The Dilettante is an independent magazine offering an eclectic mix of creativity, art history, curious culture and vintage glamour.
We write for creative outcasts and artists, culture magpies and lifelong learners, history enthusiasts and dabblers, and anyone who doesn't take themselves too seriously...
The Dilettante Magazine
Established in 2014 as a creative society and small broadside zine based in Nottingham, UK, The Dilettante has now evolved into a 100 page print magazine - issues one to three are now available in both physical and digital format. (And you can also read a preview by signing up to our newsletter!)
Within its pages, The Dilettante spotlights the wonderful, creative and odd corners of the world, offering a rich mix of topics from history and humour to advice and inspiration. Mining art and culture from the past and present, we look to those who have lived unique or daring lives, to the artists, eccentrics, rebels and renegades who have embellished history with their compelling stories and ideas. Enjoy ruminations on music history and explorations on etymology. Delve into the workings of creativity, find out how others did it before, and discover new art and design.
Bringing a quality distraction from the humdrum, screens and the noise of the modern world, The Dilettante is a place of whimsical humour, playfulness and curiosity. It is best served with a good tipple.
Click on the pages below to learn more
An admirer or lover of the fine arts; popularly, an amateur; especially, one who follows an art or a branch of knowledge, desultorily, or for amusement only.
What is a dilettante?
Derived from the Italian past participle dilettare, meaning ‘to delight’, Dilettante entered the English language in the mid-eighteenth century to refer to a person who delights in the arts.
As attitudes to the arts evolved over time so did the word's meaning, and by the early 19th century dilettante became a derogatory slur suggesting superficiality, or someone who shouldn’t be taken seriously.
No longer was it admirable to be an interested amateur with a wide range of interests, or to enrich one's life through varied creative pursuits, instead a dilettante became known as a dabbler, and a somewhat pretentious one at that.
If you have ever felt like an amateur or a jack of all trades, if you happily try your hand at a range of creative pursuits, if you are endlessly curious about the world, then perhaps you too are a dilettante.
Read on to hear more about The Dilettante...
Behind the pages
THE DILETTANTE GAZETTE
founded in nottingham in 2014 by sophie gargett and claire jones
Founded on a chilly December afternoon in 2014 when two friends met for a few strong gins, The Dilettante has been a good lesson in what can become when making it up as you go along. Feeling down on life and creatively aimless, they each felt plagued by their constant dabbling, and the two resolved to MAKE A THING.
The conversation turned to the concept of the dilettante, which seemed a perfect nom de guerre to match their current predicament. Opting to embrace the dilettante's playful exploration of creativity, they decided that the freedom to play, explore and exercise curiosity was to be integral in whatever they created.
As the gin did its thing they said some cheers. Stuff the snobs who sneer at beginners and the critics who snub the unfamiliar - The Dilettante would serve the dabblers, the outcasts, the culture magpies and anyone who felt disjointed from the modern world of perpetual perfection, mediocre distraction and fast culture.
And so, The Dilettante Gazette was born, taking the form of a free broadside zine, and a society was formed to round up the creative weirdos in their home city of Nottingham. Over the years, The Dilettante has dabbled in creative events and workshops along with collaborations with independent businesses, until in December 2021 when the first Dilettante magazine was finally published.
published in 2021
Creators & Contributors
Today The Dilettante is curated, designed and edited by Sophie Gargett, in time carved out between working a day job, collecting floor treasure, learning to forage, or whatever current fascination she is following.
Of course, none of this could be achieved without the help of the wonderful, merry band of writers and creatives that have contributed to The Dilettante so far. Much appreciation and love to all below!
editor & designer