A Letter From The Editor: Things You Said

I want to start off with a big thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out our 2020 Audience Questionnaire at the beginning of the year. You provided us with so many valuable insights that it ended up taking us a couple months to unpack everything. This process has given us a much clearer picture of Booooooom as a whole, and helped to identify the things you all feel are the most important and helpful for this community. Now we’re at the fun part, actually putting some things into motion and making some changes, and we can do it confidently because hundreds (and hundreds) of you spoke up. Thank you for sharing your honest opinions.

Many of you mentioned a desire for more Booooooom IRL (in real life), both in terms of events and also physical things (books, prints, etc). Prior to the pandemic we were planning a big art show with a gallery here in Vancouver, as well as a fun social event with a brand we love. Both events have been put on hold for now but we’ll see how long it takes for things to get back to normal. In the meantime, we’re planning to add new prints, and other items which highlight artists and photographers, to our shop on a regular basis. Apologies to anyone who was unable to get a copy of our Tomorrow’s Talent Book, we didn’t expect it to sell out that fast! We may look into printing another small batch of these books but either way, we will make sure there are a lot more copies of our next one!

One of our biggest takeaways from the survey was for us to try to provide more opportunities to get your work out there. So one of our immediate goals is to have more consistent open calls for members to submit work. Right now, we’re accepting submissions for two different open calls:

  • Passion Projects Open Call — $500 to help fund creative projects that can be completed at home — Deadline: May 1
  • 20~20 Art Prints Open Call — We’re producing prints in editions of 40, 20 we sell, 20 we give to the artist for FREE — Deadline: May 15

In a week or so, there will be a new open call to submit work to be in our next book! This one will feature black and white photography.

We will also be launching some fun community projects so that those of you who are more art-lovers than art-creators can also get more involved. Things like our Remake Project (which many people messaged me about recently because of a similar project launched by The Getty Museum during the pandemic) and many of our Free Encouragement Projects over the years really shaped what Booooooom is today. For a lot of you, it was initiatives like these that drew you in and set us apart from other art websites. We’ve drifted away from that kind of stuff a bit, but we want to bring that naive creative spirit back to the site with some upcoming projects.

It’s been almost 12 years since Booooooom started, and we’re still completely independent. We’re not a giant corporation with endless resources, we’re trying to do a lot with a small team of passionate people. This obviously comes with a unique set of challenges but one of the advantages is that we don’t answer to anyone (outside of our members). With this in mind, we will be experimenting a lot over the next few months to find new ways to engage this community and to do all of it in a way that feels uniquely us—things that only we would do.

We know these are strange and stressful times for many of you, and we’ve been brainstorming ways we can use our platform to help. We recently opened up the Booooooom Slack Community and made it FREE for anyone to join with the hope that it can serve as a supportive space for creatives from around the world. We will continue to update our Giant List of Covid-19 Resources for Artists and for all of April we’ve been putting 50% of any new yearly member or yearly supporter plans, as well as 20% of any print sales, directly towards funding your Passion Projects proposals.

We have no idea what these next few months will bring, but we’re committed to finding as many ways as possible to support this community. If you enjoy Booooooom, we’d really appreciate your help to keep doing what we’re doing! If you don’t have the means to become a member or supporter even telling one friend about us is a huge help!

Thank you, and be safe. Lots of good things ahead!

— Jeff Hamada, Editor-In-Chief

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