Since it's 2016 and you never, ever find out about anything in real life before first seeing it via Instagram / Snapchat / the part of your news feed that isn't just stories about Instagram & Snapchat, we were surprised to come across a zine called Blessed we'd never heard of by seeing it at our local skate shop. Our friend and contributor Ian Browning tracked down Blessed's creator, Liam Annis, so that you can find out about it on the internet like a normal person.
Do you want to explain Blessed for those who aren’t familiar?
Blessed Mag is a DIY zine that I started simply to give my friends more exposure. I kinda just started it as a creative outlet for myself and my friends—not just skaters. I’m working with a couple artists that I go to school with on the design aspects.
But yeah, basically, it’s just a skateboard mag. I would say it’s based in Boston, because that’s where most of the photos are, but I’m hoping to expand it and use work from other photographers and writing from other people.
Are you shooting film or digital?
I’m shooting mostly digital. For school I shoot film, and I do enjoy shooting skateboarding on film, but at the moment my film camera is broken so it’s been all digital. The mag is a mix. I don’t have a preference, per se. There will be some film photos in the next issue, and I believe in issue one or two there was a couple film photos but for the most part it’s digital photography.
I know you skate and hang out at Eggs a fair amount, and at that spot lines are valued a bit higher than single tricks. That's tough to translate into print. Have you ever tried to figure out a way to work some lines in?
I’m trying to incorporate some Eggs lines into Blessed Mag. I do foresee an Eggs issue or Eggs feature on the rise. In one of the issues there’s an interview with Squeaks that had some tricks in lines. They way I try to incorporate that is to see what trick in the line looks better, depending on the lighting or how it’s being filmed. Overall it comes down to how I see it in the moment.
What other zines are you into?
I fuck with Skate Jawn pretty hard. I really like what they do and how much ground they cover. There's Curb zine, and I really like what Stoops has going on, how it’s all New York-based. And I like all the descriptions they have photo submissions—they let you know what they’re looking for.
Speaking of New York, it seems like the industry has been feeding heavily off the scene here for the past five years or so. Do you think that has spread up to Boston at all?
Yeah, I would say so. Talking to people who have been here longer, they’ve just noticed that there are way more visitors than there were five years ago. When it comes to people coming to skate and film at spots. I think there is a lot more exposure coming to the locals, and from my perspective a lot of skaters from the West Coast, New York and Montreal are all making their way to Boston in the summer. Boston’s on the rise, but it’s also hard because it’s such a small city. I definitely think the skateboard industry is looking at Boston a lot more more than they were in the past several years.
What’s your favorite scene in the Northeast other than Boston?
I’d have to go with the Montreal scene. The Dime crew and what they’ve got going on. It just seems like they’re having a fucking blast and they’re also killing it, so that’s admirable.
When is issue four coming out?
I’m working on it right now. I don’t really set dates or deadlines for Blessed, I kind of just wait for everything to come together and once I have enough content to put something that I feel comfortable with, I’ll put it out. I’d say the next issue issue for will definitely be dropping by the end of August.
Is there anywhere people should look for it?