Our midsummer issue is all about Identity. And, as we’re in the era of the selfie, we thought we’d invite five different artists to create self portraits especially for us. The results are endlessly fascinating and touch on topics from religion and society to simply playing dress up. Elsewhere, we explore ideas about gender and stereotype through clothing, writers tell us the lessons they learnt from their make-up routines, we uncover the lists that made up a life and discover novels that were written in cafes. We also chat to actress Alisha Boe on the subjects of sexual assault and victim blaming, poet Hollie McNish about turning 30, and ask Lily Vanilli to bake us a floral fantasy of cake.