As of yesterday afternoon, Whisky & Beards Publishing is officially a “Prince’s Trust Supported Business”. Essentially this mean the business plan and the work I’ve put in over the last year has paid off and I can now begin to release the work other people produce. I never thought it was fair to have other people’s work suffer if I was actually chasing a pipe dream, but apparently I know what I’m talking about!
I couldn’t have got anywhere near this point without some of the hard work, belief and efforts of other people, and it’s only fair that I recognise this. I want Whisky & Beards to be a truly collaborative company, not just the work of one man with a delightful moustache and goatee. I want to reward the work others put in and the only fair way I can think of is to offer partial ownership and profits to those most key to our success.
For the next few days, I will write posts on here celebrating the efforts of others, why I want them on board for the future and their work outside of Whisky & Beards.
When I was first putting together the idea, still shy and unsure of the company vision, I approached a poet I’d seen at many of the local poetry nights about producing content. I enjoyed the passion, ferocity and complexity that spread across his work, as well as his ability to conceptualise parts of his work and perform that along with the words. Since then Charlie Tolfree has been a sounding board for many of my choices regarding the company.
Charlie’s work spans illustration, poetry, collage, textiles, zines, furniture, music, literally anything he can use to make an impression. That degree of artistic abandon is so healthy for a publisher like us, we can be transgressive or professional with little more than the swipe of a pen, but more than that it shows the same drive and passion that I try to capture, the same that I try to draw out in others. Everyone wants to be a creative, but to do that requires the dedication and hard work that Charlie puts in to his projects.
At the core of everything Charlie does is a deep-rooted DIY ethos. Whisky & Beards is never meant to be a multi-million pound empire, it’s meant to deliver a fair service to artists, without compromising their rights as content creators, copyright holders or creatives. To that end, Charlie has been invaluable, his ability to find the most efficient way to accomplish something and his many talents as an artist are exactly what I’ve needed.
Our logo was designed by him with very little in the way of specification, and he nailed it right off the back. He gets the company, when it needs to be a classy affair, and when we need to show our punk rock credentials.
I rely on Charlie to remind me why I do this, to keep me thinking of the wider vision and inspire me with his words, images and approach to life.
So dude, how about it? I could use your creative vision as my new Creative Director, and I can’t even begin to consider anyone besides you.