In 2008, I was an investment accountant working during a financial crisis. To combat the stress of that life, I spent my free time socially, exploring Boston with a camera, writing profusely, and otherwise expressing myself in various ways.
I wanted to make a magazine.
Throughout my life, I had created and saved hundreds of pieces of creative work. I always wanted to share that work with the world, in a way that anyone could see and explore.
Over several years, I collected that work; handwriting was transcribed and proofread; images were scanned and edited. I opened a free WordPress.com website, and began uploading in mass quantities.
I called it “Artifact Magazine.”
The more I organized, the more random it felt.
The blog was random at heart. Each post was categorized and tagged generously. Content was optimized for search and social media sharability. Most of my work was not dated, however, and I relied on categories to keep things organized.
In the spirit of random, I encouraged visitors to wander the site with visual invitations to see a random post. The homepage, for example, welcomes visitors with a New Yorker Magazine cartoon of a highway traffic sign that reads, “It’s all good.”
When the site received 10,000 unique visitors, it was December 2010, over 300 posts had been published, and I was creating new work to publish in the future. It was also when I lost my job. I was at an economic low point, but the blog kept me focused.
Losing my job turned my blog into an asset.
While unemployed, I took the time I needed to learn more about myself and what I wanted in a career. Without realizing it, my blog become a creative portfolio that would ultimately get me where I am now.
In late 2011, I stopped working on Artifact, and began focusing on my new career in UX Design. The site is still online: http://artifactmagazine.org
The spirit of Artifact endures on Instagram as @artifactmagazine.