Growing up “Cover girl” was just a beauty product. This year I became one. Not just any cover girl. Thanks to the editors of Genii Magazine, I was April 2023’s featured artist.
But how on earth did I, Nikola Arkane, get on the cover of the worlds oldest and most cherished magazine I hear you ask?
The back story to the headline story!
In 2021 I published a book In Plain Sight. I worked with the wonderful Stefan Eriksson (Butterfly Playing Cards Stefan) – who I am pleased to say is still friends with me after completing the project!
Once published, I decided (as I had nothing to loose) to send copies of this to Genii magazine for the review section.
At the time, Dustin Stinett was the editor of the magazine. Richard Kaufman was off galavanting republishing and writing, what I hear will be a fantastic up and coming book – Greater Magic!
Friends in the industry told me I must be mad!
By sending my work to Genii, I was placing it on a platform where everyone could see it. And whatever the outcome, I would have to live with it!
Thankfully it was a great review. And I made a new friend too. Nathan Coe Marsh wrote…
Modelled after a vintage comic book, complete with back page “ad” with incredible attention to detail, it features the author imagined as a superhero… this is a collection of highly visual, whimsical magic developed during lockdown.Reviewed by Nathan Coe Marsh (page 85, No. 11, November 2021).
And thanks to it, more people who didn’t yet know of me as an artist got to see my published work for the first time on this platform.
One more time!
This time Francis Menotti had the task of reading and reviewing my life’s work as my children’s character, FizzWizzPop and he also thought I did a good job.
Overall, Pop is a great resource for a young or newer magician looking to create a kids’ show. Her charm and charisma jump off each page in a colourful, enjoyable manner that makes it clear that Nikola Arkane is very good at what she does.Reviewed by Francis Menotti (page 77, Genii Vol. 85, No. 4, April 2022)
Something unexpected happened
Very soon after these glowing reviews came out, Dustin (Genii’s editor) asked me if I would be interested in being on the cover of Genii as the featured artist? I immediately said, yes please! And he asked me if Tom Stone (like the Tom Stone) would write it.
This, although a fantastic idea, was also quite problematic.
Tom has not only become a close ally for me and my work in magic but he is also my boyfriend. I understood that for Tom this wouldn’t be easy because he wants me to thrive as my own person in this world. And, writing an article as a doting boyfriend would do nothing for either of us personally or for our careers. Or indeed for the magazine.
So it took some time before the article was written – a full year. And in the end it was worth it!
The Cover Photo
Cover pictures for magazines don’t happen on their own.
In September 2022, I was performing at The Magic Castle’s Parlour of Prestidigitation and I got an email from Dustin saying that he had arranged a photographer to come and take photos of me for Genii.
I was not prepared for it. After flying 5,481 miles I was exhausted. And I might add, living life to the fullest the day before my run by watching the previous weeks acts in the Magic Castle.
I immediately thought, I have nothing to wear.
Luckily, my best friend Say Jay was on hand to take me shopping and I found an epic dress! It was something I would never chose myself. Thanks to Tom, Say Jay and of course the lady who made it’s approval I bought it and I was ready. Well after a few hours scrubbing up.
The photoshoot took place at the Nirvana and in the Parlour itself, which I am so grateful for as people who know, know that no photos are allowed anywhere in the castle. And the fabulous lady who made me feel and look like a star was the very talented Kari Hendler.
Working with her was a dream. I am quite self conscious being just me. As I am always a character. But for this we wanted something honest and to showcase me as a person.
We had so much fun. Here are just a few examples of what didn’t make the cut but I just love!
The real magic of editing a magazine is the team behind it!
Although I was the main feature in this article, so many people came together to help publish it. I have so many people to thank for this.
Not just Dustin, Tom and Kari but my good friend George Bleeks who also contributed by writing a short piece giving readers a back story on all things Arkane.
The talented Elizabeth Kaufman as Art Director designed the full layout for the article. Placing the text and images beautifully. I think she constructed both an interesting and delightful collage that was very me!
And to Richard, who stepped back into the reigns as editor and publisher to bring the article to print. Also for pushing Tom to finish what he started by insisting that the deadline must be this year!
Being on the cover of Genii Magazine is a life time achievement!
One that I hope might happen “One more time” in the near future!
Speaking of which if you don’t already you should subscribe to this amazing monthly resource and support the people who help celebrate real magic in our community!