Breaker Zine is a free, independent arts and culture magazine of the Jersey coast.
In 2014, we started our own graphic design business, Swing Graphics. I made the decision to return to college and add a Graphic Design Certificate to my BFA. My partner (in life and business), Pete Sullivan, had convinced me that I would be “be really good at this.” Pete has 25+ years experience with Adobe products and I have both artistic and business background, so we decided to go for it. Together, we built our brand and found our niche. It has been fast forward ever since.
After a few years of client work, we were looking for a creative outlet. One day, at the bar, Pete turned to me and said “we should make our own magazine!” I looked at him like he was nuts and insisted that we have no idea how to do that. He continued, as he always does, to list all the reasons and ways that WE CAN DO THAT. As we talked (and sipped), the ideas continued to connect and grow. We quickly realized that we could use the magazine to highlight all of the things that we love about New Jersey, art, music and culture.
Looking back to when we met, we reminisced about Gallery 1603, a past project that I shared with my dear friend, Cory Ludwig. Cory and I had opened an art gallery in Surf City in early 2009. At this time, not many people even knew what ETSY was and this is where we found many of our artists. The mission and spirit of Gallery 1603 was very similar to what Breaker could be. Our main goal was to give artists a place to be seen and heard and to give the public a place to connect with artists work. Since the gallery was also the place where Pete and I had reconnected after not seeing each other in over 10 years, it holds a special place in both of our hearts.
Directing Gallery 1603 felt like what I was meant to do. I loved it with all of me and I strived to keep it fresh and different. We hosted “coffeehouses” with live music by local musicians. Funny enough, these events were inspired by a similar type of event that Pete and I both attended 15 years prior, at a bookstore just 3 blocks over in Surf City. It was at one of these events at the gallery in 2009 that we had caught up with each other and connected again.
Everyone loved the gallery. They would always talk about the vibe and the energy that they could feel when they walked through the door. I always believed that what people were feeling was the heart and soul that each artist put into their work. The building seemed to vibrate with vitality and spirit. When you make with your hands, you are making with who you are, from deep down. The very verve that lives within the artist, lives within the artwork.
When the gallery closed in 2014, I was devastated. There was a hole in my heart where it used to be. I kept feeling like we needed to somehow get back there, back to a place where we could reopen and reignite. As Breaker started to take shape, it seemed to be the fulfillment of exactly that.
My partner Pete, often uses the term “cross-pollinate” and I think it’s suitable. As we grow and extend Breaker into different shore communities, we hope that the result will be just that. We hope that people will find what they love in other nearby places. This networking and growing will only expand and connect the arts and culture of New Jersey. Sharing that same spirit and heart through the art on the pages of the zine.
As we broaden our distribution, we have met so many great people that are doing what they love. Whether it is playing music, running a farm, teaching yoga, making art or roasting coffee, it seems that so many people are doing what they love. It is truly inspiring. There is definitely a modern mentality of following your heart and finding your place and I think Breaker really celebrates that.
Breaker is also our chance (Pete & I) to be graphically creative. One of our favorite things about publishing this magazine is making it surprisingly unique. Visually, we hope that each issue will knock people’s socks off. This keeps us on our toes as designers, constantly researching new designs and layouts. We strongly believe that the visual impression enhances the effectiveness of the ads since people want to flip through the pages again and again. When we picture Breaker on someones bookshelf, we imagine a collection.
In June, we released ISSUE FIVE of Breaker Zine and the response has been overwhelming. As a quarterly zine, we hope to constantly be collecting fresh content. If you would like to be a contributor, you can submit through our website at breakerzine.com.
Issues four and five of Breaker Zine will be at all of Marketspace Vendor Events' upcoming events, while copies last!