The Great Discontent was launched as a digital publication focussing on the darker side of creativity; the risks, the failures and the disappointments everybody has to deal with, but one rarely reads about in publications. After almost three years Ryan and Tina Essmaker, the married duo behind TGD, quit their jobs and made the decision to materialize The Great Discontent as a printed publication. For the inaugural printed issue which was released last month, Ryan and Tina teamed up with designer Frank Chimero to assist with editorial design and art direction, and as with many impressive new publications, financing was found directly through their existing community via Kickstarter. After 30 days in February and March the funds were raised to create The Great Discontent, Issue One and now the beautiful magazine is here. In it one finds 17 interviews with interesting creatives like Aaron Draplin, Alastair Humphreys, James Victore, Anna Wolf, Lotta Nieminen, Debbie Millman, Matt Porterfield, Ryan Bingham, Tavi Gevinson and Roman Mars.
People who make things, we all experience failure but we don’t talk about it. You read a lot of success stories, but our curiosity wasn’t there. Success is never as cut and dried as it seems; it’s never all skipping through a field of tulips. Talking about those darker times gives readers hope. It also makes our interviewees more human.
When the couple launched The Great Discontent in August 2011 it was done as a side project next to their jobs. Every Tuesday they published a little interview with creatives like Barathunde Thurston, Maria Popova and Paula Scher. As the site’s name suggests, they were curious about the demanding and disappointing side of the interviewee’s lives, a side which everybody speaks about regularly, but which is almost entirely ignored in publications. Their approach lends an unusually intimate feel to their conversations, making the whole concept very refreshing in this world which makes it almost impossible to neglect other people’s success. With their readable, aesthetically appealing website mixing diverse content forms, TGD is highly popular in design circles, but until date not really beyond that.
With the beautiful new magazine this is hopefully about to change!
For more information and to order online see here.