We had the good fortune of connecting with Debra Herrick and Arturo Heredia Soto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debra and Arturo, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When we started Lum Art Zine, we were thinking about how important independent arts journalism is to a dynamic arts & culture community. In Santa Barbara, where we are based, we have a lot of really cool and talented artists, curators and gallery owners, but the Central Coast – the region between Los Angeles and San Francisco – didn’t have a dedicated arts publication. We wanted to fill that space! We thought, every great art scene needs a great arts publication, and with that, we started Lum – a contemporary art magazine for California’s Central Coast.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Lum Art Zine is a Santa Barbara-based contemporary art magazine for California’s Central Coast. Lum is independent and founded on a collaborative and open approach to arts writing. We aim to seamlessly blend the clarity of journalism with the power of art criticism. Lum’s online space and print magazine provide a forum for critical conversations, advocacy and discovery around art.
We launched Lum in 2018 with lumartzine.com – and in 2020, Lum started publishing a biannual print magazine that we distribute widely throughout California, and especially in our Santa Barbara, Ojai and Ventura cultural hubs. From the beginning, we liked the idea of growing organically, it helps us keep our independent spirit and gives us the freedom to evolve. We think that our open and honest approach has helped us to attract talented writers and artists to collaborate. There’s also nothing like a beautiful editorial spread in a print magazine and most of our collaborators appreciate the care and time invested.
Economically, publishing is a hard sector, especially in a niche ecology like the art world, but we fill a gap that we think is important and the community response has been amazing. For now, as small as we are, and with tremendous support from other Central Coast art leaders, we are excited to see Lum continue to grow in its reach and impact. Last year, we started covering San Luis Obispo, and this year, we plan to start featuring Santa Cruz artists and galleries as well.
We’re excited to release the next issue of Lum!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In the wet but warm months, our go-to spot is the Ojai River Preserve. There are so many quiet spots along the river to explore and on a hot summer/fall day, it’s an oasis. Of course, the beach is a must, along with a walk along the Carpinteria Bluffs; Montecito YMCA has a great pool for hot days. Rose Valley and Matilija Falls off Hwy 33 and Red Rock Pool in the Los Padres Forest off Paradise Road are also fun when there’s water. The Topatopa Bluffs Trail to see snow. For good food, we like Himalaya Restaurant on Main Street in Ventura; The Food Liaison in Carpinteria; and in Santa Barbara, Bossie’s Kitchen, The Blue Owl, Lilly’s Tacos and Flor De Maiz. For things to do, if you have young kids, you have to go to the MOXI, also the Kids World playground on the corner of Sola and Garden streets.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
From the beginning, Lum has had a solid group of true believers and supporters that helped us get our footing in publishing and also helped push us forward as an important arts publication for the region: Norton Herrick (The Herrick Company); Tom Pazderka (Artist & Writer); Michael VanStry (Coastal View News, Carpinteria Magazine); Frederick Janka (Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation); Laura Macker Johnston (Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara); John Connelly (Atkinson Gallery at Santa Barbara City College); Sophia Taylor (Gold v. Black); Alan Macy (Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology); Casey Caldwell (Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative); Lea Boyd (Two Trumpets Communications); Audrey Lopez (Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture); Rocio Iribe & Bay Hallowell (Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara); and so many more! Thank you!
Portraits and photograph of Lum No. 2 mags by Albany Katz – albanykatz.com