Tell us a little about yourselves; what makes you tick and what makes your publications tick?
Hello SPEX Team, I am Lauren Cardenas, publisher/printer of Saturday Press and PIECRUST Magazine. To answer the question what makes me tick, I am an artist who has a love for print ephemera. I started out as a printer and branched out with a small press independent magazine called PIECRUST, which later evolved into Saturday Press, which is Limited Artist Editions project that focuses on books and prints. I have always loved artist books and zines, the tactility and the level of intimacy that one has within the palm of their hands. The goal for these projects was to give artists/writers a platform to explore a medium they were unfamiliar with and create something that could be afforded by everyone.
What drew you to creating, publishing, editing and presenting your projects?
When I first started I felt a responsibility to the artists and writers I had invited to participate in PIECRUST to exhibit their work to people. I started with conferences and then moved to small press expos, but then it became about the community that was developed with other Small Press Publishers, learning about them and what they did and how we could support each other.
What do you think of the relationship between publishing (what you do) and reaching an audience of readers?
I think it is an interesting and valuable relationship to develop. Its the audience that really gets to bond with finished product, but its the publisher who is the facilitator of sorts, nurturing that relationship is really important I think for both the reader and the publisher.
Can you tell us about your creative, editorial, and collaborative process?
This process differs from project to project, if it is an artist book that I creating, most of the time it relates back to specific themes in my work and I get inspired. When it comes to collaboration, I prefer that these processes happen organically between myself and whoever I am collaborating with.
How did you get into working with small press publishing?
It started when I was in graduate school, my best friend and I decided to start an art and literary magazine (PIECRUST) that would have a craft element to it. It was a real learning process for the both of us, but it was so much fun and rewarding.
What advice would you give to someone starting a small press or publishing project?
Be patient and ask for help. You don’t have to do it by yourself and there are plenty of people out there that are willing to mentor or answer questions.
How long have you been at it (by “it” I mean publishing)?
In 2011 PIECRUST magazine launched, so I guess about 6 years.
What would you have told your younger self about what you are doing? and What do you hope your older self might tell the you of today?
I probably would have told my younger self “You really don’t need to do a run of 250 for your first issue. Also good choice of not doing a quarterly.” I think my future older self would tell me “ You still have time to do whatever you want, don’t think there is a limit.”
Other than your own projects, what are some other presses and publications that inspire you to keep reading and supporting the small press community?
So I have a strong bias for the STL SPEX team publishers, I think they all make incredibly beautiful poignant work that inspires me daily. Other presses that I love: ViceVersa Press, Pioneer Press, Work/Play, The Fort Gondo Poetry Series, Skin and Bone, Vagina Magazine.
Anything else you want to say?
Thanks for letting me ramble, I look forward to going to the this years STL SPEX Expo.