Multi-disciplinary creative Annika Hein is a strong advocate for considered, purposeful and sustainable consumption, from the clothes we buy to the vast array of content we consume. We speak to the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of JANE Magazine about the publication's unique ethos, her daily rituals and how she switches off.
- Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Perth, Western Australia. We moved around quite a lot for the first part of my childhood and I think that sense of adventure allowed me to be quite adaptive in my adult life and to have an explorative sense of home life and what that looks like.
I now live in Melbourne, but recently spent nearly two years in country Victoria in a beautiful town called Daylesford. I’m really excited by exploring new environments and challenging the traditional archetypes of what’s required to feel safe and settled. I can really be and feel at home in most places.
- Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in a creative industry?
Yes, however I don’t think it was ever a conscious choice. From a young age, I was actively exploring different creative mediums and expressing myself though written words, performances, and photographs. It wasn’t something that I ever remember questioning or deliberating, I just took it in my stride, and created things for anyone who would read, watch, or participate in them.
Looking at the world in that way, and understanding it through creative practices is how I function, so the next logical step was to create a career that facilitated my strengths. I just knew the types of things I wanted to create, so I found a way to make a living out of them. I’ve been making things in different mediums as a response to my environment since I was about three, so I suppose it’s just who I’ve always been, who I already was.
- How did the idea for JANE Magazine come about?
We created JANE as a response to the media landscape and the consumerist corruption of the portrayal of art and fashion. It is a direct reply and dedication to this acknowledgement and the need to slow things down within an industry that’s set to super-speed. We wanted to create a visual world that we were proud to be a part of - a conscious effort to connect the notions of time, art, and fashion, and to change the way we, as a society, consume and create art.
Each issue is shot entirely on film, so in addition to making something that people would keep, our intention was to create a publication that brought appreciation back to slower processes - to reintroduce readers to tangible elements of art, art they could lose themselves in, and consume slowly and indulgently, art that really stood for something and that spoke directly to current societal issues.
We’re only two years old, so it’s still early days. But the very first days, weeks, months, were personally and creatively transformative, turbulent, energising, exhausting, completely overwhelming and uncharted, but also somehow familiar. We ran off fumes for the best part of ten months and neither of us had extensive experience in publishing - we just banded around our vision and made it up as we went along.
Annika wears Matin Este Maxi Dress
- You’ve made a conscious effort to publish only bi-annually and put a lot of time and care into each issue. Does sustainability come into play here?
Absolutely. Human beings can no longer afford to make any purchase decisions without thinking about issues of sustainability and waste. Beyond
the aesthetics and the content, we have to be accountable for the materials we’re choosing and the logistics involved in running a publication. During this urgent time for
our environment we are constantly making changes that facilitate the greatest positive impact.
By printing only 1000 copies per issue for world-wide distribution we are ensuring that we are only meeting the tailored demand of our current readership
rather than printing quantities to purely meet advertising rates and benchmarks. Most of the publishing and distribution industry works on a sale or return basis,
which unfortunately means if your print run doesn’t sell out, the magazines are destroyed after the close of sale date. The covers are ripped off and sent back to the publisher
as proof of number of sales and the rest of the magazine is discarded. For us this was not acceptable, so we choose to print less and in the rare event that an issue
doesn’t sell out, we leave it on shelves.
- How do you balance wearing all the different hats you do as a writer, stylist, creative director, consultant, & more?
Planning! I’m very organised and particular, so having clear and detailed project timelines and to-do lists helps me to be flexible and adaptive when plans change. I’ve worked really hard to create and develop my voice and style and I think that aesthetic underlies much of my work. So for me it doesn’t really feel like different hats, but rather utilising different mediums to communicate the same overarching vision.
- What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?
The financial aspect of publishing a magazine is significant and all-consuming, so this is something that still requires much of our resources outside of the JANE business.
Secondly, I work best when given the time to wholly consider and explore my ideas and I don’t like to feel rushed, so the expected speed of the industry is something I struggle with and ultimately attempt to challenge through all of my work and different projects.
- What inspires you creatively?
