Full Bleed, Emma Wright (Interview)

Interviewed by Kara Boub

2021

Full Bleed is a journal of art and design published annually by the Maryland Institute College of Art. They publish content that inspires, critiques, and informs the work of contemporary artists and designers. In opposition to the many forces that demean and divide humanity, the journal stands for the civilizing influences of aesthetic experience and progressive design. Emma Wright is a student at MICA working on the journal’s staff. The fifth issue entitled “Adaptation” has been published. Visit their work here: https://www.full-bleed.org/

What was your introduction to editing & publishing? 

For the most part-- working with Full Bleed! I've informally published things like zines throughout high school and college, but this is my first time really being able to collaborate formally with a team of other editors. 

What captured your interest about/how did you come to be involved with the journal? 

I'm a creative writing minor and plan to go apply to grad school for writing so I've been looking for opportunities to challenge myself within that sphere at MICA for a while now. I was in Paul Jaskunas's (Full Bleed's Editor in Chief) Contemporary Fiction class last semester and really enjoyed it so he invited me to take the graduate class associated with producing Full Bleed. But I've been interested in Full Bleed since I came to MICA! It always struck me as a really beautifully designed and carefully constructed literary and art journal, and there are many copies on MICA's campus and in the MICA student store, so it's a pretty familiar icon so to speak. 

What do you do as an undergraduate staff member at Full Bleed? 

There isn't a designation between undergrad and graduate staff member duties, so much as there is a designation between the editorial and design team. On the editorial team, myself and six other team members both graduate and undergraduate work on selecting, editing, and proofreading the pieces for the journal. We select both the prose and the art portfolios we receive as a team discussion/vote, and then the design team partners format the materials we select. We also correspond with the authors to a certain degree about editing and image rights, etc. 

How did the founders of the press generate the name Full Bleed? 

Paul Jaskunas, co-founder: '"Full bleed" is a printing term. It refers to ink that covers the page, that "bleeds" over all margins and edges. From the beginning, we wanted the journal to be committed to print, and I suppose the name signals that commitment. We also wanted the journal to be a place for writing and artwork that likewise "bleeds" over margins and edges, crosses boundaries, and defies easy categorization. Finally, we selected the name because it comes from the world of graphic designers, who are such an integral part of creating the journal.'

How are the issues’ themes chosen? 

The editorial team discusses it at the end of our semester together! Last year's team selected "Adaptation", and this year, who knows? We're still a week off. Usually, though, I would say it has to do with what we as a group think would be productive to elevate within the art, prose, and design world. (To the degree that we are able!)

What more can you share about the mission of Full Bleed at MICA? 

Generally, I would say to publish relevant voices within the intersections of art and design and literature. Pertaining to MICA, I would say it's still in a process of flux. All the student staff are MICA students, and we have previously published MICA graduate's work (we are this year, too!) but I would say the journal values the internal content of its articles more than it does MICA relevance. 

What are the challenges you have had during the process and what is the most gratifying moment? 

I love working with the authors and doing the first edits on work. Clarifying a message and helping a person better tell a story is rewarding in a way nothing else is for me, honestly! The only challenge I've really had is in doing this all remotely! It's a lot harder to get a sense of how your other editors feel about a piece when you're seeing them through a screen. 

What is your favorite genre work or piece that you’ve assisted in publishing? 

I think it would be pretty hard to pick just one! We have some really beautiful pieces that we have in this year's issue, and I'm really excited about people getting to see them. I've found that almost anything I work enough with has merit in some way shape or form! All that being said, I adore our environmental adaptation section this year. 

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