Zines have been on my radar for a while, but as a fringe idea that I didn't fully understand. It wasn't until I watched some YouTube videos about them (YouTube always fixes everything) and then attended a workshop about them that I got really excited by the concept of making my own.
I realized that the whole point of zines is that they're all about harnessing the power of self-publishing. They toss out any ideas about being precious with a huge project and just let you make something, anything, however you want. I'd just been starting to think about the possibilities of submitting my work to magazines and journals for publication, and while I was excited, I was also sad that it completely depended upon other people whether or not I'd get to see my work in print. Zines made me realize that it doesn't have to depend on anyone else.
I decided to make one! The more I thought about it the more I got excited by using the zine to share more voices than just my own. I thought I'd love to celebrate exactly what it was about zines that excited me: overcoming the fear to create and just doing it. So I reached out to my friends and low and behold they were all excited to take part. The process of organizing it began! It was so much fun to collect lots of different types of work - poetry, a short story, an essay, illustrations, a photograph, a comic - and try to pair them up and put things in an order that (at least I think) made sense.
And then, poof! I had a beautiful object. Something I'd made that celebrated art. I can't really convey, unless you've also felt it, the absolute pride that came from creating something I was genuinely proud of. It was also so important to me that it was physical. As a very internet-oriented being, physical objects are not usually in the realm of things I create. This felt so real and heavy and palpable. Can you tell how in love with it I am?
Next up came sharing it! I decided to make a video that celebrated zines, hoping to spread the excitement that zines had sparked in me with everyone else. And I decided to make it available both digitally and physically. I love that it's physical, as mentioned, but I can't escape my love of the internet it seems. The idea that people could instantly have it, anywhere in the world, that's a beautiful force I couldn't break away from.
If you want to check it out, click here. Thank you to everyone that contributed to the zine, and I hope everyone enjoys it. (And if you're wondering why it's called "Puffin Food".... all is revealed in the zine!)