Nature: the truest and greatest creator, inspiring great art and even greater lives. I also re-read something (anything) by Joan Didion most months.
- Do you have any role models in life?
I have many. But one that forges to the front is Patti Smith. I think there can be some unhealthy connotations that are often represented as the type of lifestyle you need to have to be an artist or a creative. Patti Smith negates this image and for me is the true embodiment of a multidisciplinary visionary and artist who creates for the soul and the sake of human kind, not the sales, status or glorification of self-destruction.
- What’s your ideal way to switch off?
I set very high standards for myself, my work, and my creative output, and while this helps to ensure my contributions are in line with my ethos, it can also mean I get critical in my own head, and a little too obsessive with wanting to keep doing more.
Our office is at home, and although I love my job, it can be quite difficult trying to ensure I switch off when the day ends. Going for a long walk, in nature, usually helps to connect me back to the outside world. Yoga is also something I try to practice daily, but I’m very empathetic and highly sensitive, so when I’ve taken on a lot of the emotions and energy from the day sometimes I need a more comforting detachment that requires little mental effort or willpower, and allows me to switch frequencies or assists with compartmentalising.
One of my favourite things to do is to turn my phone onto airplane mode. Setting clear boundaries in relation to phone and social media use has been a really huge one for me and is something I’m still perfecting.
I like to be at home, so I find simply pottering about our space, reading, writing, moving things around, watering the plants, burning essential oils, drinking wine in the backyard with our friends, to all be really nice ways to spend my down time.
- How would you describe your personal style?
Minimal, refined, and built to last. My wardrobe is a mostly a black, white and grey selection of fiercely edited pieces and one that’s added to very rarely these days. I think owning less and investing in particular pieces that you build a relationship with makes for a far more adaptable, timeless, and sustainable wardrobe. You get to truly know your clothes and allow them to be an authentic representation of yourself, rather than one that’s potentially swayed or guided by impulse purchases. I would consider myself a uniform dresser and tend to steer clear of the expectation that new clothes should be considered a routine purchase
- What has been your experience as a woman in the industry?
I feel fortunate to say that my personal experience has been mostly fair and supportive. I’m also very lucky to love, live, and work with someone who is a true ambassador for equality and kindness. Odin and I support and strengthen each other in business, and in life, which is something I’m very grateful for.
I will say, however, that there have been instances where I’ve sent emails or follow-ups from Odin’s email address using his signature instead of mine and received a completely different response in terms of tone, respect, efficiency, and general manner. It’s disappointing that as a woman running her own businesses I’m sometimes taken more seriously or given more respect from both men and women when speaking under a pseudo name of a male.
- Do you have any daily rituals?
Each morning I scrape my tongue and drink two big glasses of water with some fresh lemon or lime juice and run an ice cube over my face and neck before applying some rosehip or coconut oil. Those are my non-negotiables.
Most mornings I also try to light some incenses or burn some Palo Santo and meditate and then go through a series of gentle stretches to move and wake-up my body. On days where the mornings don’t allow for this, or when the ritual suddenly feels like an irritating chore, I’ll try again in the evening.
Every morning Odin and I also take our dog Arlo for nice long walk and then come home to make coffee to drink outside, and before bed I use a diffuser with lavender oil and rub magnesium oil and a sleep oil blend onto the soles of my feet.
We have also created some really nice full and new moon rituals for our home and for us that incorporate crystals, tarot and sage. And then every Sunday we make pancakes, listen to Neil Young, drink coffee, and play gin in the kitchen.
- What are you currently reading, watching and listening to?
I’m reading The Waves, by Virginia Woolf, and Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, I’m watching Our Planet, and I’m currently listening to The Passenger by Iggy Pop, but also have a lot of Nick Cave, CCR and Lana Del Rey on a heavy rotation.
- Where is your favourite place to travel to?
Paris, because it feels like a second home. Or up the coast, to the beach, to be with my family.
- What can you not live without?
Love, books, and lavender.
- What can we expect to see from you next?
We’re launching an online resource platform as an extension of JANE in June. Also I’d love to write a book soon, perhaps a collection of essays…
Photography: Odin Wilde