Alienated Magazine: a conversation with creative director Sharon Kostini

By Kate Rossini

We spoke to creative director Sharon Kostini who has just recently published a project that she has been working on with Alexander McQueen and creative director Charlotte James from summer 2020.

As well as working with big fashion houses such as McQueen, Sharon works on her own personal projects such as Alienated Magazine. Alienated is a platform based in Cardiff created by Sharon Kostini and sponsored by Minds Mental Health Charity and Comic Relief. We spoke with Sharon to talk about the publication and its future.

She explained that Alienated is a platform for young people to showcase, promote and celebrate their artwork. Just like the slogan says, “for the unseen and unheard creative young minds of Cardiff.”

The inspiration for the magazine came from Sharon’s own feelings of wanting to be seen, also knowing many young people wanted their work to be seen as well “I want to give people who don’t have access to the creative world the opportunity to showcase their work.” 

Sharon explains she was able to fund the magazine by working with organisations such as Steps4Change. She says “they helped me clean up the brief and pitched it to a few sponsors such as Comic Relief, Mind Cymru, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and many more.

A spread taken from Alienated magazine

Collaborating on projects is something Sharon enjoys doing and was key for a project such as Alienated magazine. “It was amazing, because it made me believe in myself it made me feel important and I knew if I could do it, I can help other young people see that their artwork can go somewhere. By collaborating it showed something bigger could happen than the previous Alienated magazine which I did by myself” 

The magazine is based on young creatives from Cardiff so, Sharon prides her work on using people such as models and assistants from the Cardiff area, along with people who are interested in the creative business. “I source people from everywhere, I tell people start within the community, your neighbourhood, I browse constantly on the internet” She goes onto tell me how talking to people will get you connections, it can be as random as talking to the taxi driver who expressed to Sharon his niece would be interested in helping with the type of work she does. 

“When it comes to collaborating it’s always important to stay open minded, starting the conversation is the first step. Networking is key.”

Image from Alienated magazine
Poem ‘Flamingo’ from Alienated Magazine
Images from Alienated magazine

Sharon spoke to us about how she has always known she’s wanted to become creative director of a big project. “When it came to being editor there was a lot of pressure. You have to wear a lot of hats” going on to explain she has done things such as be the model to show people in front of the camera what poses to do, be a director, hairstylist, makeup artist and that’s not even including proofreading. 

Because of all the different roles a creative director had to endure when putting together a project such as a magazine she feels the best title she can call herself is “multi-dimensional.”

Sharon Kostini, 28, creative director from Cardiff

Alienated are planning on releasing another issue hopefully around April/May time. “As we continue going forward, we’re hoping to do at least two issues a year” 

Regarding the young creatives displayed in Alienated, Sharon believes there is so much more out there regarding young creatives in Cardiff and that’s why she began this project, to get peoples voices heard. “This is why I think alienated is needed and other organisations such as jukebox collective. We are existing to bring young people together” 

Sharon believes organisations like this are very much needed in the community at the moment. She believes projects are starting to break through slightly now and explains the  lockdown helped younger generations become more creative as people found out what they liked doing instead of going out and clubbing and as lockdown lifted, people were “Creative ready to mingle” Sharon felt a lot of people wanted to get out there and collaborate with other creatives. 

During our conversation, she told me what the aims were for Alienated.

“The aim is to inspire, motivate, and encourage people to start believing in themselves and their ideas, because at the end of the day we are our own biggest critics.”

Images take from Alienated Magazine

After talking about Alienated and its future we were intrigued to see what other projects Sharon had up her sleeve in the upcoming months. “Alienated is my baby, however I’m currently working on my own brand which is Sharon Kostini, I’m establishing myself as a stylist, make up artist, photographer and obviously creative director of many upcoming projects”

She explains she’s working on a project called ‘Rebirth’ which is about women celebrating and empowering other women. Sharon spoke about how she loves the meaning behind Rebirth. As well as that project, Sharon is also working on something relating to acne as it’s a personal topic for her and something she relates to a lot.  

Check out @alienated.mag on Instagram to keep up with their upcoming work.

Words and Photography by Kate Rossini

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