Hoxton Mini Press

Hoxton Mini Press

Hoxton Mini Press is a great new venture to create books celebrating East London from photographer Martin Usborne and partner Ann Waldvogel. They are currently fundraising on Kickstarter. I caught up with them to find out more a bit more about the project.

What is the Hoxton Mini Press?

I love living in Hackney and love both photography and books. I wanted to bring all of this together and so I set up Hoxton mini press with my wife, Ann. Whether we make it commercial or not is a different issue but for now we are happy to be making beautiful books using the best local artists. The idea is to make small collectable books using either photography or illustration that are exclusively about the area. There are so many fascinating, untold stories here – about the people, the culture, the humour, the creativity. We think East London has an appeal that goes far beyond it’s boundaries.

Who is behind it?

My wife is in charge of day to day production and I’m acting as a creative director. As a photographer who has published a few books before I know a little about how to make really high quality books. We are both working actively to identify and recruit more talent to fill pages of future books.

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What inspired you to start the project?

A few years ago I met a fascinating old man walking the streets of East London – Joseph Markovitch. I was compelled to take his picture and so started a very special friendship and project which ultimately led to a small book that I self-published. It sold so quickly that I realised there might be a real demand for this sort of thing. It was also a hugely enjoyable process – I think a good book is the ultimate resting place for a project and I hope other young artists agree and will be prepared to collaborate on future titles.

Why did you decide to use kickstarter for funding?

I have used kIckstarter once before for a photography book and it was hugely successful. It’s really astonishing how supportive people are for other’s people’s creative visions if they feel it is really honest and well thought out. I also want people beyond East London to be aware of what Hoxton Mini Press is all about.

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Why Hackney?

Because we live here! Because it’s ever changing! Because it’s full of incredibly stories and creative people. Because I can’t imagine anywhere else being so interesting.

What future books do you have in the pipeline?

A book about Hackney wildlife – a sort of pastiche on early explorer taxonomic guides. A book on hackney swimmers. A book on East London foxes…..

What are some of your favourite Hackney books that others have made?

I love the Spitalfields life book – and blog. The Gentle Author is a good friend of mine and I’m in awe of what he has done. I also love so many books that sell in ArtWords on Broadway market as well as the books by Adam Dant, the local illustrator.

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You can see the kickstarter project here, Hoxton Mini Press on twitter.

1 reply

  1. ewebber - 19 February 2014, 10:25 am

    Hoxton Mini Press are now bringing out their second set of books:

    East London Swimmers – Madeleine Waller

    The first of our new books is by Madeleine Waller (96pp, hardback) and reveals the secret life of Hackney swimmers who brave all conditions to escape city life. Images are taken at the London Fields Lido and are combined with telling personal quotes.

    A Portrait of Hackney – Zed Nelson

    The second book is by Zed Nelson, an internationally acclaimed documentary photographer (96pp, hardback) and portrays the ever-changing face of Hackney: the complexity, the contradictions, the clash of cultures. Portraits and landscapes are set against overhead snippets of conversations in the area. Zed Nelson has lived his whole life in Hackney – it was here he learnt to ride a bike, took his first drugs and lost his virginity. When he was young this was a place to get away from but now he has fallen back in love with the area.

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