In Redding, California there’s a 24 year old pioneer named Joel Foust who has created quintessential magazine for creatives. Iron & Stone is a quarterly “creative magazine” meant to evoke a sense of adventure with stories that encourage and inspire. In an exclusive interview with Pioneer Collective, Joel shares his journey and his passions as he goes after what he loves.
What is Iron & Stone?
Iron & Stone is a “creative person’s” magazine. Every quarter, a new volume is released. The photos inside are meant to evoke a sense of adventure and the stories are meant to encourage and inspire you.
What is the Purpose of Iron & Stone?
The purpose and mission of Iron & Stone is to inspire people to believe that they were created to create, that no one was put on this earth to simply exist, but everyone is capable of influencing culture and generations through their individual creativity.
Why did you start Iron & Stone?
It’s funny, I started Iron & Stone after going through a very “dry” creative season of my life and I suddenly was bombarded by this idea of inspiring people to not give up on the passions that they carry even in their dry seasons because that was how I was feeling in that moment too. Despite facing challenges, I knew I didn’t want to give up on what I loved.
Do you do this full-time or on the side?
I’m actually a nanny for three boys and manage Iron & Stone on the side. No, that is not a conventional job for a guy, but the family is incredible and I’m blessed to be a part of their life.
Where do you get the inspiration from what you do?
I get my inspiration from the outdoors such as the woods, oceans, mountains, conversations with other creative-minded people, and sometimes I’ll find inspiration in solitude.
Where do you get your articles and features?
Normally when I am looking for articles or features, I will ask an individual to write about what creativity means to them personally and I let them run with it. At times, I’ll help direct the writer with guiding questions, but for the most part it’s up to them. Other than that, I’ll ask that the article pertains to the specific theme of the volume that is put out that quarter. It isn’t always easy and most of the time, I just have to be bold and ask people if they would be interested in writing for Iron & Stone. I don’t always get a “yes” but when I do, it is very exciting because what I have seen in the past is people feeling inspired by the company and the mission of Iron & Stone. When it comes time to start putting together a volume, I’ll send out a request for photos and those photos can be of anything really. Then, I’ll sort through the photos and choose which ones work best or most closely represent the purpose of Iron & Stone.
How important is community to Iron & Stone?
Community is a big part of Iron & Stone because to me this is more than just a magazine, but it is a community of like-minded people who believe that everyone is capable of creating what is in their heart. So when people contribute to the magazine or read it, I want them to walk away feeling like they were inspired creatively and at the same time, are surrounded by and are connected to people who want to create quality and challenge others to do the same.
What are the future plans for Iron & Stone?
Right now, I’m working hard on creating a quality magazine and broadening my connections. I would like to branch out in Iron & Stone and do more traveling to take photos and gather stories as well as start producing Iron & Stone films since filmmaking is an enormous passion of mine.
What advice would you give other pioneers?
My advice would be, firstly: Don’t disregard the dry seasons of creativity. It is in those seasons where we really discover our “grit” and what we are truly made of. Second: If you want to start a publication just start writing, plain and simple. Write about what interests you and what makes your heart come alive. Talk to others who might have more experience on ways to sharpen your ideas, and lastly: Just start. All that matters is that you have the boldness to begin the process and that you don’t think you are incapable. If you buy into your fears, you’re choosing to give up.
What does being a “pioneer” mean to you?
To me, being a pioneer means blazing a trail even if you don’t know where that trail will lead. What matters is that first step. All the rest will follow.