The debut issue of Galavant Magazine is a little like stepping into the gallery of some wonderful high society recluse; it’s alluring, imaginative and requires more than a flick-through. Celebrating the efforts of creative folk across the globe, it includes works from visual artists, photographers and writers, including our very own Managing Editor, Kat George.

The first issue of the magazine is themed around ‘Absence’, spun out through the kaleidoscope of its contributers interpretations. Ten writers and ten visual artists were chosen from across the world, and the result is not just a heavy tome of a magazine but something to cherish, to hold onto far beyond that first read. Filled with inspiration in visual, written and design form, Galavant is fiercely individual, fitting into your reading collection somewhere between your favorite art books and those cherished independent zines you’ve held onto for years. And it’s intended for longevity; published as an annual edition, and only in print form, there’s a focus in Galavant of timelessness, a bold move in this digital fast-food age.

Something of this magnitude takes serious guts, so it’s no surprise that the duo behind putting Galavant together are as focused and fearless as the magazine itself. We spoke to one of the founders, Dilys Ng, about the process of publishing an independent magazine in the digital age, and how Galavant both celebrates and shifts the idea of what a magazine should be.

Portable: What was the idea behind starting Galavant?

Dilys Ng: We wanted to create a platform for established profiles, emerging artists and people of opposite professions to share their thoughts — which in this case, is via the form of literature and art. We didn’t want the views and expressions from just creatives and artists, we wanted views from all walks of life.

P: How did you decide on the theme of Absence as the focus of your first publication?

Dilys Ng: We picked Absence because it is, in one way or another, the beginning of anything so we thought it was apt for our first issue.

P: What are the differences and challenges of publishing a magazine independently?

Dilys Ng: I guess when you’re under a publisher, there are more resources to guide you through. Publishing independently means getting your team together, handling the content, design, finances and everything else on your own. It’s a lot of work, especially since Galavant is only a team of two.

P: With a focus on global content as well as an emphasis on Singapore based artists, how did you select your contributors?

Dilys Ng: We selected our contributors based on our theme and the direction we were heading towards. We shortlisted a whole bunch of people, had a short open call and carefully sifted through all the works. There was never really a “locals only” kind of thing, it was always about the bigger picture.

P: How did you curate a collaborative balance between the visual art, photography and writing produced by your contributors?

Dilys Ng: Initially, Galavant was supposed to be completely literature and photo based but we realised it wasn’t sufficient. We weighed the possibilities out, the quota of photographs versus mixed media and managed to figure out a good balance. Sometimes, other mediums tell better stories than photographs.

P: Do you have any plans to digitalize the magazine or will it stay as a print form magazine?

Dilys Ng: We have thought about digitalising future issues alongside our print issues but we’re still figuring all of that out. Nothing beats having the actual thing in your hand.