Day in the Life of an Editor in Chief, Daina Renton

Being the top creative mind of a magazine sure sounds glamerous. What with photoshoots, press samples and launch parties every other night, but who are we kidding?! We've already checked out our own EIC in the digital world, but what about print?

We step into the world of Daina Renton, editor in chief of independent magazine, Feroce to see just how much she can pack into one day.

Hi Daina, tell us a little bit about what you do?

When I'm not doing Creative Direction on shoots I'm editor at Feroce Magazine. This involves overseeing the whole operation and putting issues together (as well as a lot of marketing)

How did you get into this business?

I was hired as creative director at Feroce when I was 18 and living in London. I was trained up by the former editor Alexandra and a couple of years later it was signed over to me. That being said when I was a kid I was always putting magazines together pretending I was an editor. I studied my bachelors in fashion design and marketing at London College of Fashion when I was 16 thinking I'd be the next Alexander McQueen. I was not. I'm actually just terrible at making clothes. Awesome at marketing though.

If you weren't doing this, what do you think you'd be doing?

I was working as a digital marketing manager before I went onto Feroce full time. I think I would still be doing that since it's what I specialise in, but magazines are far more rewarding for me. I've worked as a few different things in my life but this finally feels right, and unless it's doing the same thing at Vogue or somewhere bigger I don't see myself doing anything else.

Do you have a life motto / mantra?

I got Queen lyrics from 'The Show Must Go On' tattooed on my ribs which was painful enough for me to remember it forever. The quote was 'I'll face it with a grin, I'm never giving in, on with the show'. Not only the most epic part of the song but also just what I've lived by for the last 5years of my life because really no matter what's happened I've always just kept going in the hope it'll all be worth it in the end. It's also very fashion to say that.

Take us through a typical day..

My typical day is probably incredibly boring to some people, but I wake up in the afternoon most days to 5 fabulous cats on my bed (I am a crazy cat lady) I feed them all and get myself a coffee. I'm a chronic insomniac so I don't really need the coffee to function but I'm groggy in the morning. Then I do the social media rounds and respond to any comments the magazine is tagged in across social media. Then I take to the emails which I have about 2-300 on a good day to go through. I accept or decline features and categorise them according to the issue I want them to appear in. Then I process the materials that are sent over and put them into spreads onIndesign, this part can take a few hours.The rest of my day is built up of small tasks like social media scheduling for each contributor, spreadsheets, email marketing, distributing work, etc. Before I know it it's 7pm and I realise I've accepted a lot more work than I think I can handle. I write down all my tasks, feed my cats again, then sit on the end of my bed ready for my daily existential crisis. I return to my computer and before I know it it's 4am and I attempt to sleep. If I'm not held up with magazine work I'm meticulously planning shoots, or watching banned films for inspiration.

What time do you get up at?

Between 12 and 2pm depending on how early in the morning I got to sleep.

How do you keep yourself organised?

Upon receiving an email they're categorised with labels immediately and I write them down in a sexy black notebook (I'm in love with stationery. Stationery is bae.) I write them there because no matter how much you try to organise emails they still get lost. I triple check folders to make sure release forms, copy and all images are present. I write an update of each submission on a spreadsheet, sort of like a digital copy of my notebook. Then I do about 8 different category folders just for one issue to separate contributors, working documents, final binders, etc. I've been working on this process for a really long time but organisation at the start means an issue only takes about 2 hours to create in InDesign.

How do you keep going through a humpday?

Assuming it's the middle of the week, I'd say I don't have humpdays because I never know what day it actually is. (This causes me so much trouble.) But I get through a tough week by just keeping busy. My whole life is keeping busy.

What time do you finish work?

4am on a productive day 6am on a bad day.

How do you wind down?

I collect Monster High dolls, which are absolutely the best dolls out there. I won't get into it but they all have different nationalities and career goals and they were the most intricately designed mainstream dolls (before they were changed to a more low key design) last year. There's movies that match the doll collections and when I'm having a really stressful I watch a MonsterHigh movie and just stare at my doll collection knowing where all my money went and having absolutely no regrets! I love watching movies in bed but these are my go to ones when I want to just chill out. They don't require extensive thought so my mind finally slows down a bit.

What's your favourite thing about what you do?

My favourite thing is seeing how pleased contributors are to see themselves published. I remember when I was 15 I got my first magazine cover and I was running round the school showing everyone feeling totally amazing and I'd love to give that feeling to other people. Feroce is a benchmark for groundbreaking creativity and I'm always just so happy to publish hard working individuals and give them that sense of achievement that I once had.

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Sheri Scott, also known as the orange hair and glasses behind leading Scottish based fashion and lifestyle blog, Forever Yours Betty.
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