Interview with Angela Montagud
More with Less is super popular in the Half & Twice studio. An immaculately designed online magazine, it brings together some of the most stunning innovations in architecture, design, and photography.
Angela Montagud is co-founder and editor, and also pretty savvy when it comes to anything social media related. So much so that we decided to invite her along to host our next Ladies, Wine & Design night on the 22nd of June. She accepted, and also graciously agreed to answer a few questions ahead of the event.
Tell us a bit about how More with Less came about.
More with Less came about as a way to bring together all the different projects that we loved, or that inspired us. It was originally created by my colleague, Jordi Iranzo, as part of a university project while he was studying industrial design. I got involved and started the architecture section. It’s been almost four years since then, and the magazine has grown a lot. Around that time I was studying architecture in Valencia, and when I graduated I moved to Germany and continued working on the magazine.
What's your current role at More with Less and what other projects are you working on?
At More with Less we all have to be very versatile. My main job is editor-in-chief, so I make sure all the other editors know what they’re doing, and that all the content is in line with our ethos. We also have a new interview section which is really interesting, so along with our colleague, Diana, in Germany, we work on that as a team. I also take care of all the social media, making sure that we stay active and visible online. I try to fit this all in with interior design projects, 3D visualisations for different companies, and setting up installations at fairs, like the ephemeral installation we did at Valencia Design Week.
Why do you think blogs and social media are so important in today's creative industries?
I think it’s basically a direct result of globalisation. Breaking down borders allows us to see what’s going on all over the world and generates curiosity. Right now, our capacity to design is practically limitless. We’re constantly striving to learn and discover new things, and be up to date with inspiring new projects and materials. From the designer’s point of view, having an online presence, presenting yourself as a brand, and being well-known is prestigious. It’s like Benajmin Hubert said in 2012, "a designer's name is incredibly powerful," because everything is based around the brand. I think that social media is so important because in order to be known, you need to make yourself visible, and that involves perseverance, confidence, and self-belief.
Have you noticed a change in the way we use social media?
It depends on the social media, but yes, of course. There’s been a change, particularly with companies, who are becoming more and more aggressive in the way they use it. In terms of the user experience, that's often driven by trends. The latest social networks are all about being instantaneous, and users love that. We want to be informed directly and quickly. Most users don’t spend more than a minute or two on one piece of news. And, in order to achieve our goals, or sell our services, we need to adapt to this environment.
Any plans and ambitions for the future?
Many! I’d love to do another big trip, to live and work somewhere different, perhaps Japan or the US. In terms of professional goals, and more specifically More with Less, our ambition and dream is to take it to an international level and grow it in every way possible. We’ve learnt so many things while working on More with Less, things that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise learnt, and that has helped us grow both personally and professionally.
Do you have any advice for artists or designers who are just starting out?
I don't usually give a lot of advice, but my time at More with Less has really taught me a lot. Perseverance, confidence, and dedication will always bring their own reward. In order to realise our dreams, we need to be dedicated and tenacious. It’s also important to be media savvy and to get your name out there. Create a brand with some clearly defined principles and stick to them. And finally, always try to do what makes you happy, which is often the most difficult thing to figure out.
If you could change any famous building or monument, which would it be, and how would you change it?
I would probably choose one of the many abandoned industrial buildings around Valencia. Most of them are just falling apart and they could be so valuable for the city. I think it would be really easy to breathe some life and charm into them. It’s this type of building that really fascinates me at the moment.
What’s your definition of happiness? And what's the meaning of life?
My idea of happiness it to do what I love, and fight for it. I think our greatest strengths are our drive and motivation. And, I guess the meaning of life is to be happy.
What will you be talking about at Ladies, Wine & Design?
At the next Ladies, Wine & Design event, we’ll be talking about personal projects and how to get them out there on social networks, blogs, and magazines. We’ll talk about how to manage a magazine or blog, and come up with some clear, achievable goals. We’ll also talk about measuring progress, as well as establishing some rules for getting started and moving ahead.
Do you have any weird habits or hangups? Any objects that you can't live without?
I don’t think I have many weird habits… Perhaps, having to be constantly covered up, even in the summer. In terms of objects, probably my phone or computer. I always need to be connected, not just for emails, but for news, updates, and notifications, etc.