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The Eye chats to frankie Editor, Sophie Kalagas, about coveted cover art, tuck shop treats and why she’s so proud to be at the helm of this delightfully quirky and collectable publication.

What defines a frankie girl?

I wouldn’t say there’s a ‘definition’, per se – frankie readers come from all walks of life and range from teenagers to lovely folk in their 80s or above! There are also plenty of fellas who flip through our pages. It’s more of an attitude thing - someone who is friendly, funny, maybe a bit arty or crafty, and curious about other people and the world around them. They’re also not afraid to be a little rude or sarcastic now and then!

What is the best part about being editor of frankie??

There are so many good parts - researching weird stories, styling kooky fashion shoots and working with an amazing, tight-knit team are all up there. My favourite thing, though, is getting to meet so many creative and inspiring people. Through interviews for the mag, I’ve made friends and found role models – I’ve also been blown away by people’s talent a million times over.

frankie always has really beautiful cover art. How do you find and choose the artists you work with?

It ultimately comes down to a lot of time spent hunting online! My designer and I rack up hours down a rabbit hole of illustration and art blogs, Pinterest and Instagram. Sometimes we’ll have a vague theme or style in mind that we’re searching for, but generally it’s just a matter of coming across something that really catches our eye. Our cover artists have come from all over the world, but we do love to showcase local talent, where possible.

The frankie book, Something to Say, just came out, and sounds like a good Christmas gift idea. Please tell us more about how the book came about?

The first-person ‘rant’ has always been a bit of a frankie hallmark, and something that our readers really relate and respond to. From stories about the disgusting communal fridge at work and that moment you realise all your friends have become responsible adults, to the feeling of having a “forgettable face”, there’s plenty to identify with, and we had 12 years of these tales in the bank!

Something to Say is almost like a greatest hits compilation – it’s a way to celebrate our classic content and introduce newer readers to our stable of wonderful frankie writers, past and present. Plus, it comes with a cute and colourful illustrated design that makes it pretty fun to flip through. (And yes – an excellent stocking stuffer!)

With a focus on brilliant DIY projects, what advice would you give to the reluctant crafter?

Don’t be afraid to dabble! I’m not especially skillful when it comes to craft, but a lot of the time the process brings more joy than the outcome. Messing around, following directions, and having an opportunity to flex your creative muscles is a lot of fun – and at the end of it all you have something you made with your bare hands (whether it looks like you expected or not!).

In a world where so much emphasis is placed on digital content, do you think frankie’s aesthetic (matte pages, gorgeous art etc…) sets it apart from other print magazines?

Absolutely. We often receive comments from readers about how much they love the feel and smell of our paper stock, and photos regularly pop up of our pages on people’s walls, too. Reading frankie is a tactile experience – it’s a magazine to be touched, treasured and collected; used in art and craft; framed; and dipped back into at any time. I think people really respond to that, in a sea of glossy, ephemeral titles.

Who do you love to follow on Instagram for whatever reason e.g. fashion, home decor inspiration etc??

I follow a ton of different artists and makers on Instagram – partly for the daily dose of colour, partly for the inspiration, and partly because their work makes me smile. (Which is quite a nice change on social media, really!) Some goodies include: Alice Nightingale, Kate Pugsley, Whistleburg, Sabine Timm and Abbey Rich.

What’s so special about frankie’s big bumper issue, out on December 5?

For one, it’s huge! It’s our biggest, heaviest issue of the year, so there’s loads of great content to get stuck into – all the usual fashion, design, music, art, travel, craft, real life and more. You’ll also find some extra-special goodies inside, including a DIY mobile designed by local artist Min Pin, a booklet of nostalgic recipes from your school tuckshop days, a hands-on guide to brush lettering, and our whopping annual wall planner.

Another cool thing in this issue: we’re introducing our first-ever frankie Good Stuff awards! They’re a way to give local creatives a pat on the back (and some prizes), and we’re super-excited for people to get involved.

Do you have a favourite story in the issue?

After two months spent working with the content, it’s like asking me to choose between my children, but I do have a soft spot for the tuckshop recipe spread. A whole lot of blood, sweat and tears (and drool) went into putting it together with a top-notch team, and it was super-fun to reminisce on the treats we used to covet as kids.

What is your favourite way to relax once an issue is complete?

First thing first: step away from the screen! After a few weeks of hardcore subbing and proofing, my eyes are usually in desperate need of a rest. Heading outside for a walk or bite to eat is a good way to clear the head a bit. Other than that, a lot of mindless TV and catch-up reading.

What is your proudest moment so far in your role as editor?

We have a feature in the current issue that I’m really pleased with, talking to people who’ve “gone against the grain” in different ways. One lady proposed to her boyfriend instead of waiting for him to do it; another decided drinking alcohol wasn’t for her; someone else chose not to go to uni, but has a great career anyway. These sorts of stories are part of what makes frankie special – they’re relatable, reassuring and a positive look at different ways to live your life – and I’m proud to be able to bring that sort of content into the world.

What can readers expect from future issues?

Plenty more inspiring real-life stories, eye-catching imagery and interesting tidbits. We’re tweaking the design a tad to freshen up the mag without losing that familiar frankie feel, and looking to try some different approaches to the cover art, as well. And of course, there’ll be another massive bumper issue towards the end of the year, complete with bonus goodies to make, use and gaze at. Subscribers will have loads of awesomeness arriving in their letterboxes!


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