Julia Eskins is the co-founder and editor of Here & There Magazine, a quarterly art, design and fashion publication covering cities around the world. As an intrepid journalist with a passion for travel, Julia has visited over 20 countries and spent time living abroad in Berlin and Helsinki. Along with holding the positions of features editor of FAJO Magazine and managing editor at Stagename, she contributes to notable publications including The Globe and Mail and appears as an on-camera travel and fashion expert on OutTV and MTV. After completing her Honours Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University, Julia specialized in popular culture at Freie Universität Berlin. She is currently based in Toronto where she can often be found writing, running and sharing her adventures on Instagram.

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Twitter: @JuliaEskins
Instagram: JuliaEskins

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I always knew I would end up in a creative field. I was a ballet dancer for 15 years and loved choreographing and performing. From dancing in the National Ballet of Canada’s production of The Nutcracker to performing at the Degas exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, I developed a really strong appreciation for the arts at a young age. In my teens, I started to pursue my other passion of writing and eventually became an editor at my high school newspaper. I’ll never forget one of my first interviews with Amanda Bynes when I was 17 years old. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh about it but the thrill of meeting interesting people is still one of the main reasons I love working as a journalist.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
In five years I hope to be managing a larger editorial team at Here & There Magazine with my business partner Aleyah Solomon while still travelling the world. I’d like to also continue freelancing and collaborating on creative projects.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Say yes to as many opportunities as you can, be persistent and stay humble. Success rarely happens overnight and in order to make it, you need to be prepared to work hard. If you’re passionate about publishing and media, the long days and deadlines will be worth it. Networking is key – the best thing you can do is build strong working relationships early on in your career. And be polite to everyone you meet! Too many people in this industry are rude and think that an entitled attitude will score them brownie points. In fact, those who are professional are the ones who get ahead.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I really enjoy Cereal, Kinfolk, Tiny Atlas Quarterly, Vogue, AnOther Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar and Dazed Magazine. I also frequently read the Guardian, The New York Times, The Independent and The Globe and Mail for news.

Best interview you’ve ever had?
The best interviews are the ones where the conversation flows so naturally you don’t even need to think about the list of questions in your mind. A few of my favourites include Adam Sandler and Wayne Brady because they’re both hilarious. I was also really inspired by illustrator Jordi Labanda, Mackage’s Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan and fashion designer, Tia Cibani.

Worst?
Probably Ariana Grande. It was a phone interview and the connection was so bad that we spent most of the interview repeating ourselves. I’ve also encountered one or two interviewees who were so standoffish that they only gave one-word answers to every question. Some people have their guard up because of bad experiences and the misconception that journalists will portray them in an unflattering light. I try to dispel this right away and can usually break down any nervous energy by being conversational and personable right off the bat.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
My mom always told me that if I truly wanted something, I could go out and make it happen, and to never take no for an answer. To this day, I believe that we control our own destiny.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I don’t have any rules per say but I try to achieve balance everyday. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in work that you forget to take care of yourself. I make a point of eating healthy, exercising daily and taking a vacation every once and awhile. I guess the one rule I follow everyday applies to skincare: I never go to bed without washing my face and moisturizing.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Do your research before reaching out, always personalize your pitches and proofread your emails – especially the name of the person you’re addressing!

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about wins.
I’ve had so many great experiences but the best publicists answer emails quickly, handle requests efficiently and go above and beyond to ensure you have all the information you need.

I hate?
Animal cruelty, cold weather and black liquorice.

I love?
Coffee, beaches, the little black dress and the feeling of arriving in a new place.

Reading?
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Best place on earth?
I can’t choose one! My top three are Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, Lonely Beach in Koh Chang, Thailand and Cappadocia, Turkey.

Dinner guest?
Andy Warhol.

Hero?
All the women in my family are my heroes, especially my mom, my aunts and my grandmother. Not only are they all incredibly strong but they also have such a youthful spirit that inspires me to never stop dreaming.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
It’s no secret that I’m addicted to Instagram. I also love NewsGIF, a new app I’ve been working on. It delivers bite-sized news in a very innovative, hilarious and shareable way.

Pool or ocean?
Ocean.

Voicemail or email?
Email. Always.