In July of 2014, I was introduced to Flow Magazine in a unique way: they contacted me to do an interview. At the time, I didn’t think much of it, and I gave the interview without really investigating what the magazine was. A few months later, someone from Flow contacted me again to ask if I would be willing to do some commissioned calligraphy. I agreed, and once the article was published, they sent me a complimentary copy of the magazine. That was when I fell in love with Flow, and today I want to introduce you to it, too!
What Is Flow Magazine?
Flow Magazine is a quarterly collection of thoughtful essays and articles, paper goodies, and artistic inspiration. The magazine is based in Holland, but has an international (English) version, a French version, and a German version.
I have to admit that I have nothing but good things to say about Flow Magazine. Whenever I finish reading an issue, I feel inspired and refreshed by its thoughtful content. For example, one particular day, I was overwhelmed with work and stressed about how to manage my time. I had just received Issue 11 of Flow, and, serendipitously, I opened right to an interview with Arianna Huffington. In the interview, she talked about being in a similar mental state, and how it’s important to keep things in perspective and enjoy life. That really resonated with me, and I’ve heeded her advice ever since!
Of course, the Arianna Huffington interview was only one of the articles that I loved. Every issue of Flow introduces me to perspectives that I haven’t considered or concepts that I haven’t heard of!
What Makes Flow Magazine Unique
In addition to thought-provoking articles, each copy of Flow Magazine includes little goodies. You never know what you’re going to get! Some issues include things like bookmarks and wrapping paper, while others include gift tags and calendars.
Most issues of Flow Magazine also include art prints that you can tear out and display! For example, I got the Girl with a Pigeon print (by Amy Blackwell), pictured below, out of Issue 11.
When we were decorating our Airbnb apartment, I used so many Flow Magazine prints to add color and personality to its walls! From black and white photos of Frida Kahlo and Sophia Loren to colorful floral artwork, I was able to use a lot of goodies from Flow to make the space inviting.
By the time I received my first copy of Flow Magazine, I was a little bit “over” magazines. Many US-based magazines have very little content, focusing instead on advertisements. As a magazine, that’s where you get the bulk of your profits. (That is something I learned during my university internship at a large publishing company.)
Flow Magazine completely ignores the traditional magazine business model, opting instead to rely on readers for profits. As a result, when you open Flow, you’re not inundated with advertisements that make you lust over this lipstick or that pair of jeans. Instead, Flow‘s mission is to educate and inspire. Where there are advertisements in other magazines, you’ll find input on making the perfect springtime soup, instructions for how to draw jam jars, and ways to improve your friendships.
Because Flow Magazine relies on its readers for its profits, it’s more expensive than your average magazine. Realistically, it costs about as much as a nice book ($30-ish per issue). When you purchase, however, you can rest assured that contributors were paid fairly (I can attest to this as a past contributor), and that the content and goodies are worth every penny. Of course, if you can’t justify the cost, you could always request your local library to subscribe to Flow!
Where to Find Flow Magazine
Unfortunately, you probably won’t find Flow Magazine on the impulse buy rack in the grocery store checkout line. (Though, strangely, I did find — and buy — it in Whole Foods once!) You can subscribe to it through Flow‘s website, or you can do what I do and order from Magazine Cafe. That seems to be the cheapest route to go if you’re located in the US.
If you would prefer to buy from a shop, sometimes large stores like Barnes & Noble carry Flow Magazine. If you live in the Netherlands, you can find a Dutch version of Flow at almost any paper/magazine shop (you can bet I looked when I was in Amsterdam earlier this year)!
I am not sure about acquiring French or German versions in stores. If you live in France or Germany and have any information on this topic, I’d love to hear it in the comments section of this blog post!
I genuinely enjoy Flow Magazine, so I hope that you check it out and that you like it, too! It’s hard not to be charmed by the interesting articles, beautiful graphics, and quirky tips. I should probably add that I don’t have any affiliation with the magazine beyond contributing to it a couple of times in the past. I’m just a genuine admirer who awaits every new issue with bated breath! Flow, if you’re reading this, keep up the good work!