LIMIT'D Presents: Christie Morgan

27 October 2016 3:23:27 PM AEDT

Christie Morgan is the embodiment of that girl. She’s smart, talented, driven, and just a downright great human being. The Sydney-based powerhouse has been relentless in her approach to her craft, building online art, design and fashion publication, Pitch Zine, into an unmistakable brand from the ground up before expanding even further into an annual print edition, exhibition curation, and even running a side creative agency. Beyond that she’s also a phenomenal graphic designer in her own right, as well as an art director and DJ

"We don’t really believe that print is dead and all of us are passionate about magazines."

It’s been five years since you founded Pitch Zine, how has it grown and has that growth surprised you?

I guess the way I started it was by focusing on the interesting artists, fashion designers and photographers that I liked. I didn’t really have any peers that were necessarily into the same thing as me so the way I curated it was based on my taste and it just so happened that there was a market for that. We only started the Instagram around two years ago, we were pretty late to the game, but it just blew up. Mostly based on the aesthetic, but I think we also have strong content and these really great writers producing really original things. It was this sort of slow progression for the first three years, but in the last two years it got so big that we were able to do a print edition that ended up being really successful, which we can totally credit to our fan base.

How has that process of the print magazine unfolded?

We didn’t have enough funding at first to do it the way that we wanted, because we really wanted to create something that was really high quality. So we created a crowd funding campaign that went really well and allowed us to go to print. We wanted it to be a collection of artists, designers and photographers that we all really admired … it was a really nice way to celebrate that in print. We don’t really believe that print is dead and all of us are passionate about magazines. We were also lucky that we got a bunch of stockists in Australia but also internationally a well, which was surprising. Lots of people engaged overseas … most of the people reached out to me. We had stockists in China, one in Canada, a few in the US, and London too.

Outside of Pitch Zine you have a whole heap of other stuff going on, can you break it down for me?

I’m a trained graphic designer and I’d been doing that sort of work for a while. Now I’m trying to explore and push that a little bit further; I’ve been collaborating with a few brands lately that are interested in that, I guess you could call it creative openness, and that’ led to me producing some really fun things. I did collaboration with the MCA in Sydney, which was really exciting … we created a digital zine. I’m lucky in that people have been coming to me with ideas that I can then put my own spin on. I’ve been doing some 3D stuff too, which I hadn’t ever studied so it was interesting to explore that through my own means. And then art direction as well.

So you do a bit of art direction and curation as well?

Yeah! So a good friend of mine, Chris Lofty, runs this place in Sydney called Goodspace. It’s this great little local gallery that sits above a pub and he’s very open to producing any kind of exhibition there, which is really cool. Anyway he basically contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing something there and of course I said yes—you know there’s no strings attached you can basically do whatever you want. And that was a great opportunity for Pitch Zine to put on this interactive exhibition with a group of digital artists … it really got people excited. It was a really great way for people, and the artists, to explore their practice not jut on a computer screen, which I think I really important.

And then this year I had the opportunity to curate a show, Vortex Pop, there again; we had music producer and artists work together to create a piece—so audio accompanying a physical piece. It was a great learning experience, just to technically figure out how to present it as well a making sure we kept a consistent aesthetic.

"There is no real boundary between art and design anymore, I think it all is really becoming one discipline in a way."

You’ve spoken before on this idea of a “designist”. Someone who blurs the line between art and design—can you expand on that?

I definitely feel like I fall into that category a lot because I don’t want to stick to traditional deign work a lot of the time. I love doing layout and logos, but it’ a nice way to explore a bit more and produce something that is a bit more creatively fulfilled. Making something that doesn’t just have functional aspects, but also has an element of art. But it’s basically just that fusion; theirs is no real boundary between art and design anymore, I think it all is really becoming one discipline in a way … I think people are jut excited to do things differently, it’s been ort of streamlined for o long and now people are breaking out of those moulds.

You’ve built an incredible community around Pitch Zine, do you find that it’s easier to do that for a publication rather than yourself as a person or brand?

I think for me the publication was quite easy because we had a lot of different contributors that had different aesthetics and points of view … a lot of different people can appeal to different things. Someone may not like a certain article or artist, but then they might find five other thing on the website that they do like. I think that diversity just allows o many more people to be involved and engaged, whereas a brand, or a personal brand, is appealing to a specific demographic and is more limited.

Do you think it’s become so important to have this presence online as well as in real life?

I think people have such an opportunity to express themselves these days that people before us didn’t have. Especially in social media, aesthetic really comes from the way you dress, to the way you act and present yourself. And I think that’s really important to a lot of people, to show they’re multifaceted—they’re not just what people see them as. I think the hardest thing for people though I when they have a really strong Internet presence and then they don’t follow through in real life. It’s a little disappointing for people who then meet you, because you’ve built up a false idea of yourself. If you can’t present yourself the way you do online it almost become redundant.

Do you have any advice for young artists and designers building their own personal brand and trying to ‘make it’ as a freelancer?

You really have to work really hard to become comfortable just freelancing. I really think a lot of it just comes from straight up hard work. I’ve spent endless amounts of hours working, though my social life has suffered sometimes and finding a balance is really important, but it comes down to hard work, and knowing the right people can help but it’s not everything. Presenting yourself in a way that is ready to take on anything as well, but also not letting your values slide—you have to stick to your guns.

Christie Wears The Reebok Furylite Available HERE

Photography by Lily Austin