17 BCU Creatives Launch Ohana Magazine

Ohana Magazine has been built entirely online by 17 BCU creatives, from the School of Fashion and Textiles, School of Visual Communication, School of Art and the School of English over the last six months. We spoke to the founder and a few members of the team, to find out more about Ohana and their experiences so far. The first issue is available to read and download here.

Emily Orr – Founder
Third Year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion student

What is Ohana Magazine's mission? 

Ohana’s mission is to inform, shape debates and raise awareness of significant and relevant topics with a strong commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. The magazine aims to make everyone feel like they are part of a big family, that celebrates and embraces culture and individual characteristics.

Why was Ohana founded?

After becoming an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Representative for BCU, I was tasked with creating a 10-hour project that would increase awareness and conversation around EDI. As I brainstormed ideas, and as an avid magazine reader myself, I became fixated on the idea of starting a magazine. I spent Christmas researching the market, investigating competition and uncovering gaps that were unmet.

I advertised for a team of writers and graphic designers throughout the university, and despite my initial scepticism that I would receive no responses, within two weeks there were 16 students involved. With our team of creatives with similar mindsets, and motivations there’s been no looking back. Although, one thing I will say is that it was not, and will never be, a 10-hour project!

What topics does Ohana cover?

Ohana covers topics that raise awareness of the nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex. Additionally, as contemporary art and fashion are crucial elements from which social, cultural and political statements are made, the magazine frequently creates articles through the lens of these topics.

What are your future plans for the magazine? 

The main goal of Ohana is to continue growing and raising awareness about topics that need to be addressed. We’re also working on audio readings for every article in an effort to make the magazine more accessible, inclusive and personal. While I don't want to giveaway too many future plans, the Ohana team hopes to have physical prints of the magazine available to readers soon.

Do you have any advice for starting a magazine?

Go for it! If you have an idea, even if you're afraid it won’t work, give it a shot. Also, I've learned to embrace collaboration. Instead of viewing other creatives as competitors, see if you can collaborate with them and learn from their skills. It’ll expose you to new ideas and perspectives and helps diversify your work, so use it to your advantage.

Ayesha Naveed – Writer & PR
Second Year BA (Hons) English student

What does your role involve?

I write articles for the magazine, which has allowed me to see things from different angles and write more effectively. Recently, I’ve joined the PR team too.

What have you enjoyed most about the experience so far?

Every meeting with the writers is fun and insightful, and I’ve enjoyed the community we’ve built.

This whole experience at Ohana is new for me! Emily is an incredibly open person who I love talking to and she’s encouraged me to get involved in new things within the magazine. Writing was initially new to me, however now I’m excited to be involved in the PR.

Megan Brooks –­­ Writer & Graphic Designer
Second year BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication student

What does your role involve?

Loads of things! I started off as a writer and now I’m on the graphics team. I create layouts for articles and drawings for some of them. I’ve made content for Instagram, including a grid post and an Instagram takeover which I really enjoyed.

What have you enjoyed most about the experience so far?

I’ve most enjoyed meeting all the new people and I’ve been able to try loads of new things. I’ve particularly liked working on Adobe Illustrator and enhancing my skills on the program.

Nakul Patel – Illustrator
Third year BA (Hons) Illustration student

What does your role involve and what have you most enjoyed?

I create illustrations and layouts for the articles and content for social media, such as time lapses of my illustrations. I’ve enjoyed working on such a variety of articles. There are so many issues we discuss in Ohana, and I want to illustrate them all at some point! I love the fact that we are putting out a real magazine into the world, it's a great opportunity to work on such a professional project.

Have you had the opportunity to try anything new?

Definitely! It’s a constantly challenging role. I have the job of creating visual metaphors based on the writers’ ideas. Each week I illustrate something different, turning the concept into something easy to understand; one week it could be sustainable fashion and then body positivity the next.

Stay connected

Download Ohana Issue One

Follow Ohana on Instagram

Follow Ohana on LinkedIn

To find out how you could get involved, contact ohanamagazine21@gmail.com