Friday, April 1, 2011

Zine Interview Part Two

The first part of this interview went online yesterday.

6. You have made a lot of zines yourself, what inspires you? How do you decide on a subject matter?

My recent zine series (Oblast) is pretty scattershot in what each individual zine is about, but if you look at my zine history as a whole the overarching theme is one of travel. I love travelling, and a lot of my zines take the form of rewritten diary entries of my trips to various countries.

More recently (over the last year and a half) I've been doing zines on more random stuff (YouTube, potato crisps/chips, etc.), and I think a reason for this is that I haven't been writing for magazines and newspapers as much as I have in the past. I used to write for magazines and newspapers in university and afterwards when I lived in Asia. This really helped me use up my creative juices (for good or ill), but my crisp review zine is a pretty clear successor to some of the articles I wrote in South Korea where I reviewed types of soju (a Korean alcohol) or weird ice cream flavours.

I just write about what I'm interested in at the time and hope other people will like it too.

7. How would you describe the style of your own publications?

All of my most recent zines have been laid out using a computer design program. I use a free program called Scribus, but I have experience using Adobe InDesign. I guess my style is slightly more "polished" than some creators, but at the same time I'm clearly going for a different aesthetic than people doing cut and paste zines (though I've made those in the past).

(Edit/addition: Also, my handwriting is terrible!)

8. What do you find to be the positives and negatives of publishing your work in this way?

The work gets published and is out there. I mean, I could make a blog, but I'm not sure how well the haphazard and random things I write about would go over.

I like having a mini project to work towards, and when I'm done I can hand it to someone and say "Here, I wrote and made this". That's something I couldn't do with the print articles I've written (where once the issue it's printed in is gone, it's harder to show people).

Since I have a physical object that I created I can also swap/trade/sell it to other people. They can even act as a sort of business card, providing my contact info and an example of what I'm capable of doing.

9. Do you have full control of every step that goes into creating your zines, from concept through to printing?

Yes. Well, you are limited by the amount of money you have to spend (ie. colour printing is expensive), and the quality of the printers/copiers you are using. It's frustrating to photocopy a bunch of stuff and have it all be slightly crooked, but I can't let it bother me too much.

10. What advice would you give to someone who would like to start creating their own zines?

Just get out there and do it! Zines can be photos or drawings or collages or comics or essays or poetry or stories or reviews or any combination of the above or anything that can be printed on paper. You don't have to make hundreds of copies of your first zine if you don't want to, you don't even have to make any! (I have numerous zines in various states of completion that I gave up on.) However, my friends have been excited to see my new zines, and it's nice to get feedback on what you've created from people you know.

And that's the end of the interviews! (Well, I was also interviewed on video recently, but that was for something not zine related. Proper reviews should return on Monday.

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