BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Publishing graduate Kadis Morrisrecently set up her own online platform, G-IRL (Girls In Real Life), an all-girl interview series exploring the lives of talented women.
Kadish is a freelance journalist, writer and poet who, since graduating, has contributed to a number of well-known magazines including Huck, Broadly, Dazed, Twin and An0ther. G-IRL features a collection of interviews with female activists, artists, businesswomen, curators, DJs, editors, fashion designers and more from cities including London, New York, Rotterdam and Tokyo.
For a recent interview, G-IRL sat down with Charlie Craggs, an award-winning trans activist fighting for equality. They spoke to her about Nail Transphobia, a campaign she founded that aims to tackle transphobia through education and nail art, her book To My Trans Sisters, and her Marie Claire Future Shaper Award.
We caught up with Kadish to get the low-down on G-IRL…
Can you tell us about G–IRL – how would you describe the platform?
G-IRL is an all-girl interview series. It’s a place to discover and read about talented and inspiring women. The interviews are conversational and are done in person. The photography is commissioned and exclusive to us and we shoot the women in their homes or workplace so that you can get a real sense of who they are and how they live and work.
What’s the story behind G-IRL?
I wanted to create a platform where you could see women doing what they do best and being celebrated for it. Reading the stories of other woman can be a very cathartic experience, especially if you’re a woman of colour. Your confidence is boosted when you see someone who looks like you doing something exciting.
There are so many talented women out there, but often you have to mine through pages and pages of men before you get to them. I also wanted to create something that the women themselves could feel proud of. Something thorough, well-designed and well-shot because I think that’s what they all deserve.
Can you tell us why you chose an online platform rather than a print publication – why was this important to you?
I think you can have the same level of quality online without having to spend time and money finding the right paper and printer etc. People in different countries can access your content without having to spend loads of money on shipping.
Also, I think if you centre yourself on the internet, you can easily gauge what your readers like and don’t like. I’m really inspired by sites like Freunde Von Freunden. They have published over 500 interviews. That’s the type of level I would love to be at one day and with a goal like that, it makes much more sense for G-IRL to exist online rather than as a print periodical.
Can you tell us about the process of setting up G-IRL. What were the challenges and highlights of taking G-IRL from an idea to reality?
I coded the site myself which was relatively easy but it took me a while because it was difficult to know when to step back and say it is finished. But once I’d finished the coding, I began sending out interview requests. Some people responded straight away while others never responded.
“Reading the stories of other woman can be a very cathartic experience, especially if you’re a woman of colour. Your confidence is boosted when you see someone who looks like you doing something exciting.” — Kadish Morris, BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism & Publishing graduate
That was challenging and quite disheartening. I then contacted photographers and began conducting the interviews and then I launched the site. The highlight of the whole process is definitely meeting the women and having such great conversations with them.
How did your time at LCC prepare you for the work you’re doing now?
I learnt about design, editing, flat-planning, commissioning. All things that are extremely relevant to what I do now.
What advice would you give a student who aspired to create something like G-IRL?
Don’t wait until you feel ready. If you think you have a good idea and it’s something other people will like, don’t overthink it. Just get the ball rolling. Also keep it simple. If your idea is really complex or requires a lot of knowledge and experience that you don’t yet have, simplify it and turn it something you can actually do well.
It’s more rewarding to start small and grow at a pace you can manage, then to create something you cannot sustain or that you don’t have the budget for. My advice is to create the best quality thing your means will allow.
What are you favourite memories of your time in the College?
Late nights in the library trying to meet deadlines. I would always leave things to the last minute and would end up handing my essay in a few minutes before it was due. Even though it was stressful, those were some of my favourite and funniest memories.
If you were going to study your course again what would you do differently?
I’d be much more engaged. I’d start trying to get experience as soon as possible and would start thinking about what I wanted to do once I left a lot sooner than I did. I would have started as many projects as I could, collaborated with my peers and tested out ideas as University is the best environment for that.
How do you see G-IRL developing in the future?
I would like it to develop into a robust directory of interviews with talented and interesting women around the world. I’d love their to be video content and maybe events too.
Follow Kadish on her Twitter page and stay up to date with G-IRL