Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov met as editors at the venerable I.D. in 2005 and both developed a passion for peeking behind the scenes at the creative processes of designers—–access that came with working for an established print publication. Just before the magazine folded in the wake of the great magazine shake-up in the latter aughts, they embraced the opportunity to cast aside the medium’s limitations—–space restrictions and long lead time—–while preserving its take-a-seat-and-stay-awhile sensibility.
The online result is Sight Unseen. Eschewing the quick-turnover approach favored by many blogs, where new work and ideas ignite and flame out in the click of a mouse, the duo craft their stories to offer an intimate and in-depth look at photographers, designers, and artists through regular features like Studio Visit, At Home With, and 8 Things, which details an individual’s favorite inspirational objects, ideas, people, books, and movies. “We’re always looking for ways to poke deeper behind the curtain,” says Khemsurov. She and Singer research and write every article themselves and take most of the photographs that accompany them; the result has a personal, timeless feel that’s more like flipping through a photo album than scrolling through a press release. The pair also curated the first annual NoHo Design District event to coincide with ICFF in New York in 2010 and would like to pay their respects to paper by, at some point, penning a book.
For an outlet so deeply rooted in art and design, it might come as a surprise that neither has any formal training in the fields. “I think it’s part of what informed Sight Unseen. We were both unfamiliar with this world, and now we want to explore it along with our readers,” Singer says. “It’s a place for people who are interested in what it’s like to live a creative life,” Khemsurov adds.