Today’s cultural system holds little place for homosexual youth. However, their mentalities, clashing with the mainstream, provide a space for growth, progression, and innovation. Epicene is a conceptual photo-based publication exploring the relation of homosexuality to creativity. Epicene includes nine stories featuring original content by over fifteen gay individuals working as photographers, designers, and models working in the fashion industry, each translating their past into their own visual language. Each visual story is a retrospective into each creative’s upbringing, organized chronologically by phases in their lives through three sections: Innocence, Self-Realization, and Actualization. The design and imagery of the publication, inspired by my own experience with nineties boy culture, mirrors said phases visually, gradually gaining maturity as the book progresses. Innocence, the opening section, is designed similarly to any standard publication with clear legibility and structure. In Self-Realization, the design begins to interact with the page, taking notice of its limitations and margins. In Actualization, the design has evolved into full unapologetic freedom, with typographic liberties taken for the sake of composition, much similar to typography seen in zines or fine art.
Epicene is meant to fill a gap in the publication industry, able to present and discuss homosexuality intellectually and personally through art, unaffected by sexually charged commercial media usually surrounding the industry today.