Elbow Grease had its origins, like so many things in life, with a few mates in a pub.
Looking at the magazines on offer, and not content seeing independent business represented with stories of smooth sailing, we set out to voice a more honest portrayal of entrepreneurialism. Something inspiring, yet rough around the edges. Something that made people want to make things happen without overlooking the obvious hurdles.
Elbow Grease today is an exploration of ‘work’ in its many incarnations. We have created a magazine filled with compelling writing, expressive design and illustration, and input from all sorts of grafters including Spanish milliners, office surfers, prison stitchers and bin divers.
What we haven’t done is printed the damned thing, and that’s why we need your help.
Elbow Grease is dedicated to hard work and independent thinking. Our goal is to document the lengths people go to for their work, their struggles and their joys.
Work has an innate value that goes beyond the quest for cash, and we believe the stories of people who are brave enough to do something they love, to make a real difference, or maybe just to make ends meet, are worth sharing.
This isn’t about artisans displaying their wares, it’s about grafters who strive, gamble and create on their own terms. We exist to make their efforts known.
People define themselves by their work, and yet 'work' as a concept conjures thoughts of the daily grind, hard slog and backbreaking labour, not the expression of your life's purpose. This is a great pity, because the enrichment that can be gained from learning a craft or pursuing a worthy cause is difficult to replicate by any other means.
As more and more people eschew conventional routes to success, say "no" to drudgery, and strike out on their own to seek fulfilment, they are beginning to create their own definitions of work.
In our first issue, we look at what work means, or has meant, to people at different stages in their own personal journeys. We explore varied approaches to work, from activists engaged in online campaigning to prisoners producing needlework, as we ascend through this catalogue of working culture and celebrate the grafters at its heart.
We need to raise the money to get this project off the ground, but this isn’t a charity.
You can consider your contribution a pre-order for the finished magazine, and we have a range of packages to choose from depending on how committed you feel to the Elbow Grease cause:
The core of Elbow Grease will consist of story-led features about work. We're not interested in publishing news. We deliver narrative with passion and purpose.
The magazine is made up of three chapters. Each with its own paper possessing its own set of qualities and characteristics. The chapters are then perfect bound, along with a 12-page zine, to form a 132-page mag.
Risks and challenges
As you can see, the magazine is complete. We just need an audience to help us press print.
The publication will be sent to our printer on November 21 to produce 1000 crisp copies of our debut issue.
We will personally pack this stuff up and ship it out to you December 10. That’s how much we care.
We appreciate you taking the time to read about what we’ve been doing, and if you have any questions at all please feel free to email: email@example.comLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)