Flow magazine

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What is Flow? It is a popular Dutch magazine, mainly aimed at women seeking to "simplify their lives, feel connected and to live mindfully." Growing in popularity in the Netherlands since its launch nearly five years ago, Flow is now able to reach an international English-speaking audience with the launch of their international edition and English blog and website.

The editors of Flow, Astrid van der Hulst and Irene Smit, have always been very supportive of UPPERCASE: they have featured many of my books, mentioned the magazine in articles and have also generously given UPPERCASE complimentary ad space. They also like many of the same artists that I do; you will notice Camilla Engman, Lisa Congdon, Tif Fussell and Fiona Richards/Cartolina gracing their pages from time to time.

Though Flow (especially in English now) and UPPERCASE have similar audiences, I don't see the magazine as competition. Personally, I welcome a magazine to read with content I enjoy—that I didn't have to create myself! If you love one magazine, often you love more than one. Though both of our magazines aim to inspire creative lives, Flow is often more about mindfulness and the emotional and even spiritual path to creative fulfillment, whereas UPPERCASE is much more the practical and factual steps to a creative lifestyle. So the two together go quite well.

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Me, Astrid, Irene and Jocelyn in the Flow office in Sanoma Media.

Me, Astrid, Irene and Jocelyn in the Flow office in Sanoma Media.

Flow, like UPPERCASE, appreciates the importance of a nice spine design!

Flow, like UPPERCASE, appreciates the importance of a nice spine design!

Flow also produces greeting cards and other paper goods.

Flow also produces greeting cards and other paper goods.

I have to admit that I am envious of their print production budget!

I have to admit that I am envious of their print production budget!

A proof of the first international (English) edition of Flow.

A proof of the first international (English) edition of Flow.

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A view of the team at work.

A view of the team at work.

In addition to the folks in the main office, the design of Flow is accomplished offsite by Studio 100%.

In addition to the folks in the main office, the design of Flow is accomplished offsite by Studio 100%.

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A collection ready for tea in the board room.

A collection ready for tea in the board room.

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The planning wall... I've always wanted to implement something similar in my office. This a preview of a special holiday issue (in Dutch) inspired by snail mail.

The planning wall... I've always wanted to implement something similar in my office. This a preview of a special holiday issue (in Dutch) inspired by snail mail.

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One of the interesting things about Flow, at least to me as a publisher, is that despite it being part of a huge company, the editors do their best to appear smaller. Not only is this the way they prefer to work, it is also a benefit to the community of Flow. They cultivate a loyal following in the Netherlands and are very much in touch with their readership. The personal relationship is important to the ethos of the magazine. (In contrast, people often mistake UPPERCASE for something larger when in fact I am the only full time person and there isn't the financial support of a large media company behind UPPERCASE.)

Reception area showing the selection of magazines published by Sanoma in the Netherlands.

Reception area showing the selection of magazines published by Sanoma in the Netherlands.

A view of the Sanoma headquarters, listing some of the other titles published there such as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and dozens of others.

A view of the Sanoma headquarters, listing some of the other titles published there such as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and dozens of others.