Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome
Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome
Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome
Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome Elbow Grease, Bristol. Photography by Jo Hounsome

Hard grafters

15 : 02 : 2017 Elbow Grease : Media : The Just Nots

Bristol – Elbow Grease is a new magazine that celebrates the plight of entrepreneurs.

  • The magazine was launched in 2016 on Kickstarter, and has raised more than £2,000 (£2,500, €2,350)
  • Elbow Grease consists of three chapters and is accompanied by a separate 12-page zine

With an emphasis on the worker rather than products, Elbow Grease describes itself as a celebration of ‘grafters who strive, gamble and create on their own terms’. The narrative-driven publication taps into what it calls the current zeitgeist for ‘publishing around the seemingly mundane’, telling its subjects’ personal stories in an experimental way without a topical news slant.

At a time when the political ramifications of this often forgotten demographic have become manifest across the world, Elbow Grease seeks to champion workers dedicated to their profession despite any financial difficulties.

‘We’re interested in documenting the scope of work that people find themselves in and what that means to them, from labourers who need to make ends meet to those pursuing passion projects,’ art director Tom Sydenham tells LS:N Global. ‘[We explore] why people dedicate their lives to a craft, but more importantly, how people can face such adversity and unfortunate odds and still thrive.’

The Big Picture

Since we began tracking The Just Nots in 2011 they have remained a much-ignored demographic, but brands such as Elbow Grease and Miller High Life are focusing on the disenfranchised group.