Designer for Hire

Pleased to Meet You

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Photo courtesy of Dan Gibson

Photo by John DeDios

As the new editor of Tucson Weekly, Dan Gibson is another one to watch. Here he discusses his plans for the paper, his twin passions, and why he’d still like a late night now and again.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? “I was generally a night owl for most of my life, but now I have two kids that’s changed a little bit. I like going out still but by 11pm I’m falling asleep on the couch.

“When my wife and I were first married, and before that, we were music people and going to shows. Then when they changed the closing times from 1 to 2 am, and we were about to have our son, I said ‘That’s great. I may never see that time again.’

“But I love this city and I want to be at things, so I’ll be up late whenever I need to be. I’m fortunate to have family in town and my wife is super-supportive [of my new job] so if we need to go out we’ll find a way.”

Favorite accessory? “My iPhone. I’m in general an easily distracted person who jumps from thought to thought all the time. When I first got a smart phone it was like, this is somewhere I can focus on things and keep track of it.

“I’m checking up on Tucson things that are happening, and reading daily newspapers and other alt-weeklies. I’m on my phone all the time. It’s the thing I can’t leave home without. I could walk out of the house without my wallet but if I left my phone it would be a disaster.”

Favorite faux pas? “Honestly, I’m so mortified when I feel like I’ve done something improper or impolite that I lack the sort of perspective to appreciate those sort of comical moments. But if I had to pick something, I’ve always had a soft spot for heckling at sports events. It’s a real craft to say mildly awful but pointed remarks to athletes. I’m sort of a natural, although that’s probably not something to be proud of.”

Dream reader? “Right now my dream reader is someone who should be a reader and isn’t. I feel such a passion for the city and I want to encourage people who maybe don’t feel that way, who are looking for places to go out and things to do. My dream reader is someone I can help convince to break out of these ruts, who maybe eats at the same places, who never interacts with the galleries, to teach them to break out of of their bubble.

“The question is, what can Tucson Weekly do now? How can we expand the reach, do things differently and tell stories with the latest ways in terms of digital and multi-media? That’s what’s compelling about my job.”

If I weren’t a journalist I would…“Be working in the music industry. I stumbled into journalism. I was always going to do something in the music business. I and my wife left Tucson and moved to California to work for a record label. I was in sales and marketing. My passion for writing came from writing about music at first, but [soon] there wasn’t really much of a music business left.

“The jobs in the music business were disappearing left and right. By this time I had a wife and child to support. So I  worked as a freelancer, mostly for iTunes. I was between two perilous industries – record labels and journalism.

“Do I play an instrument? No! I once was a drummer for about a week. I’m the one who, when someone says ‘I think I heard some song once…’ I can tell them what it is. But I’m terrible at trying to play myself.”

If I could change one thing I would…“I might have started writing sooner. I stumbled around for 10 or 15 years doing things that weren’t writing. On the other hand, my life worked out this way for a reason. My life is really good right now.”

tw_logo1Dan Gibson took over as the new editor of Tucson Weekly in December. This year the alternative weekly celebrates its 30th birthday.

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