Interview with Dustin Hollywood, founder of NAKID Magazine
NAKID magazine is an international brand publication that focuses on sex, culture, music and art. We chatted with the founder, Dustin Hollywood on the the history, his intentions with the platform and what’s been going on up until now.
What is the earliest memory of you conceptualizing NAKID Magazine?
Wow, good question... haha, I don’t know if I can put it into one memory but rather an overall experience that pushed me into it. Late Summer of 2014 I was shooting (I used to be a DJ/music photographer) on tour and just came to the realization that I wanted something more, something of my own – that coupled with the fact I didn’t want to be someone else’s employee was motivation enough, haha. I actually had no idea what I was doing when I first started, I learned everything as I went, now here we are three years later – it’s amazing what will/determination, inspiration and hard work can do.
Credit: Charis Kirchheimer & Dustin Hollywood
What is the history of NAKID Magazine?
I know how hard it is creating something from nothing and also trying to get yourself out there, I wanted to make something that was showcasing content I thought was amazing from artists around the world I felt were amazing, many of which don’t get the exposure they should considering how badass their work is. That was always something that bothered me, how someone with so little talent can overshadow on social media those with immense talent all because of our social behavior and technology. Being an artist is hard, and when you have avenues to get your work not only seen by thousands or millions but are also having your work seen by industry scouts and brands that look to publications like ours for new talent and inspiration, that’s truly amazing for someone just trying to make it in this game. When I started NAKID it was only me, now we have contributors all around the world and a solid staff of creatives that help me push each other to do more and think outside the box. It’s really humbling and crazy to think about what we have been able to do in just the 3 years we’ve existed.
How do you stay intentional with the content you share?
I’ve been creative all my life and I do a lot of different artistic mediums, even within NAKID itself.. I don’t just run the magazine I also creatively contribute heavily. Everything from artistic direction & marketing content design to print design layout and photography and of course running the magazine as Editor-In-Chief and Founder. We meticulously plan, and design our content around not just what our readers love such as our daily exclusive editorials or our inspiration feeds on social media but we also curate and create collaborations with other brands such as TYFS/Red Bull/Tito’s Vodka and our new Bi-Monthly party in Austin, TX starting 8.25.17 or our Mini-Issue collaboration with Tax Collection, our clothing collaboration with Skim Milk, or our partnership with the creative/artist app OpenCall - diversifying what we offer and what the company can do to provide new avenues of content for the future but also helping the artists we feature and support have new opportunities for themselves and their work is what we are all about. “Content is king.” Is such a true statement, and I think NAKID is a place where we’ve built a reputation for having amazing content, style & aesthetic.
Photo credit: Dustin Hollywood
What community do you believe you've built because of the magazine?
This is a hard question, mostly because Charis and I travel everywhere all the time for the magazine and it seems everywhere we go people know NAKID now, it’s actually difficult to find someone who hasn’t haha, we try sometimes. So I don’t know if it is a community so much as it is notoriety that we have created. For a brand to do what we’ve done numbers-wise (between 1.1 and 2 million content views daily) it is truly special, so I think although we may not have created a so-called ‘community’ of NAKID readers, we have created an underground movement. We want to help artists and smaller brands, we want to show them that social media apps and their censorship can’t define them as artists. My hope is to one day help to push our partner app OpenCall into being an alternative to Instagram for artists, mainly due to favoritism and unchecked censorship within Facebook and Instagram’s business model. If I can help push that as a community and really free the social media grip that keeps so much amazing art out there from being seen, then I will feel like I have truly succeeded.
Photo credit: Kristina Kubantseva
How do you build an empire?
One stone at a time, one idea at a time. Vision, determination and sheer inspirational drive. Never giving up no matter what is what truly separates success from failure. You can fail 100 times, you only need to succeed once.
Current creative motivations?
Everything. All the time.
What is your definition of sex positivity?
The comfortability with not only your body but human bodies in general. Society is a piece of shit, it misogynous, politically correct for the most part now and it demonizes anything that could be construed as pleasurable. Honestly, be whoever you want, be whatever you want, love whoever you want – it’s really about you, not others, as long as you are happy that is all that matters. I would really love to see the gradual decline of testosterone driven laws in the U.S. – recently the Supreme Court said women can go topless just like men in any state in the union and there is nothing law enforcement or cities can do about it. Chalk a win up there for freedom on that one – we are obviously huge supporters of the ‘free the nipple’ campaign, haha. Love is love and we shouldn’t be ashamed of our bodies – those religious driven ideologies are dead. Maybe if we stopped demonizing nudity and sexuality in the world people would stop thinking it’s such a big deal.
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