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Meet Julian Lucas of Mirrored Society Books and Print Pomona Art Book Fair in Pomona

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julian Lucas.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Julian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always had a love for photography and photo-books. While attending Portland State University back in the mid-’90s, I would spend hours in Powell’s Bookstore, in the photography section. Fast forward to present times, while visiting Arcana bookstore located in Culver City, I came up with the idea of opening a bookstore. The idea was to open the book store within the San Gabriel Valley, since there was no bookstore within the region that focused on the arts or photography. I along with a partner got to work. I came up with the name Mirrored Society and began building the website while the other owner took care of all the legalities. We had the website I’d say for less than a year and decided to move forward with opening a physical store in the City of Claremont. It was a great start for us as we had book signings and lectures by photographer Dennis Morris, Estevan Oriol, and Scot Sothern and many other great artists and photographers. We even started doing online interviews with other photographers.

After having the bookstore for a year, our lease ended and we decided we wanted to expand on the publishing side of the photo-book world. In addition, we wanted to participate in the art book fairs, therefore we closed the bookstore. Starting small we published several zines. We started with a young photographer Wingla Wong from China in addition to a photographer known for portraits of celebrities, Patrick Hoel. We received a great response from the first two titles. I then put out my first zine Apt 31 under Mirrored Society and it sold out quick! I was very excited and wanted to continue to learn and expand. We participated in multiple Art book fairs throughout Los Angeles.

In 2018, I came up with the idea of hosting an art book fair in Pomona. However, I could not find a venue to hold it. It took some time and patience but low and behold it wasn’t until I attended an art exhibition at Millard Sheets Art Center where again, I felt MSAC would be the perfect venue. I reached out to the visual arts manager, and it was a green light from there. I got to work and came up with the name Print Pomona Art Book Fair and launched the website. At this point, we were approached by the Arts Area, who found PPABF on social media. We soon became a nonprofit under The Arts Area, which I am pretty excited about.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road at all. Anything good always comes with struggles. At this point, I have been working solo on Print Pomona Art Book Fair as well as running Mirrored Society in addition to my photography due to uncontrollable circumstances.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mirrored Society Books and Print Pomona Art Book Fair – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Mirrored Society is presently an online photo-book store. We specialize in photo books and zines. I am most proud that is it going strong and people from all over the world are finding us on the website. I think what sets us apart from other bookstores is we try to stock photo books from all over the world, including a concentration on Japanese photo-books, since they are hard to find here and not too many stores carry photo-books or zines from Japan.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans for the future are to host Print Pomona Art Book Fair, which will be held March 13th-15th 2020, with a reception on the 13th. The reception will include a photo exhibition with some cool big-time and well know LA photographers including myself. In addition, expand Mirrored Society and open another bookstore within the Pomona Valley Region. I really want people within this region to become more exposed to photobooks and understand the importance.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portraits of me credit Amaris Lucas

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