Letter 1: Acknowledgements

By Payal Khandelwal

The Floating Magazine is a highly inspired magazine. Over the years, so many things, places and people have inspired me, and have directly or indirectly led me to creating TFM.

However, my experiences in the last couple of years have been especially instrumental in this context, as I have had the opportunity to indulge in some great conversations with interesting creatives from all over the world, especially through platforms like Kyoorius and Open Magazine.

Kyoorius of course has to be credited for my incidental foray into the world of visual communications and arts itself, which was till then pretty much limited to advertising and marketing. Working on Kyoorius magazine (especially with Kay Khoo, creative director of Kyoorius) brought me closer to the idea of crafting something with a lot of earnestness, intensity, and a little bit of madness. And to some extent, to the idea of creating a magazine purely to feed in our own cavernous curiosities.

In August this year, Paper Planes entered my life. Paper Planes is a subscription service in India that gets you indie magazines from across the world. Thanks to my writing gig with Paper Planes, I have been constantly surrounded by some of the most spectacular and meaningful independent magazines being created in the world right now. One common theme that emerged from most of the magazines that I instantly fell for was their honesty and ingenuity. And of course, the unremitting power of good conversations. Take the universally favorite indie title Apartamento magazine, for example. Such a simple and beautiful concept that makes you wonder why wasn’t it done for so long. And the Berlin based mono.kultur – an indie magazine which devotes one entire issue to one conversation – blows my mind every time I hold an issue in my hand.



Same goes for The Great Discontent, an online and print magazine for creative professionals from around the world. I got introduced to TGD a couple of years back, and I instantly felt so much at home with the inherent integrity of the conversations. TGD has been a huge source of inspiration in so many different ways. Another motivational indie, and my personal favorite, is the indie magazine about hidden creativity in the world – Makeshift. Their way of working, their content (of course) and most importantly, their utter professionalism has been so inspiring. I also love the innovativeness, story-telling and the fierce indie spirit of the online travel magazine Unmapped. I have had the opportunity to contribute to both Makeshift and Unmapped, and the incredible experience of working with them has taught me so much.

However, despite of all the motivations around me, I probably would not have taken the plunge so soon if not for this incidence. When I was coming back from Rome to Delhi in an Air India flight in July this year, I had to change my seat as someone sitting next to me was making me highly uncomfortable. My new neighbor in the flight, an Australian man in his late 50s probably and a consultant with a newspaper in India, started talking to me. The conversation flew like untamed water, from our travel stories to other things to our respective professions. At one point, he asked me what I wanted to do in my professional life in the next five years. Without even blinking, I said ‘I want to start my own magazine’. I happily confessed that I had absolutely no idea what the magazine would be about but I was very sure that I want to create a magazine. While sipping on his second gin & tonic, he said, ‘why the hell would you wait for the next five years to start your magazine’. That interestingly was a massive trigger.

And last, but so not the least, being constantly fed by the robust doses of encouragement by many of my friends is something I am so thankful for.

So here we are, finally having extracted everything to form an indie online magazine devoted to meaningful conversations with contemporary visual artists and visual communication professionals from Asia and Middle East. Two regions I am very curious to know more about. And I cannot thank Priya Savoor enough for taking over the design of everything related to TFM.

Hope you enjoy the launch stories. We will be back with a new interview in the first week of January, 2016. Wish you guys a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

For more frequent and brief ramblings, you can follow our blog or social media pages. And I would love (and how) to hear from you at [email protected] about feedback, criticism, questions, submissions, or anything else.


Payal Khandelwal



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