#BeautifulDreamers: Marcel Dagenais (Bay Area > Brooklyn, NY)
What do you do?
Creative director, art director, and publisher of Working Class magazine.
What’s your ‘right-now’ like?
At the moment I’m finishing up the next issue of Working Class. Aside from that, I’m shooting/styling a lot, making art, creating stuff.
What inspired you to start Working Class?
Well, how it all started was back in 2007. My friend (then a new friend) came to me and asked if I would do hair on the first photoshoot for this magazine she was starting, so I went to the shoot. After working on the shoot I was just really inspired and thought that I could help with that side of their production. She was more a writer and I was already doing styling and photoshoots. We had a conversation and I pushed to do more creative direction on the shoots, then we just started a partnership together. Over the years it kept growing. We were online only at first, then in 2010 we decided to go to print. After that first print issue, she decided that she didn’t want to do it anymore. I had to make a decision if I wanted to continue and do the project on my own or just start something else. I was really inspired by what we were doing with the magazine so I decided to take it on fully.
In a few sentences, what is Working Class about?
Working Class is supporting up and coming people, not people that you’re seeing in magazines already. It’s about introducing local, and sometimes not-so-local people…artists that aren’t necessarily famous yet, but I have a feeling that with their aesthetic they’re going to be the next big thing. We primarily focus on people who are working day jobs, but are producing art, or whatever their medium is, out of the love for their craft. It’s all about capturing a beautiful moment.
Out of all your interview/subjects over the years, do you have a favorite?
I have a deep love of photography, so a lot of people that I’m drawn to are photographers. I’d say Alison Scarpulla, an artist that we’re featuring in the ‘Mystics’ issue (December). She’s amazing. She has a really unique aesthetic that I don’t see a lot in photography.
You tend to work around a theme for each issue. How do you decide where you’re going?
I’m always triggered by what’s going on in my life and that reflects onto Working Class. I get a moment of ‘that’s the next issue’. We publish every six months and I have an incredible group of contributors.
Who are some of the people you’re interviewing for the next issue, ‘Mystics’?
We have some really great people. So far- Alison Scarpulla, who I already mentioned. Her work is incredible. Stina Persson, who does amazing watercolor work. The Wild Unknown, who not only make tarot cards but do a lot of other really great stuff. Their deck sort of inspired the ‘Mystics’ issue. It’s brought a whole new meaning into my life and connecting with people. I’ve always had flashes of ‘the other side’, but I’m hoping with the next issue to explore tapping into spirituality on a day-to-day basis. I think we all have access to that.
What’s your favorite tarot card?
The two of cups…it’s yin and yang, but it’s also about being full of love.
What’s your ultimate dream?
In addition to Working Class, it would be growing vegetables and living a bit off the grid. Being excited about my flowers that I’m growing…the tomatoes being ripe. Just to be a simple person chilling upstate or somewhere I can paddleboard every day. Living the dream. Always creating. I don’t see myself in the city forever.
Where do you go to recharge?
I’ve been going upstate a lot. My friend has a great nature preserve and I just go hike and do yoga. I need to hear crickets and the wind in the trees.
Book that changed your life?
I love ‘The Four Agreements' by Miguel Ruiz. It's four rules to live by. Every year I read 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle to kind of reset my brain. For escape, 'Catcher in the Rye' is always great.
I’m an artist. I love to sketch as much as i can. I really love crafting and using my hands. You can make anything with a hot glue gun. I just made a lamp out of spoons. It looks bad ass.
I love 80’s movies. They’re my favorite genre. Any movie with Shelley Long. ‘Hello Again’. ‘The Money Pit’. 80’s movies are great. There were no rules, just wild optimism…things you’d never get away with in a movie today. I also love old movies…Faye Dunaway is a favorite. Faye and Shelley. Those are my girls.
Where can you pick up a print issue of Working Class in NYC?
Local coffee shops, bookstores, and boutiques all over Brooklyn.
Thanks so much for doing the interview, Marcel. We’re really excited to check out the next issue of WC…sounds amazing already!
*photo/art credits: victoria stevens, rebekah campbell, ben giles, alma haser