Good morning, friend!
One magazine that I have admired for many years is Radiant. I first received a Radiant Magazine as a gift almost 3 years ago, before I would have ever thought to look up good Catholic companies on Instagram (times are a-changing). I was so impressed by their beautiful designs and mission and truly enjoyed flipping through those pages. Sooo, when Gemma agreed to do a little interview, I couldn’t be happier! This interview was so much fun and I truly learned a lot!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with Radiant, please introduce yourself and this magazine.
Hey everyone, my name is Gemma Hawes. I am 26 years old, married, and I have a baby boy name Logan. I am the graphic designer for Radiant Magazine and I have been working with Radiant since 2015.
Radiant is a quarterly magazine for young Catholic women that spreads the beauty, truth and goodness of Christ and His Church. It is filled with stories that uplift, inform and inspire young women and can help them grow in virtue and holiness.
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? What encouraged you in striving for a deeper relationship with God?
I was born and raised Catholic, so Christ has always been the most important part of my life. I have learned what it truly means to have Christ be at the center because of my parents and the private Catholic school they sent my siblings and I to. Although I was raised Catholic, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have to seek the truth on my own and determine whether I truly believe. Every child or young adult goes through that questioning period. Some longer than others. I was blessed because all my questions were answered by incredible catholic school teachers who knew the Catholic faith so well. They constantly gave me encouragement to seek out the truth through the teachings of the Holy Bible and the catechism. Youth groups, retreats, and other faith formation only helped strengthen the relationship I have with Christ even more.
+ After graduating college, how did you find your way to Radiant?
I actually found my way to Radiant while still in college. I majored with a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. During my junior year in college I wanted to find some freelance opportunities. I reached out to a family friend who did a lot of freelance design work and was the main designer for Radiant at the time. She put me in contact with Rose Rea, who founded Radiant. I began designing for Radiant in 2015 and have never looked back!
+ What is Radiant’s mission? How do you, personally and as a team, hope to reach young people through this beautiful work?
Radiant’s mission is to spread beauty and truth through stories told by inspiring catholic women. I hope to reach women through the beauty of design. I do not write the articles; my role is simply to make them look beautiful. In the past few years, social media has become the main form of communication between young men and women. Magazines seem to sit on the shelves of grocery stores, book stores, and coffee shops. My hope and main goal with Radiant is the ability to be able to catch people’s attention with a beautifully designed magazine that is irresistible and hard not to pick up. If I can achieve this successfully then women all over will read these incredible stories and hopefully strengthen their relationship with Christ.
+ As women, we are drawn to all things beautiful. As you design for Radiant and read the beautiful stories within, how have you come to a better understanding of the beauty of true femininity and virtue?
As I design and read through the amazing stories that have been written for Radiant, my relationship with Christ has grown immensely. I have learned through other women’s experiences how to grow in faith and beauty through Christ’s love for us. So many incredible women have taken the time to sit down and write about their struggles, passions, and sufferings. There is such good content to learn from in Radiant and as a designer I can display it in a beautiful and creative way that makes it fun to read. Many of us women struggle with the same things in life and so we all need to encourage one another and build each other up. Radiant shows women that they are not alone and that all of us Catholic women are ultimately fighting for the same thing.
+ Radiant is drawn out of the beautiful verse that reads, “Those who look to Him are Radiant”. Why is it so important for women, and all Christians, to understand their true identity in Christ and the life of grace He offers us?
Now-a-days it is so hard for women to see their true identity in Christ. We are filled everyday with images of what our society thinks women should look and act like. Through social media, there is a constant competition between women of what “true” beauty really is. IT IS ALL A LIE! Radiant writes about this and I firmly believe that women need that constant reminder every day. I fall into this trap all the time and I feel it is important to surround yourself with other women who encourage you instead of tear you down. You are all beautiful women in Christ’s eyes and that is all that matters. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise.
+ While working with Radiant, how have you come to better understand the beauty of Catholic media and communication? How can this be used as a tool for good?
First, it is such a joy and honor to be able to work with Radiant to help spread the faith through Catholic Media and communication. It is so hard as a young Catholic to be able to reach the masses and spread the word of God. With this magazine however, many young women can receive a tangible and beautiful keepsake filled with incredible content. While social media is often more effective because it can reach so many people with the click of a button, Radiant is a collectible that can be used as a tool to teach anyone you meet.
+ How has your faith grown through your work with Radiant?
Radiant has taught me so much about my faith, but more importantly it has taught me about what other women like me are struggling with. In each issue there is always something new to learn from and I look forward to reading each one. Radiant has also become an outreach for me. I enjoy using my design talents to help spread the word of God. Being a stay at home mom and taking care of a new born baby, I am not always able to help in my church. Having this as a form of outreach brings me so much joy and peace.
+ What would you say to someone who hopes to make a difference, to spread the faith, in some meaningful way?
I would encourage everyone to use their gifts to spread the word of God. I love this quote by William Shakespeare, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” God did not give us certain talents to keep for ourselves. He gave us talents so that we can use them to help spread his love. I would also say, that it is not always easy to make a difference in the world. Sometimes we feel like a little fish in a big pond. You do not always see the results immediately or maybe ever, but as Galatians 6:9 says, “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Have a beautiful day!