PINE is a print magazine featuring artists, rebels, and pioneers, founded by cousins (and best friends) Anna and Laurie Cone. Anna is a photographer and Laurie is a writer; they both live and work in New York.
Josette asked Anna and Laurie a few questions
What is your background?
Laurie: Anna and I are both from Greensboro, NC. It’s a lovely place, but I always dreamed of living in a big city. I headed to Boston for college (I studied film at Boston University) and then moved to NY as soon as I graduated. I didn’t have a plan in NY, but I was pulled here. I worked for an art museum for five years before getting my Masters at NYU. I’ve always loved denim so I wrote my thesis about it and wanted to continue writing. Luckily, Anna and I are a good team — she’s a beautiful photographer and I’ve become a writer.
Anna: I went to the College of Charleston and studied Art History and Photography. I also attended Speos Photographic Institute in Paris (where my love of all things French began!) I started out in NY assisting fashion photographers, and then started shooting myself soon after. My conflicted experience in fashion has become a pretty big drive in my current work, and it’s why our concept of creating a “non-glossy” magazine celebrating the creative achievements of women is so meaningful to me. It’s been really great to depart from that world.
What inspires you?
Laurie: I’m so inspired by music — lyrics have the ability to change or enhance your mood. I’m also impressed by people I perceive as vulnerable or brave — they are the strongest among us.
Anna: Women artists. Definitely all of our featured artists and their stories have been hugely inspiring. And for my personal work, the surrealists Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo. I also love film, especially witch and vampire films from the 70s. Laurie and I love traveling together too, either to far-off places or just mini-road trips, and hunting for vintage and antiques.
What is the PINE manifesto?
Here’s what we believe: unabashed is beautiful, un-retouched is brave, facades are cowardly, a printed piece beats an online piece, and talent shines. With flaws, comes allure; with the ability to touch, comes great emotion. PINE is a tangible emporium of aptitude, a non-virtual, non-glossy magazine, featuring artists, rebels and pioneers. PINE is also a reclaiming. By starting a magazine, we are reviving our moxie, the fearless spirit we possessed as children, untamed by peers, high school, and societal expectations. We are sticking our necks out, paying homage to those who inspire us to remember when we shamelessly wore floral pantsuits, belted songs on stage (unaware we could possibly be bad), and sincerely believed an enormous banana-shaped necklace paired perfectly with gym shorts. PINE extols those who choose to be vulnerable, who live with force, and who generously share their talent/purpose with us. So, here’s to the steadfast, the blatant, and the saucy!
Each issue will have a theme. Tell us about the first one that just came out.
We’ve assuredly selected “Brazen” as PINE’s first theme. Brazen is a loaded word. We appreciate that it can be interpreted. To us, it connotes courageous rebellion — it is behaving in a way that may not be obvious, or immediately accepted, but forging emphatically ahead. The very conviction required to be brazen can produce stunning originality. Our inaugural issue debuts with daring female artists and contributors. Here, we honor women who never sacrifice their dreams, integrity, or imagination; who unapologetically do what they want the way they want; and who bear the most beautiful fruit from their labor. They exhibit true dignity and purpose, leaving us with enduring impressions. Inside, you’ll find a singular collection of artists, musicians and filmmakers along with poignant personal essays.
Did other themes or patterns emerge as you were putting the issue together?
Laurie: In this inaugural issue of PINE, Anna and I noticed overlapping themes like art as a healer, art as a ritual, and the boundaries women-artists must defy.
Anna: Throughout the pieces, many recurring themes came up organically. Definitely the idea of Brazenness in regard to defying norms, and blazing new trails. But then we noticed subtler ways of overturning expectations taking shape as well. For example, among our visual artists there is a theme of using craft-based, or feminine-coded, materials in a subversive way. There are also overall themes of social activism throughout our pieces.
A print magazine is quite an undertaking, how did you get started?
Anna: On a cold winter’s day over brunch!
Laurie: Yes, Anna and I were having brunch... We love to eat! We were just chatting (there may have been a cocktail or two involved) and the idea of starting a magazine came up. I think Anna suggested it and it felt right. We didn’t know the road ahead, but we were excited to try this new thing.
How has the idea evolved since that first discussion?
Laurie: We’ve maintained our initial vision of honoring female-only artists in our first issue. Of course our list of who we wanted to feature has morphed a bit, but we haven’t veered from our goal of giving women we admire their proper due.
Anna: We’ve had to change up the content and features a few times, and learn a lot about the process, but we have stayed pretty true to our initial vision. We’ve learned so much, and we’ve been so inspired by our subjects. We think that the magazine has really evolved to take on a life of its own and we are excited to see how that evolution continues.
Tell us something you wish you had known early on.
Laurie: I don’t think I’d change our learning process or when and how we learned what to do. The learning curve was a vital piece of our experience and is as valuable to me as our final product.
Anna: We’re actually kind of glad that we went into this rather naively; we think if we had known how much work it would be, and all that starting a magazine entails, we would have had second thoughts. But we are so thrilled with the outcome and that we stuck with it, so I think we’re happy about all that we didn’t know early on.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Laurie: I’m not really a girl who projects into the future. I prefer to take one day at a time. I love the Dylan lyric, “Where I’m bound I can’t tell.” There’s such truth in that simple line — there is so much we can’t know.
Anna: I definitely see lots of cats in my future. And hopefully a garden (that adjoins Laurie’s garden).
Do you always have a plan?
Laurie: No! I’d say we sort of plan as we go. We have to be adaptable so it’s best not to get too attached to any one plan.
Anna: Not always, but I think even if I do feel like I’m starting with a plan it’s important to be flexible and open to change or “happy accidents.” I think everything really turns out just how it’s supposed to if you’re open to it.
Who/what would you travel to see?
Laurie: I’ve traveled to see bands and exhibitions — it’s worth uprooting yourself for music and art.
Anna: This week I’m going to St. Petersburg to see the Hermitage Museum. I’m easily convinced to travel and see things!
What scares you?
Laurie: I’m scared of a lot of things, but I’m most afraid of not doing something.
Anna: The vulnerability of putting work out that is really personal and comes from the heart can be scary, but in a good way. I think the more inspiring women we see doing this, the less scary it becomes!
What would you like to learn?
Laurie: I always want to learn. I’ll never reach the point where there’s no more knowledge to gain. I hope to meet even more interesting and talented people. I learn from research, but also by observing those I admire.
Anna: Right now, I’m learning about Jungian Psychology as well as tarot, astrology, and other divination tools. I’m really interested in the idea of divine inspiration, shadow work, and intuition in regard to the creative process.
How do you deal with judgment and criticism?
Laurie: I try to consider the source of criticism. Constructive criticism is always valid and necessary.
Anna: I think that Laurie and I having each other as a support system is so vital in dealing with judgment and criticism, whether it be personal or professional. Although, we have been lucky with the amount of outside encouragement we have received. Usually a glass of wine over lunch and a good laugh helps. And knowing that even if the feedback seems challenging in the moment, we are genuinely doing our best, and can learn from it.
Who will you thank when you receive an award?
Anna: Laurie, of course! (And maybe also my cat, Esme!)
Laurie: Award or not, I have to thank Anna for being an incredible teammate and friend. We’re cousins, yes, but she is a true and loyal friend above all. I’m grateful to be a co-creator with her.