The site is a mixed bag of fun times for anyone who likes their contemporary art and photography served with a healthy dose of street culture. Issue One includes an interview with radio tastemaker Nic Harcourt from Los Angeles station KCRW, a photo exhibit by legendary skateboard photographer and Skateboard Mag founder J. Grant Brittain, and an interview with photographer Corey Arnold, a deckhand on the crab-fishing boat featured on the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. Part of the magazine's stated mission is to post two new features every week in order to bring "real content back to the internet following the stranglehold that blogs have taken on it."
Kronbauer owns and operates the artist-friendly clothing company Crownfarmer, and recently started his own skateboard company called Turf Skateboards. His writing and photography has appeared in magazines like Mass Appeal, Color, Arkitip, Skateboarder, Monster Children and more.
We caught up with Bob to talk about Mumble and what he hopes to accomplish with it.
What made you want to launch an online magazine?
I started Mumble because I missed journalism. I love it. I'm so glad to be back.
Much like your own artwork, the vibe of Mumble seems to straddle both commercial and fine art and design—what do you see as the primary differences between the two?
I've actually been thinking about that a lot lately but to be perfectly honest, I don't have an answer for you. I don't know.
What do you hope people find in Mumble?
I hope they find something that they didn't know they were looking for, and I hope that they also find the inspiration to shut down their web browser and actually do stuff after visiting the site, be it on their computer or anywhere else. That's one of the things I love about journalism, that it has the potential to really inspire people.
Is a print version in the works?
I was actually originally thinking of doing it as a print magazine, but after a lot of thought I switched gears with it and the goal now is to bring real content back to the internet. We might do an anthology series in print down the road but I don't see it ever becoming a traditional periodical.
You take a light jab at blogs in your mission statement—what about their content do you find unsatisfying?
There just seems to be an underwhelming, lack of substance theme going on right now. It feels to me like a tangle of random pictures, links and the odd sentence—like a haphazard connect-the-dots with no numbers associated with each individual dot, making it difficult for people to put it all together to see a bigger picture.
It seems you're always starting a new artistic outlet. How do you balance all the work between freelance design/art, book projects, Crownfarmer, Turf Skateboards and now, Mumble?
Andrew WK recently said "When the focus is on doing exactly what you want to do, when you focus on what feels good and you follow your emotions and put all of your energy on that, you're going to get way more done!" That's exactly how I feel about that.
In 2004, you published a book of photography called Beach Glass—any new personal photography projects on the horizon?
I'm working on my second book of photography right now. I've been slowly shooting it over the past couple of years and that part of it will be coming to a close this fall when I'll start to edit it. I'm still looking for a publisher.