We’re always being asked who our customers are. We’re still trying to work that out, but from day one we realised that the people who buy from us are usually well informed, often opinionated and, it goes without saying, very tasteful. So we just have to quiz them. Today we're meeting Eleanor...

What do you do?

I’m a freelance illustrator, working on everything from editorial projects to book covers. I work from a studio space in my flat, eat a lot of snacks and listen to even more podcasts. 

Where do you come from?

I come from a small town in the Cotswolds area. I spent a lot of my childhood walking up hills with my grandparents and getting pretty muddy. When I studied illustration at Falmouth University, I found Cornwall influenced my work more than my hometown. Being by the sea and surrounded by super talented artists, photographers, dancers and illustrators was inspiring and gave me a burst of motivation to become a freelancer. 

How did you come across Magalleria?

Before my first visit to Bath, I did some research, made a list of everywhere I wanted to visit and Magalleria was right at the top. It was the first shop of its kind I had been to outside London and had so many more titles than anywhere I had been before. It really opened my eyes and changed my opinion of print and what a magazine could be. Four months after that day trip my partner and I packed up and moved to Bath!  

What was the first magazine you bought from Magalleria?

Oh, that's a tricky one, I’m pretty sure I walked out with maybe three or four different titles on my first trip! Frankie, Lionheart and the Japan issue of Lodestars Anthology were among the first. I still go back to that Japan issue, it’s one of my favourites, filled with great travelling tips and illustrations. 

What are you buying today and why?

Something I’ve never read before called Four&Sons, recommended by the wonderful Libby. It’s a magazine ‘where dogs and culture collide’ and from a quick flick through it looks amazing. There’s work by Faye Moorehouse, an illustrator I love and some nice lengthy reads to get lost in, plus loads of beautiful photos of dogs. 

What’s your favourite thing about Magalleria? 

The curation and the choice! So many of the titles were new to me, and there are still so many I am yet to take home and delve into. On my indecisive days, I know I’ll get a great recommendation and try something new, adventurous and inspiring. Plus, the shop dogs. 

How often do you come into the store? 

About once a fortnight, unless I’m waiting for something in particular to come in, or fancy a quick chat on my way back from somewhere. I try and finish reading the last magazine I bought before buying another, however, self-restraint is not one of my strong points.

What do magazines mean to you?

A constant source of inspiration and discovery. They are a way to learn new things, read new stories and discover new talent whether that is a writer, photographer, maker or designer. It’s something physical you can get lost inside, without the distraction of an email or text and appreciate from cover to cover. When you're finished, pop it on a shelf and do it all again when the next issue comes around. 

Facebook or Instagram? 

Instagram! It’s a great way to find new illustrators or makers, be inspired and follow the creative process of those who inspire you. 

Photography, illustration or content? 

Always illustration! Whether it be the big industry names in Frankie or new and upcoming talent in self-published zines, it’s always inspiring to see how an illustrator has approached and tackled a brief and created something new.

Interview by Libby Borton