Many people ask what a zine is, so here is a simple explanation: A zine, pronounced, zeen (long e’s) is an abbreviated form of a magazine, created using original text, images,and drawings. It is self-published using a photo copier and usually printed in small batches.
My Salem Art Group decided it would be fun if we each created a zine (there are six of us) and did a swap. We chose a quarter page size format and other than that, we could make our zine on any topic of our choosing.
I started brainstorming ideas for my zine. I considered doing a zine on colors, favorite words, my obsessions, inspiring quotes, but ended up choosing creativity as my theme; where and when I started my creative journey and how I keep it going.
It started to take shape in my head and I jotted ideas in my journal. I knew I wanted the pages to have the look of old school typewritten pages (and I recently won a typewriter in a raffle – I bought a LOT of tickets!). I also knew early on I wanted to use a few photos from when I was a child.
It struck me that an original piece of art would be fun to add to a page, so I painted a little abstract painting on a piece of watercolor paper.
Beyond those things, I just started making lists and recording ideas — verything from my studio playlist to what I drink during the day.
The cover was created using copies of my original abstract paintings. I made color photocopies, then cut out feathers from the copies, creating a sunburst of art. (That’s me as a child, using my original concept of incorporating childhood photos).
Once I finished the layout, which takes a great deal of concentration so all the pages line up properly, I made my copies, cut the pages in half, folded and collated (my zine is 20 pages, counting the front and back covers). While watching Season 7 of Nurse Jackie, I did a simple stitched binding using red waxed linen thread.
Another peek inside:
I decided to print 14 copies, five for my art group, one for me. My husband asked for one, so did my daughters. I’m guessing my mom and sister will want one, and I’ve set aside a couple for friends who have given me their zines in the past. Each copy is numbered, making them feel exclusive and special.
I’ve wanted to create a zine for a long time and it was as much fun as I expected. I already have plans for future zines, but thank heavens for my art group had a deadline to get this one created and published.
The Salem Art Group met this week to exchange our zines. It was like Christmas as each of us distributed our zines and shared about our inspiration and process. My zine was text heavy, Tory’s was filled with bird idioms through text, drawings, and collage, Nancy shared her drawings of the human form, Katy produced a zine using her landscape sketches, Kathy illustrated a zine she titled “Courtesans, Witches, Camp Scouts, & Nervous Nell,” and Bonnie shared sketches of what she found when she was snowed in and cleaned out some drawers (and each of us received a special teeny tiny item from her cleaning).