New Interview
Mark Seliger

Mark Seliger: “Let’s do something special”

June 3, 2020

Mr. Seliger, for over a decade you were the chief photographer for Rolling Stone. What exactly does that mean?

I told them, “I want to do half the covers for you, plus 50 assignments a year.” When I was working with Rolling Stone at the height, I was shooting almost 200 days a year! When I first got hired, I actually overshot. All I wanted to do was to work for them and work as much as I could. They were like, “Wait, you want to do more work than we want you to do? More than we expect you to do?” And I said, “Yeah! That’s what you’re getting. You want me to work for the magazine full time, we’re going full time.” That to me was as important than a paycheck.

How could you keep a normal life with that kind of schedule?

I didn’t! I kept a very specific focused life. I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I didn’t have a dog… I had a great group of people in the studio who also loved the process and wanted to work. And It was great! It was really a very special time.

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Last week’s Interview
Lily King

Lily King: “You don’t know until you start writing”

May 27, 2020

Ms. King, why is it important to see ourselves and our experiences represented in literature?

I remember when I was trying to become a writer, in my twenties and my thirties, I read so many books by men about male writers, about men yearning and slowly becoming writers, like Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I read those books over and over! And I guess I identified in some ways, but looking back, I realized that there just weren’t many narratives that I ever found about women having that same struggle, that was so overt; their ambition right on the page. I think I could have benefitted from a book like that, so I think it’s extremely important in that sense.

How did you experience that lack of representation?

I had a lot of shame and a lot of doubt when I was trying to be a writer! A number of people kind of belittled the endeavour and there was a sense that I probably shouldn’t have this ambition. And I mean, I think that men and women handle their literary desires and ambitions differently. I think I needed a book that would sort of confess the doubt and the shame and the panic, whereas I feel like the narrative that men write about — it’s more like this driving thing, and they believe in themselves! (Laughs) And they’re not really revealing all the psychological levels that go into a creative pursuit.