Dylan Henderson, Anna Stroud and the cover of the fall 2020 issue of Hypnos magazine. Below: Illustrations by Stroud for the short stories “Hot Doctrine” and “Troubled Waters”.
A recent collaboration between a graduate student in the English department and an undergraduate student in the art school led to the publication of a visually stunning issue of a literary magazine.
Hypno The magazine, launched by English masters student Dylan Henderson in 2012, is now published biennially and specializes in horror – particularly Lovecraftian horror – although it also includes fantasy works. and science fiction.
The magazine became popular with a large number of budding readers and authors, with Henderson now receiving 10–30 articles a day.
Henderson doesn’t make a profit from publishing the magazine since the price of each issue is equal to the cost of publishing and shipping, but Henderson isn’t in it for the money. “I love having my own project and I love the idea of contributing to the genre that I love so much,” he said.
That year, deciding that a special issue was planned, Henderson began looking for an illustrator. After receiving a recommendation from the university’s art school, he contacted Anna Stroud, an undergraduate art student.
Recalls Stroud, “My first reaction when I was asked to work on this project was enthusiasm. I’ve done commission work before, but never anything this professional or of this scale.”
Henderson and Stroud described their interdisciplinary collaboration as being based on mutual respect and flexibility.
“After reading each story,” Henderson said, “she would do 4 or 5 sketches. I would choose the one that I thought worked best, which she would then redraw.”
Ultimately, 21 of Stroud’s black-and-white illustrations were included in the finished issue, and she contributed color coverage.
“Dylan had suggested early on in the project that a carousel horse from the ‘Cicadae’ story would make a great cover,” Stroud explained. “So with that in mind, I did several sketches of different carousel horses and eventually we settled on the current cover design. It was a subtle kind of spooky, which we thought was a good representation of most of the magazine’s stories. We chose the red and green color scheme because we liked the weirdness of green and needed a contrasting color for the cover to grab people’s attention.”
The interdisciplinary partnership was enjoyable and productive. It also broadened everyone’s understanding of how such collaboration can have unexpected results.
“I feel like it’s almost easier to generate ideas when the pair come from different creative backgrounds,” Stroud observed, “because each person has a unique perspective — often one with strength in areas where the other falls short.”
Henderson also recognized the particular benefits of working with someone outside of his field on a creative endeavor.
“Too often, I think, we stay in our own ways: artists draw, writers write, photographers photograph. Watching Anna work, I realized how narrow my own experience really is. Anna reads a story and I see images in his mind; a story and I hear words in my head. Looking at his work, I “saw” the stories in a new way, and I couldn’t help but wonder. ask, “How would a videographer interpret this story? After reading it, what kind of music would a musician play?”
Read the Fall 2020 issue of Hypno.