I have a confession to make. My Vivid Talk™ Co-Hosts, Dr. Jada Moore-Ruffin and Katherine Jordan, think that Vivid Magazine came about while we were planning our first appearance at the Atlanta Women’s Expo. Though that’s almost the truth, the more accurate story has its roots in my 9-year old self.
As an only child and an obsessed Barbie collector, I was frustrated by the treatment my friends unleashed on their dolls. Surely, I could do something to right this egregious wrong. So, a carefully hand-crafted guide (complete with stapled bindings) written in crayon on construction paper was my solution to the problem. I can still feel the intense satisfaction as I distributed them one-by-one.
Then, there was my stint in Yearbook at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska. My desire to be an artist, my love for English, and my extracurricular activities positioned me perfectly to tell my classmates’ stories.
And it continued in college where I penned The Drakevine. The black students of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa (long before Black Twitter) renamed the “grapevine”, and I saw a need to mix some poetic inspiration with news and articles.
Fast forward to my first taste of life in the professional advertising agency ranks, and my heart longed to design my own magazine. Over the years, I have had several titles on my heart, but I never took action–until it was no longer top of mind. Decades later, my husband and I even discussed starting a magazine. Hidden in the back of a very deep, dark shelf, it was pulled to the forefront during a planning meeting for the Expo.
I giggled over and over as I saw everyone’s excitement. But it spoke to the power of vision…“though it tarry, wait for it.” Now, social media was speaking Vivid Magazine into existence.
Probably one of my favorite pastimes is giving people writing assignments (another sign, perhaps), and true to form, I tasked Dr. Jada and Katherine with writing their first books. A ridiculous 30-day deadline was supposed to keep us all from procrastinating. Yet, when that timeframe was almost up, Dr. Jada declared, “I can’t write a book right now, but I can write an article. Why don’t we just do a magazine?” Okay. Let’s.
Imagine my delight after I finished the first cover design and I saw Katherine’s Facebook post. “Guess who made the cover of ViViD Magazine???” My friends quickly shared on their timelines with the same sentiment, “…my girlfriend made the cover of Vivid Magazine!” I giggled over and over as I saw everyone’s excitement. But it spoke to the power of vision…“though it tarry, wait for it.” Now, social media was speaking Vivid Magazine into existence.
The whole scene was cause for delight. I called Dr. Jada, “Girl, I was just calling to let you know that you made the cover of Vivid Magazine!” She gasped, “What?” We agreed that the phrase could have three meanings, depending on how you said it: 1) I made the cover, 2) Hmph. I made that cover…, and 3) No. I made it.
The I Made the Cover Giveaway was the natural result so that we could share our glee with everyone else. It’s still thrilling to see our faces on the first cover thanks to Skyy Wonders Photography. The tangible energy and excitement that the Expo attendees expressed for the Vivid Magazine concept and their opportunity to take their pictures in our booth made the cover! And it was a treat for me to be reminded of the budding publisher way back in Gary, Indiana and to physically “make” the cover of Vivid Magazine.