Sad Girl Review
Nanaimo, BC , British Columbia
Amber Morrison Fox is an emerging interdisciplinary artist from Nanaimo, BC. She completed her BA in Visual Art and Creative Writing at Vancouver Island University and she is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Lethbridge. She received Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Achievement Award and the VIU Visual Art Major Award of Excellence in 2018. She served as Assistant Curator at The View Gallery (2016–2017) and as a Program Coordinator at Nanaimo Art Gallery (2016–2020).
Tell us a bit about your press. How did you start? Who are your influences, in Canada and beyond? What is your mission?
Sad Girl Review is a contemporary art and lit magazine that celebrates “girly” material. SGR was established in the summer of 2018 after I finished my undergraduate degree in visual art and creative writing. I decided that the best artform to make use of both aspects of my education was the magazine: it’s a beautiful, glossy object that balances visual and written elements. I was inspired by mainstream women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and BUST, but I was also influenced by Canadian arts and culture magazines like Room, Canadian Art, The Malahat Review, subTerrain. The history of feminist zines and DIY culture was on my mind as I began to construct the framework for the magazine too.
SGR now has five issues with a sixth in progress. It is published online only at the moment, typically twice per year. This publication wields the language of girliness in order to simultaneously embrace and challenge notions of femininity, gender, and sexuality.
What about small scale publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?
I’m equal parts artist and editor so I appreciate the artistic freedom and flexibility of being a small publisher. The digital distribution process is exciting and it allows the magazine to be available for free on demand to anyone with a device to view it.
How does your magazine work to engage with your immediate literary community, and community at large?
Work that is regarded as ‘feminine’ often isn’t taken seriously (even now!) so I wanted to elevate creators that identified themselves as working in that way. I publish many contributors that are young, emerging, or are otherwise underserved because of who they are or what they make. Writing about and showing the artwork of girls, women, and other marginalized people in a professionalized context emboldens others to fully embrace who they are (which in turn encourages even more great art to be produced!). I firmly believe that your skills and work are valid at whatever stage of your life and career you’re at and I want the wider community to understand that too.
Tell us about three of your publications. What makes them special, needed, and/or unique?
This isn’t a Times New Roman size 12 literary magazine and I don’t believe in a division between “high” and “low” art. I work with the contributors to create a visual experience around their work that bombastically embraces colour and gendered motifs. Additionally, I aim to include a wide variety of voices and approaches, including those that may not generally have work in a magazine.
How have the current multiple global crises impacted your work with the press?
Other than the bouts of existential dread and anxiety, not much! The approach and workflow are the same as always. I live on an island and I began Sad Girl Review because I couldn’t connect with many people locally. SGR has always been a digital publication because I didn’t want it to be limited to a certain region.
Sad Girl Review, Issue 5: Collections & Lists
Contributors: Tess Majors, Leandra Lee, Ashley Cline, @Arkstraveller, @Shoujorukiia, Ben Nelson, Chelsea Margaret Bodnar, Cheryl Redquest, Courtney Faulkner, December Lace, Donnaly Y Atajar, Elisha Hamilton, Harmony Gray, Jenene Ravesloot, Judy Janzen, Kara Goughnour, Kylie Fineday, Laura Roberts, Liz Sparkes, Matthew J. Fox, Margot Desalvo, sb. smith + Spenser Smith, Amanda Quinn, Isabella J Mansfield, Jackie Hedeman, lauren.napier, Margaryta Golovchenko, Megan Mcdermott, Meghan Rennie, Monique Quintana, Natalia Mujadzic, Penn Kemp, Rachel Tanner, RBrown, Sy Brand
Sad Girl Review, Issue 4: Crush
Contributors: Alexis Diano Sikorski, Aoife Riach, Babo Kamel, Callie Zucker, Caroline Grand-Clement, Elka Scott, Elspeth Wilson, Emily Duren, Erica Brandbergh, Harmony Gray, Isabella J Mansfield, Ivanka Fear, Katy Haas, Kelly Gangeness Le, Kelsi Long, Matthew J. Fox, Milena Bee, Nicola Kapron, Nikolai Garcia, Rebecca Kokitus, Sidney Wollmuth, Sophie Panzer, Wanda Deglane
Sad Girl Review, Issue 1: Summer Bummer
Contributors: Dessa Bayrock, Katie Clarke, Ashante Ford, Rachel Jackson, Jessie Janeshek, Courtney LeBlanc, Ruth Lehrer, Miss Macross, Vanessa Maki, Michelle McMillan-Holifield, Jenene Ravesloot, Nixi Schroeder, Nora Selmani, Marinna Shareef, Arielle Tipa, Danielle Wirsansky