Recently, I asked one of our editors how we can encourage more students to write for our magazine, and what she said really stuck with me. She said, we must create a space where students feel they are seen, where they feel relaxed, allowing someone else to edit their expressions, their points of view, and their words without judgment. When stepping up from Visual Arts Editor to Indigo Editor, my manifesto was to be more transparent about what goes into making the Indigo magazine, breaking down the highs, such as the euphoria which rushed over your body when someone picked up your first content call, and the lows of saying goodbye to the editors you have grown with – and having your InDesign app crash the night you need to send print off.
This editorial’s main objective is to bring transparency to the world of arts and lifestyle editing. I will openly confess that I came into this role by complete accident. I originally saw a vacancy go up for ‘Indigo Editor’, thinking it meant ‘an’ Indigo Editor and without hesitation, applied for the role with no prior experience. To my surprise I was interviewed and offered the role of Visual Arts because I had mentioned wanting to write a piece on bringing colour back to the statues of Antiquity and what this meant for eras such as the Neoclassical, prominently built on the visuals of white marble statue, a false conception, ironically much like my conception of the Indigo Editor role.
But this was a most beautiful accident. The idea that the article which confirmed my role as Visual Arts Editor acted as a metaphor for the current events within my life. It was actually just under three months after I had written that article, about the colourisation of an ancient marble statue, that I had received an email officially congratulating me, informing me that my application to become Indigo Editor had been successful.We all make mistakes, but they can become beautiful accidents. Without mistakes, you cannot credit success. I was a fresher when these events took place, during the beginning of Epiphany to be exact, and an utterly embarrassed one at that. This is one of the only occasions where I will ever use the term ‘silly fresh’ because it is a perfect colloquialism for how I felt. But this ‘silly fresh’ had an astounding success story come
from it. My point is, it is okay to make mistakes and get things wrong and be a ‘silly fresh’. If you have an article written, or even just an idea, a conception of an article but hesitate out of a perfectionistic fear it is not enough, remember accomplishment cannot be born from nothing and the worst that happens is you make a mistake. Especially during freshers week, it is canon that you will inevitably make mistakes, we have an article in this edition entirely dedicated to them. However, mistakes do not equal failure and should not create defeat. The same applies for editing and writing articles. I was incredibly nervous to write my first online article, my first article for print and even my first editorial earlier this year, because as any perfectionist would agree, there was always an underlying itch that could never be scratched, my writing would never appear complete. Especially in relation to opening up, and delving into opinion-rooted discourses, it feels you have never spoken enough and there is a universal void everyone feels the need to fill, hence the existence of the article never to be finished. To not fill that void would be to leave the article incomplete, and that would be a mistake – that is what I began saying. After beginning your role as editor, reading and drafting articles on a daily basis, you realise that to say nothing at all is the ultimate mistake. Never submitting that article because it is imperfect or not responding to a content call because you don’t believe you have enough to say is the worst mistake. Although I applied for the wrong editorial role, completely oblivious to what I was actually signing myself up for, I would now never call it a mistake but a beautiful accident.
Freshers, we have decided to make this issue of Indigo all about you. In this edition, Stage delves into what’s to come in the realm of Durham student theatre, Music gives the rundown on the hottest musical scenes around Durham in their new ‘guide to’ series, and Features look at confessionals of ex-freshers and their most embarrassing freshers week stories. If Film & TV is more your thing, we have a list of all the fun ways you can immerse yourself into Durham film culture, and if you’re panicking about what to wear to your first formal, your first lecture, your first night at Klute, Style has you covered.
Image credit: Cameron Beech