From the get-go, we have built Now Then around the work of a monthly featured artist. We started small at first, reaching out to visual artists we knew in the city, and were fortunate to convince the enigmatic Phlegm to feature in Now Then #1. That coveted piece of print has pride of place on our shelves, with only 2,000 copies in existence.

Since that first issue, we have featured the work of well over 100 artists of local, national and international renown, covering a wide range of disciplines, from oil painters to biro artists, sculptors to photographers. We try to mix it up from one month to the next, always looking to catch people’s attention with our choice of front cover.

As editor of the magazine since issue #17, I quickly got used to people saying, ‘Who does the artwork?’ It was only later that I realised what we were doing with the art in Now Then was actually quite different to most magazines – giving over almost a third of our pages to a featured artist, spending a lot of money on paper and printing, and, most importantly, giving the work plenty of space to breath, like an exhibition. Credit goes in part to our original designer, Matt Jones, for fighting the corner of art taking pride of place in the mag – and, of course, to our current superstar team.

Our process for choosing featured artists is simple. Anyone can submit their work for consideration or someone from within the Now Then team can put an artist forward. We talk over the work and take a vote, and any artist with a majority is offered the chance to feature.

This month we’ve done something a bit different, featuring past front covers of Now Then, alongside new work from a few past artists. We humbly asked some of them what they took from the experience of being featured in Now Then and they had some nice things to say, which we thought we’d share with you here.

If you’ve got suggestions for future featured artists, or want to put your own work forward, please get in touch.

 

Katie Ponder (#115)
“I was thrilled to see a collection of my personal work in print which would otherwise not have been seen. Being featured was a great experience which led to some other work opportunities creating art for businesses in Sheffield.”

Andrew Hunt (#47 & #102)
“Whenever I see a copy of Now Then I am instantly drawn to it. It’s such a great idea to showcase local artists for the magazine’s cover. The Now Then team are at the vanguard of representing this city’s culture and I am indebted to them.”

The Lost Fox (#98)
“We do a lot of print fairs in Sheffield and around the North, and had several people comment that they’d first seen us in the magazine. One person even tracked us down at a fair especially to buy a print of the cover artwork.”

Okuda San Miguel (#107)
“I am really grateful to Now Then Magazine, one of the first media outlets to have me on their front cover. It was an honour, accompanied by the pleasure of a very good interview.”

Bryan John (#114)
“People still say to me now, ‘Wasn’t your work in Now Then?’ It really legitimised me as an artist when I was just starting out. ”

Jo Peel (#90)
“Now Then is a Sheffield institution. I love picking it up each month and discovering new artists and happenings in the city.”

James Green (#86)
“I was honoured to be featured artist in Now Then, especially after the impressive people that came before me. Here’s to another ten years – and more.”

Sam, editor-in-chief