We know the Azha for some time (when you have natural hair seems like people with natural hair all know each other, or at least when you have natural hair plus social network – it seems simple, easy) but recently she decided to create a magazine – Shade Mag – with her best friend. Curious as always we decided to know more about it…
Curly Essence: How the name – Shade Mag – came up? And why you decided to create it with your friend Apryl?
The name “Shade Mag” is a way for us to pay homage to the queer artists of color who came before us. We love the film Paris is Burning. Ballroom culture is influential and at the time a lot of QAAV language was being thrown around due to Ru Paul’s Drag Race. We are women of color and often people assume we have attitude or are bitchy, so we named ourselves Shade mag as a play on words. There are different shades of skin colors in the black and brown community and we throw “Shade” or are “Shady”.
We totally feel your vibe and we feel somehow so related to Shade and to the aesthetics around the mag. Seems like you are following such a creativity line that at some point we don’t know who are you and what Shade is about. And that’s a compliment (don’t take us wrong). Cause everything is so related. What do you think about that?
I am so happy that you feel you can relate! That is the purpose of Shade. We wanted to create a place that we both felt comfortable in, Shade Mag is always evolving and changing. It is literally the child of two intensely creative people. We are best friends and live with each other so we are constantly working on being better. Innovation is so important to us.
Nowadays is so easy to create something and there’s such a struggle to be creative.What makes Shade different from others publications?
We just realized that that’s what we are , what makes us different from other publications is that its just us two people running a very big thing everything we put out is worked on nd carefully crafted to be the way that we intended it to be.
How or where do you find inspiration to create content for Shade?
Shade is inspired by anything from neon signage lighting that we see while walking around the city to all sorts of people we see around us. Mostly we push and inspire each other. We are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other whether they’re doodles in canvas books, glitter filled collages, photo concepts, even dreams we had the other night. The city we live in is very inspiring as well. The traveling we do inspires us and we want to continue to document our world based on these things.
We notice some of your friends are working for Shade. It is important to be surrounded by creative minds?
We have lots of friends from all over due to tumblr and traveling. Many of those friends help and contribute to Shade. It is so important to connect on the Internet and in real life with fellow like-minded creatives. Originally we were strictly posting content made by us but we recently allowed contributors on Shade because we were working on our frirst print zine-SASSY. During the making of that we worked with an a amazing artist named Kayla Jones. Without her, reaching out to us SASSY wouldn’t have been possible.
Advice for people who want to be just like Shade?
I would say no one can be “just like” Shade. We know the importance of influencing people, especially young people, and that is very humbling for us. We started Shade because we saw a gap in the creative world and the areas we particularly liked. It’s incredible to have such a platform. Be yourself, be fearless, work hard, follow through & cultivate relationships. Stay critical.