As we all know, the editors of GrrlPunch Magazine work very hard to coordinate a multitude of writers and artists in order to put together the awesome ‘zine we know and love. In this summer series, I’ll be interviewing each of these talented women – Samantha, Jada, Emily, and Lucy – to get a little more insight into their lives, from what they do behind the scenes of GrrlPunch to what they plan to do in the future. I hope you all enjoy

Samantha Wischmeyer

Chelsea: So first off, where are you from, are you from Memphis?

Samantha: Mmhm, yeah, I’ve lived in Memphis my whole life.

C: Nice! Where do you go to school?

S: I go to Savannah College of Art and Design.

C: So, what specifically are you studying?

S: I’m studying motion media design and it’s like a mixture of animation, graphic design, and film. I really like it.

C: I saw the video you did for one of your projects, I was blown away. It was so impressive.

S: Thank you so much! Wow!

C: After you graduate, do you know what you want to do as a career?

S: Yeah, I have an idea. I want to start by working at a small motion design studio, doing like animations and advertising. And then eventually I want to do projection mapping for music festivals and concerts. Like down the line, but we’ll see!

C: So, how long have you been with GrrlPunch?
S: I joined about a year and a half ago. I started as an artist, um I kinda sent my portfolio in, like “can I join?!” just out of the blue. I had met Lucy before, but I didn’t really know a lot of people on it yet. So, they accepted me as an artist and every now and then I’d write an article. And then last July, I became an editor as well.

C: When I was talking to Emily about this interview series, she was saying how you do so much for the magazine and you’re really super involved. So, I was wondering, what’s your official title and what kind of responsibilities that entails? Like what specifically you do behind the scenes.

S: Okay, so technically I’m the associate editor. So a big part of my job is editing articles for grammar and good structure. Also, I’ve done a lot with organizing the schedule. Because when I joined sometimes we would have scheduling issues and sometimes people wouldn’t turn in their work. So, I created an email system. So, every week I email people updates with who has stuff due that week. And thanks to Emily we have a much better calendar system. She makes a monthly calendar, cause before we didn’t really know when our stuff was due. But she made a great calendar and we have people sign up early and she created the rule that we turn stuff in 48 hours and 72 hours in advance. So mostly, I do editing and obviously I still do art and some articles as well. But mostly I edit articles, work on the schedule and text people when they haven’t turned in their stuff.

C: So, has GrrlPunch helped you realize what you want to do and/or helped you gain more experience in what you want to do?

S: Oh, yeah, definitely! I mean, it’s given me really good practice as far as illustrations but also it helped realized that I definitely want to do some pro-bono work for non-profits and definitely make some animations around feminism and speak up for people who need to have their voices heard. And I realize I can do that in my field, so that’s really good. Yeah, I think it’s really good to do something your passionate about and grrlpunch has given me a voice to do that, which has been really great.

C: Are there any particular charities or organizations you would want to work with?

S: Definitely Planned Parenthood! They have really good animations I see on their Instagram. If I could make something for them, that would be awesome. Their work is really high quality, so I’m sure they get really good companies to do it, but if I could make something for them, that would be like a dream!

C: So how has GrrlPunch changed since you became a part of the team? Like from being an artist to an editor, what are some of the main changes you’ve seen?

S: The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s rapidly expanded. Its expanded like crazy in this past year, people wise. But I also feel like the quality of work has gotten a lot better. Like I think people are taking their work very seriously, which is great. The articles I think have just gained maturity and the artists have just been working hard, making their art better and just very detailed. I don’t know, just very quality work, more people on it, very dedicated workers. So, I guess those are the biggest changes I’ve seen in the year and a half I’ve been on. So, it’s really exciting to see that in such a short amount of time.

C: So, where do you hope to see the magazine go, like with writers and artists, everyone’s involvement? Where would you like things to go in the future?

S: Well I hope to gain more editors, I hope to have a group of people that just edit. And then a group of people that oversee other people, if that makes sense. I also hope grrlpunch gets some sponsorship at some point. Either from a non-profit or gets an art grant. That’s a big goal of mine for GrrlPunch. Yeah, I hope more people keep joining and the work keeps getting better and better.

C: Are you going to be involved in the summer events GrrlPunch is putting on?
S: Yeah, I’m excited for our summer event coming up! Yeah, we’ve been working on that, I’m super excited for it.

C: Is there anything you want to say to people who read GrrlPunch or the people who work with grrlpunch?
S: Well, I guess I just want them to know how hard Jada, Emily, and Lucy work, how passionate they are about it. It’s been so great to work with them and all of you, like yall are really the best. I’m just happy I get to be a part of this project, honestly, it’s been amazing!

Chelsea: Check out Samantha’s work on GrrlPunch and click the link to she the motion graphic animation she did for the poem “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning!