I attended Bryce Galloway’s zine workshop today, and proclaim it as one of the most liberating, and creative, workshops I have attended in all the years I have visited SPARK.
A zine is a self-published magazine, using original or appropriated materials to produce a small limited circulation. The main method of production is by using a photocopier. This is to limit costs, and to add a grime/raw aesthetic to the zine of which they are well known for.
Before this workshop, I didn’t know a publication like a zine could exist, or exist for more than one edition (Bryce will be having his 50th edition celebration tomorrow night). The advertisement suggested those who identify as ‘frustrated poets, comic artists, or politically inclined banterers’ should come and investigate this word, so I signed up.
Bryce started the workshop by showing slides of some New Zealand and international zines he had seen at various zinefests he had attended, and co-ordinated (he is currently the operator of the NZ zinefest held in Wellington).
Afterwards, we were grouped around three different tables, and took votes as to what theme we should work to when collectively producing our own zine. We had some magazines that had been provided/people had brought in from home laid out on the tables to use, as well as our own original drawings/poetry/prose to provide.
We had one hour to produce two A4 sized pieces of work. The theme my table chose was ‘anti politics’, a popular theme considering the daily news is filled with keywords like ‘GCSB’, and how there are always bigger fish to fry.
After hurriedly finishing the second page (we all forgot our mission was two pages, not one) we had to cull back to one page, lay everyone’s chosen page on the ground, and work together in producing layouts that were both cohesive to our theme, and looked nice. This process happened quite quickly, even though there were 17 voices in my group to argue with.
We photocopied our zine, and set up a production line for folding, clipping, mashing insides together, and finally stapling it all up using a $150 long handled stapler (they do not come cheap ladies and gentlemen).
Holding my first zine, I was reminded it was the first tangible piece of creative work I have accomplished in, what feels like, eternity. The beast of desire in my head had been awokened from its slumber, and was ready to get its zine brain turned on.
We learnt how to make a small eight-page zine from a single sheet of A4, so I have a starting point with which the beast will roam freely.
It feels very liberating, during experiences like these, to be reminded that there are others out there who will do things simply for the love of it, like creating beautiful things like zines.
Here is what a zine is not:
A zine is not traditionally ‘good’ to look at.
A zine is not made for money.
A zine is not made for fame.
Here is what a zine is:
A zine is an expression, a thought base, a movement.
A zine is frustration, anger, passion, wit, humour, emotion.
A zine is proof you are not a commodity.
A zine is proof you are something more than dollars and glory.
A zine is for the lols.
A zine is something everyone should do.
A zine is for ‘them’ to be reminded of the previous step.
But most of all, a zine is for you.