Insider: Anorak magazine

by Stine Fantoft Berg in March 2016
Everything

Break out the balloons – Anorak magazine turns 10 years old this issue, and to mark the occasion ‘the happy mag for kids’ has turned its pages into a museum that explores a range of subjects from space to food.

We asked founder and editor Cathy Olmedillas to let us in on the process – read on for her favourite museums, the trouble with Airbnb and a smug-looking dog.

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In the making of this issue I…

Watched
My consumption of Jaffa cakes going up.

Got sidetracked by
Airbnb. Our Spring edition’s theme is museums, and as I was making a list of the ones I have yet to visit, I ended up somehow drifting into cities to visit and then holidays to book, etc…

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Was inspired by
Some of my favourite museums, such as, Louisiana Museum of Art (Denmark), Tudor World (UK) Mountfitchet Castle (UK), The Prison Museum (UK), The Chocolate Museum (Spain),  Pitt Rivers Museum (UK). And so many more!

Worked from
Home mostly as I tend to leave all writing for a quiet Sunday afternoon, listening to Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service (BBC Radio 6) and eating a few Jaffa Cakes.

Learned
That there is a Burnt Food Museum near Boston. And yes I am already exploring potential Airbnb properties close to where it is.

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Met
The brilliantly inspiring and generous Dr Rebecca Redfern, who is the chief osteologist of the Museum of London. I was very lucky to spend a whole afternoon with her and the 20,000 skeletons that are kept under the museum, as part of a Behind the Scenes feature.

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Was excited about
Putting into practice the big changes that I had been mulling over for a little while. With this year marking our 10th anniversary, I wanted to celebrate the milestone by making Anorak even more of a timeless printed object, embracing the fact that magazines don’t have to follow a traditional format anymore and focusing on the stuff I know our readers love, which is the more ‘encyclopaedic’ features.

This new issue opens with stories, goes into the main feature and is then split into chunky sections (Space is Fun, Food is Fun, Nature is Fun and Cycling is Fun) and ends on a 16-page, one-colour section all dedicated to games and the theme. I am really proud of it and the wonderful work our contributors have done for it.

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Was surprised by
How much I still enjoy making Anorak, even after 10 years and still feeling hugely proud when it comes back from the printers!

Couldn’t stop laughing at
That image (below). I have no idea where I came across it but the smug expression of the dog on the left is just the funniest thing.

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And everyone should buy a copy because
You need to know what a Secretary Bird is or where you can see shrunken heads.

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