INTERVIEW: by Almost Real
Beck Marshall and Lila Theodoros
Name: Beck Marshall and Lila Theodoros
Occupation: Paradiso Magazine Managing Editor (Beck), Design/Production Manager (Lila)
Location: Byron Bay
How do you know each other?
Beck: We randomly met at a cafe, Lila was wearing a perfect colour combo, holding one of my favourite magazines, I couldn’t let her go without complimenting her and her fine taste.
Lila: I was waiting for my coffee, flicking through a magazine I had just bought and Beck yelled at me, “Is that the latest issue?? I’m in that!”, and we just got talking about all things magazine.
What are your creative backgrounds?
Beck: Lila is the Owner and Designer at Oh Babushka, a design studio. I am more peripatetic. I swing between editor, occasional stylist, creative director and mum.
Lila: Um, Beck is a creative super star! She has worked with major international brands as either Stylist or Creative Director. She also ran her own, very successful, high end children’s fashion publication Papier Mache for more than ten years. And, last year, launched her new publication The New Story – a beautiful ode to motherhood, daughter-hood and sisterhood. She is amazing and I am lucky to work with her. I currently run my own design studio Oh Babushka with a focus on creative brand development. But magazines are my passion – I have worked in publishing since 2002 and was Art Director for a creative street press magazine in Brisbane for five years.
How did the magazine come about? Did something/someone influence you?
Beck: We were both working on separate projects, chatting daily about how much our town needed a good read… it evolved to a ‘if we made a magazine’ Pinterest board…. to lets actually do it… to oh shit here comes 10,000 copies on the back of a truck.
How do you keep inspired and creative?
Beck: I think we both find creativity quite easy … Lila is the perfectly focused creative – where as I have a tendency to flutter. It makes the perfect balance.
Lila: Working with Beck means thousands of Instagram messages containing the most amazing and new creative discoveries. It is invaluable to be able to have a friend who can help me dig myself out of a creative black hole with just a simple conversation, followed by a trip down a rabbit hole of ideas! Inspiration comes from all over – like the usual digital places such as Instagram, Pinterest, Behance to the more experiential like film, poetry, nature, music and conversation.
What have been some highlights over the past 12 months?
Beck: Actually producing the mag – no.1. Team Paradiso (Lila, Aarna and myself) has 6 kids between us and juggle other projects so at the end of each issue it always feels like a highlight that we survived another deadline. It’s also a pretty rad feeling to race in to order a coffee at a cafe and see someone enjoying reading your baby…
Lila: Definitely launching issue no. 01 of Paradiso. This has been a dream come true for me! Another major highlight is our new print project that will out at the end of the year – Takeaway. A creative and re-imagined guide book for Northern NSW. We are working so hard on this one and can’t wait to share it with the world!
What changes have you seen in the industry?
Beck: Print media is always changing. That is the beauty of it. It rises and falls, adapts and evolves. I think that is our attraction to it.
Lila: It is very exciting to see the world make the shift back to print media. As we are all overwhelmed by the constant demands on our time and energy by digital sources, picking up a beautiful magazine and slowly reading it while sipping on your coffee is a pleasure we have forgotten we need. Print is grounding, calming, giving and engaging. There was a major move years back to digital everything – but slowly we are realising that this is not real engagement, is not real community, and we do want that. Print, when done well, can provide something real.
Has this affected your approach to your platform?
Beck: Response is healthy. It’s the way we make change and look at ideas differently.
Lila: Absolutely. We know how little time everyone feels they have and want to make sure we are offering a product that is of value and enjoyed by those willing to give us their time.
What do you think the Australian Government could be doing to support creative culture?
Beck: I’ve given up on the Australian Government sadly for me and my children. It is abhorrent.
Lila: It is quite a disillusioning time for Australian politics. But creativity thrives in response to the times we are in. We seem to be in a place where we are being called upon to create our own sense of community, where we are empowered, where compassion and care are valued assets, sans Government.
What do you think about our Government?
