When we started working on Ultra Regular in April of 2016, we decided we were going to build a perfect creative utopia and it was going to solve all our frustrations. We were going to launch in a couple months and post “I took the summer off to get it right” because it’s not a creative milestone if you can’t quote Drake.
So, last summer we began to process a lot of ideas that we’ve been cultivating for a long time.
A lot of what went into those ideas were derived from what we had started creating together when we first met. Four years ago we were 19 and trying to manage a team of 30+ people and an independent print magazine. During that experience, there was a lot of drama, a lot of highs and lows, and a lot creative people we came to love as friends. We realized that what the two of us in particular shared more than anything, was a desire to have and build a place where we could create freely. A place where our community could come to play.
We noticed a few things about our creative community that really stuck with us:
– It can be really hard to get your work published… especially for the first time.
– It’s so hard to find people to work with that want to help you actualize your ideas, rather than have you help them with theirs.
– There’s a lot of pressure to create something perfect, when maybe you just need to try out your ideas on the world.
And above all, people want and need to be heard.
Ultra Regular is our attempt to be a place where these things don’t have to be so difficult.
So, this all sounds really nice, but if you’ve ever decided to build a “perfect creative utopia” from scratch, you’re probably laughing because that’s never exactly how it works out.
In the months we spent working on this, we changed our web framework three times, had multiple creative and existential crises, and decorated our entire living room with party streamers. Ultimately we took the summer, fall, and winter off to bring this to you. There isn’t really a Drake quote about that.
Considering all this, we thought a lot about what we wanted to say today, when Ultra Regular becomes something real in the world. There’s a lot we could say about who we were before this, or the painstaking process it takes to code your own website from scratch while working full-time, but what we really want to talk about is our hopes and dreams for what’s next.
What we wanted more than anything was to create a place that felt freeing, with less boundaries and inhibitions. A playground.
Ultra Regular is a place that will, like us, always be evolving. What you are looking at now is what we consider our baby-beta version.
As we grow, we will:
– Expand our site into a community-based platform, building in features so you can sign up, create posts, like and save posts you love, and work with our editors directly through our website to achieve your narrative dreams.
– Create print material, zines and photo-books, curate art shows and host community events and experiences.
– Develop a library of resources and tips to help our community professionally and personally, sort of like a little creative school.
It will take a lot of time to develop these things. Coding is hard, great work takes a lot of time, and of course, it’s important we allow ourselves time to do things right and make sure everything we produce is meaningful.
It’s important to us that even though the experience and goals of Ultra Regular are very personal, this website does not just belong to us. We want this place to be a home for your ideas too. We want to work with our community online and IRL to build this creative utopia, because obviously that type of freedom can’t just come from one place. It has to come from community of people that want to see each other flourish.
We’ve got big dreams and a long way to go. We can’t wait to see what all it leads to.
Hope you’ll join us on this adventure.
Eliza and Vicky, Founders/Editors