Art has always had the power to inspire, challenge, and delight us – sometimes all at once. At its core, it is the ultimate form of expression, allowing us to convey emotions, tell stories, and explore the world around us in new and exciting ways. The ability to share it with others is beyond rewarding for artists of all generations, which is why My Creative Images took shape as the digital magazine that celebrates art in all of its forms.
As part of our ongoing Customer Story series, we sat down with James Hurley, Founder of My Creative Images, who shares his passion for art, especially photography and digital photo artistry, by promoting hundreds of artists through his magazine. James unveiled his story about how he uses a digital magazine to shine the spotlight on all kinds of artists and bring their work to life with Issuu’s wide range of features.
I have been an artist since I was 12 years old. I began my artistic venture by mainly drawing and sketching at first before later venturing into photography at the age of 14. When I took my first camera apart – and much to my parents' surprise actually managed to put it back together – I gained a better understanding of how a manual film camera works. However, life quickly got in the way and I dropped artwork and photography for a very long time. For my 50th birthday, my wife surprised me with a new DSLR and I knew it was time to start taking photographs again. That’s also when I started learning more about artistic photography and discovered my passion for Photoshop.
I believed it was a good idea to network with other artists who had similar experiences, which, for me, meant finding people that create artwork for fun but want to progress and hone their skillset to eventually turn it into a career. I joined online groups for digital artists and found there were many who didn't have websites. It made me realize a lot of artists didn't have the technical know-how to be able to showcase their artwork, and that led me to create this magazine; it was an easy way to help other artists achieve what they couldn’t on their own. Through some research and comparing all the available options for designing, publishing, and hosting a digital magazine, I discovered both Issuu and Adobe InDesign; the synergy of these two platforms works really well for me.
After learning how to use InDesign, create layouts, and organize all the images, I started using Issuu’s platform to transform and publish my work. Today, I have around 60 digital publications on Issuu, all containing art from 150+ emerging and established artists.
Over the last six months, I’ve mostly used Embed, Statistics, and Fullscreen Sharing, and I'm just now starting to explore adding videos to each magazine because I believe it’s more immersive to show artists working in their studio than writing about it. I’m currently working on a magazine for a company called Real Nifty, where I will embed multiple videos to bring the story to life.
Statistics is a very exciting feature, too, as it shows how many people actually read or see the magazine. The number of clicks is especially important because it shows that people are potentially visiting the artists’ websites, which means the content is effective. To promote the magazines and see all the stats coming along is extremely exciting for somebody like me since I rely on being able to tell and prove to artists that I can bring their work in front of a certain number of people. The magazine’s potential grows the more traffic I drive to it, and the more proof I can show people, the easier I can make them excited about it.
It’s a very simple process for me because artists will send me materials – such as text and images of their artwork – via Google Docs or Dropbox, which I then copy and drop into specific sections of the page. The last step is to add hyperlinks to every image so readers can easily access any artist’s page.
In the old days, I would save the magazine as a PDF, close InDesign, and go to Issuu to upload it. But now that you've launched the InDesign plugin, I can instantly publish the magazine from within the software. It’s extremely helpful and saves me a lot of precious time.
I use multiple channels to distribute the magazine. First, there’s my own website, where I always embed the latest magazine that contains individual links to each of the artists’ work. I display their artwork in fullscreen because Issuu’s platform allows me to personalize it with a background image and my logo. Then I share it from a specific artist’s page, so the focus can be entirely on them.
I also publish blog articles and promote them on Facebook and Twitter, along with the Fullscreen Sharing link of the Issuu publication.
I use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Rush, and Photoshop – which is essential for my work. I've tinkered around with Canva and Adobe Express as tools for quickly creating posts that are easy to replicate for social media.
I am mainly going to focus on getting the business part of my magazine set up. I also plan on creating educational materials that I can give away for free. This idea came from encouraging my grandchildren to be creative – to make art and take photos – with teaching materials I create on the side, which I will convert into workbooks that I’ll share with younger people.
If I don't believe that learning creative skills should be something that my family or friends should have to pay for when I can help them for free, taking it a step further, why should I treat anybody else any differently from my family? There are millions of people out there that want to learn how to use things like the AV or manual modes on their camera, and there’s no reason they should pay a fortune for such knowledge when I can write it and give it away for free. I’m looking forward to publishing these manuals on Issuu, too, and having people interact with them step by step, page after page.
My Creative Images chooses Issuu for:
Embed: My Creative Images showcases each new publication by embedding it directly onto their website to boost visibility and discoverability for its audience.
Fullscreen Sharing: Immersing art enthusiasts in each of the artist’s work is at the core of My Creative Images, which it instantly achieves by sharing the magazine in fullscreen view.
Statistics: My Creative Images measures their content’s impact and performance by tracking impressions, reads, read-time, clicks, and more with Issuu’s built-in analytics tool.
Videos: My Creative Images brings the artists’ stories to life by using embedded videos as a meaningful and more impactful way to showcase their artwork.
Thank you, James, for taking the time to share how Issuu helps elevate your content creation-to-distribution workflow and ultimately transform My Creative Images into a stunning reading experience for artists and art enthusiasts alike.
Explore our Art, Architecture, & Design page to discover all the ways you can easily share and promote your work on a global scale.