Photo By Nolan P. Schmidt
Traditionally, there is not a lot of downtime in this job and there are even fewer moments to stop and appreciate what you’ve accomplished. We spend the entire month crafting, visualizing and executing a particular issue of Bison Illustrated. Within those broad verbs are interviews, photoshoots, design work and conceptualizing the issue as a whole.
Once we send an issue to print, it’s on to the next one, there is no time to dwell on our hard labor from the month before. Most months, we have 20 business days to put together this magazine, so there is rarely any time to waste. Perhaps most importantly, there are not enough moments where we look back and appreciate our previous issues. We are always moving forward.
Over the course of this past year, I think I’ve done a better job of taking the occasional moment to recall Bison Illustrated in 2019. These moments may happen on my couch at home with my girlfriend and cat flanking me while endless reruns of The Office, Seinfeld or Guy’s Grocery Games (Flavortown, baby!) create a soundtrack. They could happen sitting up in the press box at the Fargodome or courtside at the SHAC. I’ve even had moments of reflection while interviewing a student-athlete or coach.
Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and recall previous successes and failures. I think it’s also important (for me, at least) to understand just how I got here and how lucky I am to be at the helm of this magazine.
So when I actually look back on 2019 and the work we produced as a team here at BI, I’m in awe. We killed it down in Frisco and created another memorable Championship issue in February. We told impactful stories on student-athletes, coaches, fans and more. I got to travel all over the country with the men’s basketball team in March and we created a whole issue around their NCAA Tournament run. More recently, we rolled out another killer football issue and previewed the basketball season in October. There are more moments, but I only get so many words here.
Even this issue, focusing on the rising stars in NDSU athletics is a killer magazine. Thinking about the ideation process for photos, design and editorial, it still baffles me how we get here every month.
I only play a small role in what you’re reading right now. The true workhorses are our designers, Sarah and Christy and our photographers, Hillary and Gary. They are the people that make this magazine so great. I am the one that comes to them at the beginning of the month with an abstract concept and demanding the world of them. They are the ones that somehow execute everything that is going on in my head. That takes talent and all of these folks have an abundance of it.
And now? We put 2019 behind us and sprint towards the new year. No more time to reflect, the clock is ticking.
P.S. I must recognize our Art Director, Sarah Geiger, who is leaving our company at the end of the year. She is the sole designer for all of our editorial content in not just Bison Illustrated, but all of our other magazines. Sarah is the reason we are so good at creating magazines and her talent truly knows no bounds. I consider it a true privilege to have worked alongside her on every magazine I’ve been a part of here. I consider it an even greater privilege to call her a friend as well. Cheers to you, your work and your future, Sarah!