With contributors from around the world and a huge imprint on social media, you may have seen some of the gorgeous images that have come out of C-Heads Magazine. C-Heads is an Austrian platform for visual artists started by two sisters, Christine and Sigrun Guggenberger. The duo create print issues of C-Heads Magazine, an independent publication that focuses on youth culture, music, art fashion and portraits of beautiful women.
I spoke with Sigrun Guggenberger about the origins of the magazine, some of the challenges of working with an international host of collaborators and what’s next for the C-Heads. Click through for the interview and a selection of Sigrun’s favorite images from the publication to date.
Sigrun and Christine Guggenberger
Can you tell me how the idea for C-Heads Magazine first came about?
In 2006 we sat together with a friend and just thought about doing an online magazine together, as it was something new at that time (well, at least in Austria we were one of the first ones) and we thought it could be something interesting to do. Already as children, Christine and I did magazines together, with written stories and poems, cutting out images from other magazines etc, maybe the foundation stone for C-Heads was already laid back then.
There’s a very clear consistent visual style found throughout the features in your magazine. How do you guys select which photographers, stylists and photographers to work with?
Over the years C-Heads developed a certain style – therefore what we select goes with this visual style we have which is raw, natural and work that evokes emotions within the viewer. We chose through intuition and of course things that we personally like as well. The things we select reach us either by submission or we do our own research on the internet looking for fresh artists.
It seems like the popularity of your magazine online has really exploded recently. What impact has social media and Instagram in particular had on what you’ve been creating?
Yes true and we are overwhelmed by that Instagram and any social network probably subconsciously influence each one of us to some extend, but talking about C-Heads it is mainly a channel to spread the work of the artists we present. Therefore it doesn’t have much of an impact on what we are creating but we rather appreciate the fact that thanks to it you have the chance to reach a lot of people.
What have been some of the biggest challenges of running the magazine since 2006? Any crazy stories you’d like to share?
Maybe the biggest challenge so far has been to keep going for so long, to keep the motivation and to just work on it almost every day. Definitely working on each print issue is always a new and big challenge. You always want to create the most perfect thing and that involves a lot of work and you are also aware that many things can also go wrong.
Crazy stories? Well, I guess anyone experiences crazy stories throughout their life and work and for sure there have been several things in the past years that we could tell, but we prefer to stay tactfully about it. Or maybe one day we will write a “Behind the scenes“ book haha.
There is a very international feeling to the magazine. Is it important for you guys to work with a team of creatives in many different locales?
It´s nice to work with people from different places and the reason why we started the magazine in English back then was definitely for the reason to reach an international audience as well.
Is there any underlying message or something you hope other girls get from reading the magazine?
We never with intention thought about an underlying message with the magazine when we started. But maybe the more we got asked this sort of question we realized that at the end with everything you do there is also a sort of message. It´s like a famous sentence from Paul Watzlawick “One cannot not communicate.”
As a magazine C-Heads represents something visual, but it also about the good and deep moments in life, about the spirit of youth, the feeling of freedom and so on. When we interview artist we always try to get interesting thoughts about their work and life, so I guess there are a lot of messages for people in there as well. And each print issue comes with a different topic. The last one was”Lovers and Strangers” and we tried to touch the huge topic of love and surely there is one or another message in there that people can relate to.
What makes a successful issue in your opinion? How was your approach to the content changed over the years?
Well, the ultimate success I guess is when people actually buy and like it. Because at the end you make the issue for your audience. And in order to get that you need a cool topic, high quality photographs, interesting interviews and articles and the most perfect layout you can do. And hours and hours of work and love that you put into. And then you just pray all goes well haha. Regarding the approach of the content – well we always try to stay fresh and progress without losing the essence of our style.
What’s next for C-Heads Magazine?
Another print issue and we are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. We definitely need some drinks on that!