The co-founders of TBA Magazine taken by the founder Lily Perez. In order of appearance (left-right) Alexandra Tashos, Emma Ler and Jacqueline Haynes.
Hey there! Lily Perez the founder of TBA Magazine writing here! I welcome you to our humble, independently ran magazine. Currently we are an online based magazine but are working towards releasing an annual print issue that our beloved readers can order. If you are here to learn more about the origin, values and mission of TBA Magazine you are at the right place!
In my first year of university at Wilfrid Laurier University I decided to begin a magazine called “Revolt Magazine.” We were a pop culture based magazine that released online on our website as well as a bi-annual print issue. We were a magazine ran by the student body for the student body. The main objective of Revolt was to cause ripples and conversations in the Laurier community hence the name, Revolt. The magazine soon began lots of buzz around campus as a result of the avant garde marketing techniques that I used. Soon, it felt like the whole schools eyes were on me and Revolt was expected to be good. We definitely oversold ourselves when it came to graphics. For me, creating graphics was the best part, I loved sharing my art with the Laurier community and I felt like my art was a great demonstration of what Revolt was to be. Unfortunately, so many eyes were on this new up-and-coming magazine that I felt the pressure to be perfect which is when I began to crack. Anyone’s first year of university is hard enough, but it becomes even harder when you are managing a team of over 200 students, trying to accommodate everybody’s opinions, thoughts and concepts into one magazine while also staying true to your own vision. The magazine ultimately became more of a source of stress for me as opposed to an innocent outlet to release and create art and literature relevant to pop culture. It came to the point where I felt like every aspect of the magazine needed to be perfect. I felt like I needed to be perfect, not only for the student body but for myself. I mean, I was expected to start a revolution. Our promise was to bring underground culture to the mainstream and that is one big promise to carry on your shoulders as an 18 year-old girl. The magazine ultimately had a very negative impact on my mental health. I stopped taking care of myself, I stopped caring about school because I was so concerned about letting everyone down when it came to the magazine. I would lock myself in rooms for hours on end trying to micro-manage every aspect of the magazine to make sure everything came out just right. Unfortunately, I found out later rather than sooner that it is impossible to get a 130 page magazine done in such a short amount of time. The end result was less than satisfactory causing me to spiral even further.
During my second year at university, I continued to run Revolt Magazine with a new presidential team but still was feeling dissatisfied in regards to the calibre of work we were producing. I knew I could do better, I had so many ideas, so much inspiration but I was burnt out. The Laurier community had become disinterested in the magazine over the summer and I felt hopeless. After taking a semester off from school in January, I decided to pull Revolt Magazine from Laurier. I always knew that my magazine did not fit in a school setting, I had too many ideas and wanted to be much bigger than just a publication at a school, I wanted to reach a much wider audience. That is where the idea for TBA Magazine came along. The idea came at around the same time of the release of Ariana Grande’s fifth studio album Thank U, Next. In particular, I was inspired by her song “7 Rings,” which I felt was a song that presented female excellence, glorified strong and healthy female relationships and emphasised feeling confident. The song truly made me realise everything that I was missing! I asked three girls who I knew I could trust, who had amazing work ethics and who were visionaries to become co-founders of TBA Magazine. Those three girls are named Emma Ler, Alexandra Tashos and Jacqueline Haynes and I love them dearly. We all share the same visions in regards to this publication, we want to be diverse in our content in every way possible. We do not want to just discuss mainstream issues, we also want to bring to light issues that also are not often talked about. We want this to be a safe space for people to bring their thoughts down to words to be shared with the world.
Something that is tremendously important for us to emphasise through our publication is that anything is possible. We are four young adults who are just trying to navigate the world and if successful, we want to make ripples in the magazine industry. Currently, many famous publications have placed more importance on sales as opposed to releasing good and authentic content. Not only this, but many well known publications refuse to be diverse in their work in a wide variety of contexts. Here at TBA Magazine everything you see is from us. There is no head office behind the scenes telling us what to post or when to post it. We are just four females wanting to be heard and wanting to provide a voice for those who do not have a platform to speak on.
“We can’t promise anybody a revolution or that we will change the world through our publication. But what we can promise is authenticity and our eagerness for our voices to be heard.”
From January to now, my hopes for what this magazine to be and look like have greatly changed. I also have grown tremendously as a person from the closure of Revolt Magazine to the opening of TBA Magazine. I feel as though I have grown more as a person within the last few months than I have in the last 19 years of my life. What’s so different from then to now? Well I’ve accepted the fact that I most likely will never be the first to do… well, anything, but that’s okay. With Revolt Magazine, I always was so eager to be the first and the best at everything, but I realise now that it is not always about winning. Sometimes it’s just about having enough courage to speak about your journey, your tribulations and being honest with who you are. A true creative is somebody who not only can create memorising pieces but also has a humble interior with honest and pure intentions. Jealousy is a venom that will seep from your work and will soon be seen by others. With Revolt Magazine, I was always focused on what other people were doing or who was trying to steal my style but now all of that is irrelevant. Our goal here is to create honest content and that is exactly what we plan on doing. We hope you stay for the ride.