Born online and now expanding into print, Four&Sons is the publication where dogs and culture collide. Throughout history, dogs have played myriad roles — from comrades-in-arms to companions at our heels. We want to add muse to that list because as we've discovered, our four-legged friends open up an incredible channel of creativity.
Reflecting the ideas, projects and interests of our human readers, they are definitely not a pet magazine. Instead, Four&Sons delves into a life lived alongside dogs. Chronicling the work of interesting people and their interesting dogs, Four&Sons is a bi-annual trip through the worlds of art, photography, music, literature — even math — as inspired by man’s best friend. We sat down with Marta Roca, the magazine's creative director, to find out more about their project, as their latest issue releases their first issue this week in New York.
When was the magazine founded and how did it start?
Four&Sons was born as a digital magazine in 2011. Our first foray into print was a free limited-edition newspaper, a 'souvenir' to celebrate our first year anniversary as online publication, and to say thank you to everyone who had supported us since the onset. We published the first issue of the fully-fledged bi-annual magazine in May 2014.But we started a little bit by accident. Christina Teresinski from Best in Park and I wanted to collaborate on a self-generated project combining all our passions: dogs, art, culture, magazines,... Although Christina has since focused on her brand, I was totally hooked on the project and had become a bit of an obsession. I am fascinated by the intimate, somewhat kooky bond between humans and dogs.
What brought the idea about doing a magazine about dogs and culture?
The initial thinking was: "Let's see what happens when we look at all aspects of the life we live and love — art, design, fashion, music, travel, and lifestyle, from a 'dog-centric' point of view'". We did dig deeper on the 'creative' relationship between humans and dogs: the light bulb moment came when we started to look at dogs as the 'muse', as the inspiration.
How does each issue come together?
The first stage is to draw a solid content plan, then approached the artists, photographers, writers we wanted to feature or work with (in the first issue more than fifty amazing people were involved). Sam and I discuss the impact of design on the editorial and vice-versa throughout the whole process to make sure every aspect comes together nicely. And, after that, you just roll the dice!
What's the biggest reward in terms of publishing your own magazine?
Freedom, fulfillment, ownership. It's fun and it's a challenge! It feels great to work on something you love, with content you love, and which can inspire others.
What's written in the stars for Four&Sons next? Any new projects?
We want to start focusing on other offshoots from the magazine: exhibitions, collabs, events, publications, and ephemera — maybe even a pop-up store? We are hoping to announce some new projects in the next month, which are still a bit hush-hush. We would love to become the 'one-stop-shop' for any dog-lover passionate about culture and creativity.
What sort of things are you looking forward to this summer (or upcoming season)?
Celebrating the launch of the first issue with a small get-together in Manhattan. For the first time since we started to draft our first issue, Sam and I will be in the same city, as I am coming to NY to visit! It will be great to get together.