity of art and adventure while retaining the raw, youthful perspective that characterizes our process, our product, and our audience. With Issue Two, we hope that Skinny Dipper can be a convening force for the socially conscious and purpose-driven artists, thinkers, and explorers of the mid-Atlantic region.

So let it begin.

You can read a fully fleshed out mission and vision and future on the Kickstarter page, and get a sneak peak at some of the features. You can watch an important video there, and down below, too. You can contribute to our project and help get us to print. You can unsubscribe from this newsletter. You can do anything you want! But I just wanted to, first, tell you what we've been doing, because what this project is more than anything, is a window into a couple of folks going for it and learning from it and promising to take down all the barriers between this (ad)venture, the resulting art, and whatever the hell comes next. Because WE ARE MUTUALLY VULNERABLE.

Thanks for reading. Hope you read the magazine too.

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