Hey Cara, lovely to have you on board. Congrats on your latest issue. What are you particularly proud of concerning no.22 connecting?


We had cut back on the number of contributors we’ve been including, so this issue was done mostly by myself. (From concepts, to writing, to recipe writing, and all the other things that I have to do even when we do have a lot of contributors.) Any project that involves that amount of work HAS to make me proud, just for the fact that I finished it 🙂


How did you start out this project? In which way do you create the motto/title for the issue?


If you mean this latest issue? I usually start out an issue by thinking up possible problems I have in my own life that other people might have – so for this issue, it’s the idea that it can be hard sometimes to talk to non-vegans, especially family members and friends who don’t get it. From there I outline my articles and slowly go through each one until it’s done.


How do you curate and produce the articles?


When people send us proposals, I sift through them and weed out any that don’t make sense for us as a whole. (For us, that’s articles that make too many health claims, pieces that aren’t inclusive, or just blatantly bad press releases that have nothing to do with Chickpea. http://serifandscript.co/blog/2014/6/30/crafting-the-perfect-pitch) Then I group them into categories or themes if I see the same topic coming up over and over again. I make sure there’s enough variety for each theme and fill in the blanks with my own work if need be.


Then, people send in their finished work. If it has great photos, or if the person pitching also sends in illustration, then the piece is already most of the way there. If it’s missing photos or if the photos aren’t hi-res enough, I’ll retake them. I’ll either hire out illustration work or do it myself, along with all the lettering. Then I design everything together and make a million editing pass-throughs. (https://chickpeamagazine.com/blogs/journal/113341188-how-we-put-together-a-magazine-article)

Chickpea Magazine is ad free. What are the ups and downs coming with this attitude?


The upside: we’re not beholden to anyone other than our readers. We can also spend time working on the actual work or improving our business, rather than manage and maintain advertiser relationships.


The downside: less up-front money to make our cashflow easier.


Since the beginning, we’ve had major money problems, and we still haven’t put ads in our print issues. For us, knowing that people can read something without being sold to every other page is beyond worth it.


How did you select your printer and the paper quality?


We’ve worked with many, many printers – as long as they can do the work correctly, relatively on time, and work with our small biz publishing cash flow schedule, they stay. Paper is all a matter of opinion – to me, there’s not much science to it as there is a feel.


You sell prints to give to good causes, why is giving back such an important fact?


Well, we sell prints as part of our business. We just started doing charity initiatives on such a consistent basis, of which one way was to include prints. Since we’re so small we never thought about donating back to causes, but this past year has us wanting to do more for people who need it. I can’t explain it, it’s just something that has to be done.

How did you discover veganism?


I had been vegetarian for a couple of years before I really learned what veganism was. I was working a really crummy warehouse job, the kind where you aren’t allowed to talk to anyone and have to meet high quotas each day. So I listened to podcasts for nine hours a day, one of which was Vegetarian Food For Thought (now named just Food For Thought) from Colleen Patrick Goudreau. (https://www.colleenpatrickgoudreau.com) I also listened to a vegan abolitionist podcast at the time. The two of them together (diplomatic and ethical and pushy all at the same time) gave me the guts to go for it. At the same time, I was totally broke and living basically on people’s couches, so I wanted to simplify my eating habits, and this for me at the time was the way to go.


Please describe your kitchen to us.


A work in progress! Right now it’s half finished as we need to replace all the electricity in the house, but when it’s done it’ll be bright, airy, and totally unique to us. (http://serifandscript.co/blog/2016/11/24/kitchen-work-in-progress)


What’s your favorite spot there?


Right now it’d have to be our recycling bins – they’re so useful for all of our household garbage, and combined with our compost bin they have dramatically cut down the amount of trash we send to the landfill. (https://www.instagram.com/p/BP8JRrogNmB/?tagged=chkhouseredo)


And Bob’s favorite spot?


His stepdad helped us build these pantry shelves in a dead corner of the room – they’re not painted yet, but they’ve helped ease the limited space we have! (https://www.instagram.com/p/BSHhPvoh-IF/?taken-by=chickpea_mag)


Who else is living with you both?


It’s just us and our three cats.


If you would take us out to your favorite vegan place in your hometown, where would that be and what would we order?


Ha, there are zero vegan places in my hometown. But in Rochester (close to my hometown and where I’ve lived for the past eight years) my favorite vegan dinner place is the Red Fern, just because it can either read as a nice fancy night out or a more casual diner-kind of food, depending on what you pick from the menu. (http://www.redfernrochester.com) But it’s hard to choose just one place! (https://chickpeamagazine.com/blogs/journal/115813636-our-vegan-guide-to-rochester-ny)


Whole foods, regional and seasonal: what is your favorite food for each season of the year?


  • spring: lilac gin with lemonade (Rochester is known for lilacs!)
  • summer: cantaloupe
  • fall: apple cider
  • winter: potatoes

Do you also eat processed food or rather not?