Beck: How long have you got? When children are setting themselves on fire in cat ionic states of depression on Manus Island and Nauru. When we are the only democracy in the world that doesn’t have a charter or bill of rights. When Indigenous children are 10 times more likely to be in out-of home than non-indigenous children. When as a country we have regressed on a global index measuring gender equality from 15 to 46 … When I am raising my children in a time of political instability and “dog-eat-dog” political antics. I could keep going but it just gets to depressing.
Lila: Compassion, common sense and love need to make a greater showing. Action must be taken without nonsense agenda blocking outcomes.
What is the secret ingredient to success?
Beck: HARD WORK. Sacrifice. And a good sense of humour.
Lila: Hard work! Done without expectation of reward other than experience. And always work to be better – if you think you are at the top of your game, where have you left to go?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be?
Beck: I’m probably not the right person to ask this, I am perpetually nomadic. Be in it the psychical sense or the romantic sense. This month I am currently dreaming of starting a small bed and breakfast on the island of Vis Croatia. But next month I could swing back to a bakery on Hydra.
Lila: My answer is more boring … I am so happy where I am right now. My husband and I had a ten year plan to move back to Byron Bay (we grew up in the area) and after we had our son we knew this was the place for our little family.
What is it about Byron Bay that makes you want to live there?
Beck: It’s my hometown. It’s the place I come back to when I need my family. My mum. When I need to be grounded. But I definitely have a strange relationship with Byron Bay. The longer I stay here the more it
makes me want to run. I guess it’s ancestral. Heal and go.
Lila: It’s a mix of nostalgia, family and place. I grew up in the area and nothing can beat the sweetness of memory of a childhood spent running through rain forests, diving into sparkling spring fed creeks, or driving past our mountain range. It feels like, and is, home. And now that I’m back, grown up me is thriving on the pulsing creative energy that saturates Byron Bay. It is full of creative, compassionate, motivated, innovative idea makers and doers. This creative energy somehow facilitates the flow of inspiration and it is very hard to not want to act on ALL of the ideas you get gifted just by being here. And the coffee is pretty amazing too
Can you give us some local insight into your favourite cafe/fashion/people?
Beck and Lila: We spend most of our time in Mullumbimby, 15 minutes north of Byron Bay – “The biggest little town in Australia”. It is a lot more like Byron Bay in the 1980’s. Our favourite places to eat here are Punch and Daisy, Diner 55, The Green Grocer and our local The Branches. If we head to Byron we would normally pop by Combi, Leaf and Grain, The Roadhouse, Allpress or 100 Mile Table. We are spoilt for choice in the Byron Bay Shire – go to Bangalow for incredible food at Woods, coffee at Sparrow, fashion at Assembly Label, flowers at Braer. Venture out to Federal for the home of amazing local coffee by Moonshine Coffee Roasters paired with the best Japanese food you will find at Doma. Brunswick is just down the road with amazing coffee from Jones and Co, an incredible old motel reimagined and totally instagramable called The Sails Motel, and entertainment mecca Brunswick Picture House, featuring anything from sing-a-long film nights to cheeky cabaret. And then we are surrounded by small town gems like Murwillumbah with its emerging arts scene (and amazing coffee, cocktails and old school vibe at Keith), or down
to Lismore, the home of NORPA.
One thing you would like to do but haven’t got around to it yet?
Beck: Ha! Buy that old house in Vis and start that bed and breakfast. Or hem my curtains.
Lila: Travel and adventure! I want to take my family on a trip to India AND Greece. My husband and I spent a lot of time backpacking through India and we can’t wait to share its beauty with our son. Greece is my cultural homeland and I will get there one day!
This is too hard to answer – the world of creatives is now so easily accessible and thousands of people are doing incredible things! New inspiration can be found every day!
Do you have any upcoming events?
Paradiso turns one in November, so expect a month of celebration! As part of the celebrations we are planning a Breakfast Club Extravaganza, a Paradiso birthday party and launch party for Takeaway. The end of the year is going to be full of celebration, community and creativity!
What’s 2019 looking like?
Already half way planned! That’s the beauty (and terror) of producing a bi- monthly magazine. New projects, new collaborations and another year of doing what we love. Come on 2019!
Originally published by Almost Real
Photos: Jess Lacroix