I first interviewed Design and Content Editor Cara Livermore about the background and mission of Chickpea Magazine. Now for a bit of dialogue about her lifestyle and design and print loves! You can also see more of Cara’s work at sewindie.com.
Annika: Are you originally from Rochester?
Cara: I’m originally from Rochester, left for college, and came back after several years and have lived here now as an adult for six years.
Annika: Favorite vegan dining spot in Rochester?
Cara: I love love love the Red Fern – it’s good for casual or fancier dinners, so we go there a lot. It’s probably the #1 pick most vegans would recommend. If you don’t want to go there, go to Balsam Bagels for breakfast or Dogtown for garbage plates. 🙂
Annika: Favorite vegan dining spot(s) overall (anywhere in the world)?
Cara: Our favorite dinner ever was at Hangawi in NYC – we got a full tasting menu that went on for like 10 amazing, unique courses. And after a day of walking all around the city with heavy bags, going to a restaurant where they make you take your shoes off and have dim lighting is THE best. (And they have high-level teas and truly great waitstaff. Totally recommended.)
Annika: Chickpea is printed in both Rochester and Vancouver, Canada. What’s the Vancouver link?
Cara: We found out about Hemlock in Vancouver after meeting them at the Food Book Fair in NYC a few years ago. We don’t currently print with them, but they are the best people and take really good care of their mags.
Annika: As you mentioned in our first interview, Chickpea is more like a mini book than a magazine. The work is indeed gorgeous and one would assume that there were serious print media aficionados behind the publication. Were you inspired by certain design tenets as well as any other publications as you set out to lay the concept for Chickpea?
Cara: I try to take as many design elements into my repertoire as possible – so yes, you could say I’m a print aficionado if you were to come into my house and see all the books we have! I like the mix of “proper” grid-based design and more free-form handmade zines, and I keep a lot of both around as much as possible.
Annika: Were you into magazines and print media in general before establishing Chickpea?
Cara: I’ve always loved print, which is what got me into thinking about starting my own magazine. I thought I could put something out there that made print even better, hopefully. But I’m constantly excited about and inspired by print, way more than digital.
Annika: I’m a huge magazine enthusiast and one of my favorite things to do when I travel is check out local “press” and magazine stores. Are you the same way and if so what are some of the most memorable experiences you’ve had a mag shops or bookstores?
Cara: I think my most memorable bookstore experiences happened way back in high school. My family never did any shopping because we were quite poor, we lived in the middle of nowhere, and we had very few (if any) books in our house. Certain students got to go on a special field trip if they did enough work, where we got to go the city and hang out at the bookstore all day and pick out a book to get for ourselves. I flipped through every one I could, soaking in the design and graphics as much as possible before deciding which one I wanted. I think that’s where my love of print really began. I still have the few books I got from those trips!
Annika: Do you come from an editorial or design background?
Cara: I got my degree in illustration & drawing, which use the same basic tenets as traditional design. It was a very inter-department degree, so I got to take lots of different classes, from bookmaking to printmaking to photography and more. I’ve always been design-minded so the switch to magazine work was a no-brainer.
Annika: What’s currently on your reading list?
Cara: I’m halfway through Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and starting the Attack on Titan manga series. (Really happy stuff.)
Annika: Favorite media (blogs, radio, mags etc)?
Cara: I’m mostly listening to business podcasts, watching Youtube food channels, and scrolling through my Feedly blogroll. Nothing particularly sticks out, though, as my favorite.
Annika: If you were to travel the world for a special series of very internationally themed Chickpea issues, where would you go? What cities and countries would you focus on and which collaborators would you seek out?
Cara: I really wouldn’t be able to decide! Coming from my background, I would be in shock to go anywhere out of the country. My partner and I (he also runs the magazine) have always dreamed about going on a cross-continent train trip through Europe and Asia, so probably that. Just going from city to city, documenting small meals each day – I think personal perspectives with historical and cultural contexts are the best.