We keep a small amount of processed food in the house, because life is so busy and I’d rather eat a vegan chick’n patty than starve or make excess dishes when the kitchen’s already a mess or order out and waste money.


Any guilty pleasures?


I don’t feel guilty about liking what I like 😛 I guess if I had to pick…Bob doesn’t get why I like those Gardein fish sticks, but to me they’re just like the food I had growing up.

Please name your 5 favorite cookbooks.


I have a LOT of cookbooks, so this is hard! I’m really not into trendy cookbooks. I love books that are earnest and are either easy to cook from or challenge me in a new, interesting way.



And which vegan magazines do you like?


I don’t actually read other vegan magazines – not that there aren’t great ones out there! I just find that it’s too close to my own work, which gives me a ton of anxiety. Any content I consume is parallel to my work, but not in the same niche. I read/watch a lot of meat-and-dairy heavy stuff so that I can ask myself “how can I do that better? how can I get my message out?” Or, it will have nothing to do with food at all. It keeps me sane.


What are your favorite snacks, sweet and savory?


For savory, I like avocado toast or homemade hummus with lots of spices and oil on top. I could really eat anything sweet, and I’ve been getting really into raw desserts lately because they make great small snacks. (A little bit is very filling!)


And your favorite soup to cook?


To cook – curry, because it’s easy to improvise and it’s not easy to mess it up, for me at least. To eat – butternut squash soup. I just hate making it because butternut squashes are so cumbersome to prep.


…or bread to bake?


Every summer since I was a kid my parents have grown zucchini, and it’s always plentiful. (Baskets of zucchini and peppers in every room of our tiny house.) So my favorite bread to bake is my mom’s zucchini bread – even after veganizing, it tastes so nostalgic to me. The smell of it is like being in their kitchen with all the windows open — you’re making me wish there wasn’t snow outside right now! (https://chickpeamagazine.com/blogs/journal/113552196-zucchini-bread)


What’s the most important staple you could not do without?


Nutritional yeast. It works in many dishes and just adds that “secret ingredient” kind of flavor.


What are/were the First Fridays about?


When we had a separate studio space, we would hold events to test recipes and show people our workspace. (https://chickpeamagazine.com/blogs/journal/113556740-our-studio-tour) We had our studio in a big artist building, so it was a fun night where you drink a lot of wine.


Your food photography is extraordinary, how you give it your personal touch?


I just shoot from the heart, I guess? My work is very tied to my emotions and thoughts and memories. I try to replicate feelings and scenes from the past, or scenes of what I’d like my life to be. It’s not just “styling” to me, it’s very personal. (http://serifandscript.co/food-photography/)

I am very into cool plates and bowls and nice cutlery, what about you?


Yep! I’m always on the lookout for something special.


What does minimalism mean to you?


I know people think the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was a super hokey book, or that it was all about folding or something, but I learned everything I needed to know about minimalism from that one book. (https://konmari.com) Only keep what helps you live your best life, and don’t feel guilty about letting things go if they don’t serve you any more. This can’t apply to EVERYthing in life, but for me it applies to my attitude, apps on my phone, how I buy food and clothes, most everything. To me, minimalism doesn’t mean wearing all white and only owning a bed and a sink – it means keeping around the tools you need to create a good life for yourself. For me, I don’t need or want a thousand pieces of clothing, so my bedroom is pretty sparse. But I have a lot of drawing tools and things to cook with, because that’s what’s important to me.


You always choose your favorite spreads, can you elaborate on the ones for 2016 please?


If you mean like from this blog post? (http://serifandscript.co/blog/2017/1/1/three-fave-spreads-from-2016)


Those spreads I picked because I liked the mix of design, lettering, photography, and feature concept. Kind of like my “best of” for layout spreads.

You are a graphic designer  and love handlettering, please name your equipment (brushes, paints, pens, inks etc.) we are dying to find out!


I go through this more in this blog post (https://chickpeamagazine.com/blogs/journal/113551364-working-tools-of-the-trade) but I mostly just use pen, ink, watercolor, gouache, coal sticks, and pencil. Nothing special or namebrand, and I almost always mix things together so it’s my own special thing.


You go through 1 ½ sketchbooks each issue, do you keep them for nostalgic issues?


Yep, I have a big stack of them in my bookshelf. They show how far I’ve come and I can show people tangibly the amount of work I do for each finished thing I put out.


What’s the difference between paper and digital when it comes to lettering and drawing for you?


I think I just need paper because I’ve always been connected to the tactile side of drawing. (My major in college was drawing.) The feel of a hot-pressed watercolor paper texture on my hand is just something I need to feel when I’m making something, to know I’m putting on the right pressure and angle and all of that. I’ve been practicing lettering on the iPad (I even got that Apple Pencil) but I’m still not there yet – the muscle memory hasn’t happened yet.


Which character from the Totoro family would you like to be?


The dad – his office is so goal-worthy 😵



.lgbtqia+ activist

.intersectional feminist

.vegan 2009

.straight edge 1998