Zines – short for fanzines or magazines – are independent or self-published publications informed by the DIY ethos, usually hand-made and of a limited run. This weekend, on Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 of June, we host our annual MCA Zine Fair. Showcasing over 100 creators of zines, the festival will also host creative workshops dedicated to making, swapping and selling. We asked some stallholders at this year’s fair to tell us a bit about their foray into the wonderful world of zines.
I only got into zines quite recently. All the street artists and urbex photographers I’m friends with were doing it, and I was super keen to give it a go.
At the time, I had been working on this little character called 'Monstery’, and had been getting her out (on the streets) loads – that first zine I made was a kind of record of what Monstery had been doing that past year. It was a good excuse to get it all together, edit my own work and figure out where to go next with it.
cute, quirky, adventure, illustration and street art
The best advice would be to just get started, although I do feel that getting finished might pose an equally, if not, more daunting task. I don’t think I am alone when I say that having an event like the MCA Zine Fair to act as a deadline really helps.
For anyone keen to give it a go, I think that heading over to a zine fair for a bit of inspiration would be a good start – talk to people and ask questions. After that, I’m sure there are loads of resources online that can give you tips and guide you through the process.
My first zine was pretty basic, just a record tracing the adventures of Monstery through sketches, stickers, illustration and street art. After being part of my first zine fair, and being exposed to the diversity of what was on offer and the breadth of what was possible, that really opened it up. This year I have colour zines, mini-zines, zines exploring specific themes and printed on appropriately coloured, corresponding paper … I had too many ideas and went a bit overboard.
What I love about zine making is actually the same thing I love about street art – that is, the sentiment that you don’t need anyone’s approval to show the world your work. I think it is really important for people not to wait for someone else to tell them that their art, photographs or writing is good enough to be published. If you believe in it, put it out there.
Ashley Ronning is a bit of a zine queen, hers have these beautifully tactile, Rizzograph printed pages – they really are something special. Andros is an urbex photographer and his work is fantastic – I got his zine last year and i’m looking forward to getting the next one. I also have a table next to William Nghiem at the MCA on Sunday and i love his paintings, so super keen to see what he comes up with.
A few of my good friends suggested participating in the MCA Zine Fair as a way of being productive and getting my drawings out there. One of them had a stall at the fair last year and had a lot of fun with it so I thought I’d try it out this year!
Haven’t figured that out yet…
Don’t overthink it.
I’ve been inspired to create things by artists such as Audrey Kawasaki, Henrietta Harris and Ozabu.
So far I’d have to say how broad the spectrum is. It’s interesting seeing just how unique people’s ideas are and what can be made out of those ideas.
To be completely honest, I’m kinda just getting into zines now and making them so I haven’t really collected any yet!