Founded by Seattle-based artists Gabriel-Bello Diaz, Ulysses Curry, and Leleita McKill
in 2019, AntiSocial is a local publication focused on highlighting the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists, small businesses, and community organizers through photographs and articles.
In December of 2019, Co-founder Gabriel-Bello Diaz joined the inaugural GSBA & Ventures Small Business Incubator
class to kick-start the publication and learn about the many nuances of owning a small business. Designed to elevate and empower transgender, BIPOC, and QTBIPOC entrepreneurs, the GSBA & Ventures Small Business Incubator takes small business owners through an immersive eight-week learning experience, including Ventures’ Business Basics Course, periodic mentor discussions, a complimentary first-year GSBA membership, and more.
Gabriel graduated from the program in early 2020, with AntiSocial publishing its debut issue in the fall
. We caught up with Gabriel to hear about his goals for the publication and how the Incubator helped him get off the ground.
GSBA: Tell us a bit about what kind of content someone might see in AntiSocial.
“We tell the stories of local BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists through photographs and articles on how they navigate through the city to achieve the amazing work they are doing. These photoshoots are in collaboration with local photographers and fashion designers to make each article feel like a high-fashion editorial. This publication is produced locally through another GSBA member, Girlie Press, because again we love how our city collaborates.”
GSBA: How did you first come up with the concept for AntiSocial?
“The need for our voices to be heard was always at the forefront in creative industries. I wanted to pull those stories together and showcase the ‘behind the scenes’ of the work we do.”
GSBA: What motivated you to apply for the GSBA & Ventures Small Business Incubator?
“I've been an artist selling one off custom products for over a decade, but I wanted this new business to operate at a higher level. I needed the support of the legal and financial growth of a business that aims to dish out W9 to artists, along with gaining sponsorship and support from the city. GSBA has that now, as well as those resources.”
GSBA: What was your experience like taking part in the GSBA & Ventures Small Business Incubator?
It has been very helpful in establishing the financial structure and decision-making for our launch. (It also) provided an opportunity to meet other small businesses who we could potentially collaborate with in the future. The most important thing I learned was to keep looking into the future while focusing on the present. This approach helped me develop a solid plan while maintaining flexibility as I navigate my decisions daily. It’s okay to change and adopt your business in its infant stage.
GSBA: What was it like to take part in a community of trans, gender-diverse, and QTBIPOC entrepreneurs?
It was refreshing to find us all on a business or entrepreneurial road, with a focus on success for our community and supporting each other.
GSBA: What’s next for you and AntiSocial?
Our launch happened on November 27, but I'm still in the beginning phases of getting this off the ground through paperwork. Our current goal is to get our 200 copies sold and get the attention of potential sponsors, so we can establish a strong foundation moving forward. As of now, the annual community publication costs $50 and we aim to provide it quarterly and for free.
In February, AntiSocial will conduct an open call for artists to take part in its second issue, Volume 02: Love + Rage. The first issue can be purchased here. Folks can keep up with AntiSocial by following the publication on Instagram.