my favorite thing is feeling that i’m being deliberate about my ish. but i keep noticing how much of my mindspace goes to what i dont want. and i sorta made this deal with myself that id really, really like to not recycle the same mothereffin goals for 2018. just cause id like to make space in my mind/energy for new things. and this longing for the same things, i’m not really about it right now. i’ve definitely expanded this year, but in some areas i feel stagnant, which is the one of the quickest ways to send me into spiral of anxiety and disconnectedness.
Two weeks ago I was part of Yeah That's What She Said's Motherland event at the Knockdown Center. It felt different than other events I've been part of because my mind was on process, and many of the talks I had with other makers went back to that. The dedication and energy and pushing. Putting in the time just because we want to know that we’re building. Knowing we have to follow up on emails, and not always wanting to. Finding that building a website can be oddly therapeutic. And of course, feeling weird things and reminding ourselves that we can feel other things too, that we can work around our discomfort and doubt and fears.
In my early twenties I longed to be 28, because in my mind it signified time passing and progress. I imagined that at 28 I’d have control of my life and would be happily self-employed, traveling often and moving from project to project. I’m 27 years old, and I’m not sure that in eleven months I’ll be as carefree or as settled as younger me envisioned. I’ve definitely become more grounded, and I’m way more focused on my creative work, but I really don’t feel that I have it as together as young me imagined. And yet, I've built and I've used my fire, and the messiness has turned out to be very important in all this.
The Dominican Women's Development Center is joining the BAAD! Ass Women Festival in hosting a zine fair in the spirit of creative resistance. The 17th annual series, happening from March 9th to April 8th, "celebrates the empowerment of women through art, culture, and performance". Our Health Promotion team is organizing ZINISTER, a zine fair focused on qpoc and our resistance.
I know I want to do this, but I've been holding myself back. I have to continue to remind myself that I can handle the new-ness of this. Discomfort is okay; I'll live.
Am I not capable of learning and improving? Am I afraid of having an opinion? Is my fear of being wrong or disliked bigger than my visions and passions? The only thing that would guarantee failure, or me being exempt of critique, is not doing anything at all. Sitting back and simply taking in other people's work, and longing for a life in which I create and see my potential through. Is that what I want for myself? Do I want to be an expectator? Do I really want to step aside for my fears? No, I do not want to merely watch, and I do not want to my fears to drive my life. I refuse to feel that my life is happening to me, and I'm just reacting. I'm forever growing and adapting, and I get to push past my comfort zone.
I finally made a new zine. The title is "the sun is coming for us", and I made it to reaffirm my commitment to self-care and creativity, and to remind myself that waves have always been part of my process. It's about me using all I got, and prioritizing creative projects, learning, and self-love, in this post-election hell. I can't control the collective level, but I can add to it, and I can be intentional in my own life. The biggest goal is to build the life I want for myself.
There are different ways to go about zine making - by hand, digitally, or a combination of both. Nowadays I intergrate both digital and handmade practices, though my initial experience with zine-making was digital. As I started spending more time on my laptop in 2012, putting the zine together was more of an extension of the things I was already doing. I will write another workflow/resource post on my current flow, but for sake of providing different making options, I'll first go over zines that are made mostly on a computer.
A zine is a self-made publication. Similar to magazines, they may contain writing, art, comics, photography, and editorial design. Unlike them, zines are usually created on a much smaller budget, and lean towards DIY principles; the content, format, printing, and distribution is up to the discretion and means of the people creating them. Zines are traditionally made with paper, but nowadays many people also make them digitally, and use platforms such as Issuu to publish them online.
The fact that zines can be made with a single copy paper, makes them cheaper and more accessible than many other art mediums. Their low-production cost has allowed them to be used in many grassroots movements, and has enabled many artists and writers to be self-published. The fact that a single paper (all we need for a 4fold zine) can be copied for 10cents at a local pharmacy or 99cent store makes zines a great way for anyone to be self-published.