Creative combat with Ammo magazine..!

SuperFly has been a fan of Ammo since the first issue, back at the end of 2009. I found it in the Red Door Gallery in Edinburgh while delivering SuperFly flyers to promote the first show. It felt like ‘SuperFly in a book’ and I immediately got in touch with it’s publisher, Dave Hughes, to tell him what a great job it was.

Apparently the A6 landscape format was as much a financial decision as it was aesthetic but it instantly caught my imagination and I had to buy a copy to read on the train home. About a year later and Dave has now published Issue 4  – available through the website: – and, if you’re new to Ammo, you can also catch up on previous issues for a bargain price.

If you’ve never seen Ammo it’s a smartly curated collection of illustration and artist interviews and an object of beauty in it’s own right. Just after the launch of ‘Issue 3’ I asked Dave to comment on his work and the process of publishing Ammo…

Who are you and what do you do ?

Most of the time I work as a freelance designer & illustrator. More often than not I’m designing rather than illustrating although hopefully one day my workload may be more evenly balanced between the two. My day to day work is quite varied and ranges from very corporate work like brochures to quite arty work including conceptual pieces. I enjoy the variety of work but am not so keen on the random and inevitable late payments…

Ammo Magazine is really a hobby taken to the next level. My illustration work has always taken a back seat to my design work and I think Ammo is the result of my inner illustrator trying to escape. The magazine does take up a lot of my time especially in terms of emails that need to be answered. It’s a constant influx of questions, submissions & other Ammo related things.



Who do you think Ammo is for and what prompted you to ‘get it done’?

I guess Ammo’s for anyone with an interest in contemporary illustration or independent magazines in general. I’d played around with various limited edition personal projects including zines and felt it was time to do something a bit bigger. Ammo Magazine was the result.

My wife Christine offered me lots of encouragement and without her support I may not have been brave enough to take the risk? Spending a large amount of my limited cash on something that could have easily failed wasn’t something I would have been confident enough to do without her.



As you approach the end of your first year as an independent publisher what has surprised you about the process and do you have any advice for prospective publishers or entrepreneurs in general?

The biggest surprise has been the support we’ve received from the creative community. People have really helped us out a lot by mentioning Ammo on various blogs,websites, twitter etc. For a small publication like Ammo this kind ofsupport is priceless and really helps us to get noticed by more people.

Advice-wise I’d be sure to mention that publishing your own magazine isn’t a get rich option. Printing is expensive, there’s no guarantee people will buy your mag & the margins for a short run printed publication are quite low. It’s also very, very time consuming. You need to be someone who is willing to spend late nights working not for financial gain but simply because you’re doing something you really enjoy.

However if you’ve got a good idea for a publication, are willing towork hard & take a risk then I’d say go for it! The satisfaction of producing your own magazine is very rewarding and definitely worthwhile. You’ll also make a lot of interesting like-minded friends along the way and you can never have too many friends.

Thanks to Dave at Ammo and don’t forget to check out the current issue (illustrated here) and all the previous editions too :)

September 16th, 2010  |  Published in Uncategorized

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