Student launches alternative arts magazine

6/2/2008 1:30:15 PM

Paddy Barry, a second-year Graphic Production and Printing student at CNA, took his course assignment a step further and recently published his first magazine, Sleeveen. (Ray Fennelly photo)

Paddy Barry, a second-year Graphic Production and Printing student at College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Prince Philip Drive campus in St. John’s, has taken an assignment to the next level by creating and publishing a glossy Newfoundland and Labrador arts magazine called Sleeveen. The magazine examines the current state of performing arts, fashion and graphics in Newfoundland and Labrador, with a spotlight on up-and-coming talent.

This major project, which is assigned in the final year of the program, requires students to create a 24-page glossy magazine incorporating new skills in layout, design, photo correction and manipulation, as well as other print and production techniques. The program is designed to help students develop competencies in the areas of both traditional and electronic pre-press, production technologies, and post-press operations.

Once Barry successfully completed the magazine assignment in December 2007, he determined it was too interesting, too challenging and just too much fun to let it go.

“Following the format of the assignment, I decided to try it for real; I conducted interviews, wrote articles, took photographs, and designed an expanded 36-page version of the publication,” says Barry.

“With its in-depth feature articles and interviews, colourful imagery, and substantial fashion section, Sleeveen looks like nothing else found in Newfoundland & Labrador’s publishing industry,” he claims.

But he didn’t do it alone. In fact it was somewhat of a family affair. He says his “fashionista” step-daughter is a really big part of the story.

“Her name is Skye Williams Tostowaryk; she just turned 17. In January, of her own accord, she took my magazine assignment (test copy) and shopped it around to designer boutiques in town. She solicited advertising from them and managed to get a loan of thousands of dollars worth of clothing for some fashion shoots. She then hand-picked a group of amateur models at her school, Holy Heart,” Barry says.

“She then coordinated the outfits and the scheduling, dressed the models for the shoots, did all the make-up (she''s an incredible make-up artist), and then directed all the photo shoots. She posed the models, and I took the pictures. The two of us make a wicked team!”

The pair did the bulk of production for the launch issue, and Barry’s girlfriend, Skye’s mom Gloria Williams, also helped a great deal with administrative tasks, and as a writer. Adam Stephens, a fellow classmate of Barry’s, also helped immensely with layout and design and technical details at the deadline crunch time, he says.

The magazine launch party was held at the Masonic Temple in St. John’s, on April 25. The 200-plus crowd was treated to a lively free event, with entertainment provided by 10-piece Reggae band, The Idlers, award-winning jazz vocalist Mary Barry (Barry’s sister), and songwriter Susan Wyse. Barry couldn’t be happier with the turnout and response since.

“Most people at the launch bought a copy of the magazine and there has been so much positive feedback from magazine editors, publishing people and industry professionals, as well as non-professionals who are just looking for a good read,” he says.

Barry acknowledges that none of this would have been possible without the skills acquired from the two-year program.

“The beauty of this program is that so many components of the print-production industry are examined in-depth. Students with varying degrees of experience and proficiency arrive at CNA with perhaps some firm or not so firm idea of where to apply their talents.”

There, they are presented with a variety of paths that can lead to a successful career in graphic arts. And the direction they choose may not be the one they initially considered, says Barry.

“I entered this program two years ago because of a passion for photography. I now find my interests leading towards layout and publishing. At some point in the program, all of the courses and skills converge into a broader understanding of the graphics industry.”

Program topics include: basic layout and design, typography, illustration, electronic pre-press, offset press operation, and post-press operation skills. Other areas of study include: digital scanning (black and white and colour), colour theory, direct-to-film image setting, and an introduction to digital photography. A schedule balanced between theory and hands-on work provides students with a positive, real-life environment.

Graphic Arts instructor Ken Holden says Barry is the first student in the program to have brought a project to production level.

"Paddy Barry enrolled in the Graphic Production and Printing program as a mature student in September 2006. He was very eager to learn the skills of the program and always strived to do his best,” says Holden.

“In his second year, his keen interest in this project led him to want to bring Sleeveen magazine into the marketplace. Kudos to him for following through and producing a quality publication!”

Sleeveen sells for $5 CDN, $6.50 US and is available at selected downtown St. John’s retail outlets and by subscription. Barry hopes to also have Sleeveen available in all CNA campus libraries. For more information, contact: or check its Facebook group site.


For more information contact:

Tanya Alexander
Public Information Officer
College of the North Atlantic