auxiliary profiles : Jennifer Link

photo : Luke Copping
hair : Erin Moser
makeup : Leane Steck
interview : Zach Rose and Meagan Hendrickson

Jennifer Link is the founding member of Auxiliary Magazine and one of the driving forces behind it. With a background in fashion and fine art photography, Jennifer has held various positions such as art director, photographer with several prominent alternative designers as clients, and lately, entrepreneur. Jennifer is the editor in chief of Auxiliary but also contributes to the magazine as a photographer and occasionally a writer.

What do you do at Auxiliary Magazine?

I am the Editor in Chief and Publisher.  I also contribute as a photographer and writer having shot some of Auxiliary’s fashion and beauty editorials and having written a few articles and interviews.

How did Auxiliary get started and how has the magazine evolved since its inception?

Well the idea and desire to start a magazine came to me while I was living in New York City.  I was looking for outlets for alternative fashion editorials as a photographer, and found there weren’t many and there were hardly any that fit exactly what I wanted to do.  I also noticed many people around me where complaining about the state of the goth/industrial/alternative/whathaveyou scene while at the same time there were so many great designer, musicians, photographers, and creatives out there, struggling.  So I decided I wanted to start a magazine for alternative fashion, music, and lifestyle that would highlight all the great artists out there and provide an outlet.  I took this idea back to Buffalo with me, as I had a few close friends there that I wanted to work with and I would need way less money to work and live in Buffalo while building up the magazine.  The core group of editors, Luke, Meagan, and Mike formed and we put together the first issue with the help of some friends and contacts we had in nearby cities, Toronto and NYC.  The magazine has evolved so much since that first issue.  Each issue is better than the last, in my opinion, and with each issue I think we tune and tweak the magazine closer to what we envision it to be.  We’ve brought on many different contributors and expanded our core team.  We’ve developed the magazine in so many different ways since then, I can’t even start to get into it!

As a photographer yourself, your more recent published work has been geared more towards fashion, your start was with fine art photography, how did this change come about?

I went to school for a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  I had thought I wanted to focus on video, but after taking a photo class realized I was more interested in my photo work than my video work.  My last year of college my work was highly focused on fashion and how one uses personal style, so after college it seemed an obvious transition into editorial fashion work. I do want to put together a new series of ‘fine art’ photos at some point, but they would most defiantly feature alternative fashion/style in them.  At this point I know that’s the main subject for my photography, whether it’s fine art or professional fashion work would be mostly determined by the output, a gallery or a magazine.  I’ve had the idea for a while for a series that would be shot in a way very similar to shooting editorial fashion but the final display would be large format prints.  I love viewing large format photography, so that will probably be what eventually draws me back to making a new art series.

As Auxiliary expands to readers in other markets in both cities and countries, what are some of the challenges facing you as EIC of a growing magazine?

It’s been challenging right from the start.  I went to school for art, so I don’t have a background in journalism or publishing, so I had to kinda figure it out as I went.  I am a very organized person, and pay attention to details, so that has defiantly helped me stay on top of everything and figure out a system that would allow the magazine to function and come together every issue.  At this point I feel the magazine has a solid style, mission, and focus so editing and putting together content is the enjoyable part and more natural part of the process now.  I think future challenges will come from trying to take the magazine to the next level in the publishing and business sense.

What photographers/artists out there (dead or alive) influence you the most and why?

There are a lot so I’m not sure who influences me the most.  I loved school and took a lot of art history classes for my minor, so I’m sure I draw on that knowledge base.  I like to work in series, which works out well since now I do a lot of fashion and beauty editorial work, so artists like Bernd and Hilla Becher were of interest to me.  I also love photography with a lot of production involved because I love the fantastical result you can get, so I was also interested in artists like Mariko Mori, Matthew Barney, and David LaChapelle.  When I was putting together my thesis Gregory Crewdson’s Twilight series was an influence.  One of my favorite artists is Bjørn Melhus a German video artist.  There are many more, but that’s what comes to mind, and not to mention all the fashion designers, films, and different music that inspires me.

What are your favorite bands to shake your bum too while you’re getting ready for the club?

Hmm… I enjoy listening to well written and catchy, yet intentionally cheesy synthpop/EBM/whathaveyou music when getting ready to go out, Massiv in Mensch is a favorite.  Recently I’ve loved and can’t stop listening to the new Nitzer Ebb Industrial Complex, Android Lust Human Animal, Yeah Yeah Yeahs It’s Blitz!, and Goldfrapp Head First.  She Wants Revenge is a great fall back for getting ready to go out music, I love the teenage drama, love, and lust their lyrics conjure up.  A sure way to get me dancing at the club is to play a new song I’ve been dying to hear out.  It’s easy for a DJ to play an old classic everyone loves to fill up the dance floor.  I’d like to see the whole ‘scene’ move in more the direction where everyone gets passionate and excited over brand new music again.

What piece is a fashion staple in your closet?

Unfortunately the main staples of my wardrobe are skinny jeans, cotton tees, and skate shoes.  I dress pretty basic on a regular basis.  I guess I’m always busy and on the go and I tend toward easy, comfortable clothes.  When I go out or put decisive effort into dressing I like to have stand out, high quality, complete pieces such as my Plastik Wrap Crystalline dress, which I’ve had for years and have gotten so much use out of.  I’m actually trying to rebuild my wardrobe right now with pieces that bridge the gap between everyday clothes and ‘going out’ clothes.

How would you describe your personal fashion tastes and style?

I lean toward sophisticated, futuristic, and structured but lately I’ve been throwing more organic or romantic elements in, such as through textures and prints, and for some reason I’ve been in love with floral rose prints lately.

One thing I really love about photographing fashion and working on Auxiliary is being able to shoot and feature clothes and styles I love but might not necessarily fit my personal style.

Auxiliary Magazine has come a long way in a short period of time.  Where would you like to see Auxiliary go as an entity within the next year?

I hope to see each issue be better than the last, or at least get us and our readers just as excited as the last.  So far this has been the case!  We have some ideas in mind for where we’d like to see the magazine go, and some plans in the works for those ideas.  Distribution through a major chain store or distribution company is one, also developing our digital issue to include interactive media and taking advantage of the fact that it is digital.  I just want to be sure we pick a route that is best for Auxiliary.  Right now we have a great thing going in that issues are accessible to anyone and everyone by being free online but print issues are also available to those who love print.  So where the magazine goes in the next year will be focused on having issues easily accessible and in line with new developments in publishing.  We have some other fun plans in the works too, continuing to develop our website to include more content from more exciting contributors, an Auxiliary product line that would be in collaboration with a few different designers, and more Auxiliary sponsored and organized events.

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