I have just completed my third zine, this is for part of my illustration (BA Hons) degree work. I have to admit now zines are fast becoming an area of personal interest for me, I just love the fact can create little zines about anything and everything.
My first zine was created just a little over a year ago, it was for part of an exercise for university as well but for creative book design unit. Simply titling it "my zine". Back then I had illustrated a journey which I would love to take with book illustrations and what books mean to me. Little did I know, this was maybe the first steps that resulted in my book "voice".
During this first zine I wanted to really honour the cut and paste roots of zines, so added everything digitally as a cut and phase with lesso tool, to help me gain this vibe, I used photos, paper textures and mark making. Finishing by doing a basic self printed and very small run of copies, which few of my other students had ordered and had seemed to enjoy. For this new zine I did my research and checked out the zine scene locally in Sheffield and to my joy discovering actually Sheffield holds a strong scene, hosting "Sheffield Zine Fest" I cannot wait to see if can visit and get involved in the future. Seems prior to starting my degree I had been living under a rock missing things like this. It was during my research I meet a fellow Zine Comic artist called Highgreen Dawn ( www.highgreendawn.co.uk ) and on Instagram #Highgreendrawn.
They have quite a few comic zines and kindly supplied with a few for my visual reference and research. I truly recommend checking out Highgreen Dawn has this very quirky sense of humour and some brilliant puns to go with it. So getting back to my new zine, I had wanted a zine that almost continued where "My Zine" left things. Also I had to take into account the exercise brief which meant I had to use elements from my uni sketchbooks. I have lately being doing a lot of personal reflections upon things, all while trying to discover what diversity and inclusion means to me. I do now realise I hold a lot of hurt over things that has been said to me, these are just one of the many of things that I had bottled up and buried deep. A lot of the words said was both unintentional and intentional, if you ever seen the netflix show "13 reason why" then you will understand it is normally is a lot of the little things that chip away, a lot of series of unrelated things all adding up until all boiling down to a person own perspective eating away inside. Just a series of words that were spoken without due care slowly eating away at one soul so that the whole "Just ignore them" is such a feeble attempt at someone who in reality is drowning and not being able to deal with the words alone. But as much as I've been a victim of such words, I am also perpetrator. My careless words, my privilege and lack of understanding would have meant an innocent comment on my behalf, or even words spoken on a bad day or frustration on my own life boiling over would have meant words I've said would have indeed hurt others.
I started to put myself in the shoes of others, it made it seem less personal and aimed just at me, I also wasn't quite alone in the way that I taken things. I am not excusing people who troll or try to build themselves up by intentionally saying mean things to drag other down, they have their own issues to deal with, that not what this zine is about. But, it is mean coming to terms with the comments that have scarred me and the ones I carry every day as a form of demon on constant repeat in my mind whenever I have a bad day, moment or thought. I know I cannot change this. This zine is moment for me to say "this was said to me" and then me letting it go. There are a lot more hurtful and personal things said to me as a deaf/disabled person, if I was to list them all I would be writing a novel and likely fall into a very bitter place. So I kept for a collection of five things and what I thought in my head and wished I could have said back.
I wanted this to be like the diary of Frida Kahlo, with hand written elements just blending into the illustrations, colourful and at times appearing random
As a disabled person Frida Kahlo is so much more than a muse, she is almost like a blue print of guidance for all of those who find art to scream our pain and injustice. Her work touches me on a level that can both relate and yet also not. Gives just a small insight to how she lived, coped and everything additional the world kept throwing at her. I still have so much to learn about Frida Kahlo, still working away though the the book by Alas Rotas with wonder. Maybe in the future may try to apply more of the inspiration I hold for Frida Kahlo within my work. Within "what did you say Zine" I have used my sketchbook scans, post it notes and a character, from this I was able to put together a very personal zine which I allowed for the raw and real mistakes, kept it all within the pages. You could see this as me just embracing all my many imperfect sides and moment to rant at the world. Very much similar to the old philosophy of screaming into a pillow, I feel better for having done it. This zine is never about them. But, about me dealing with things in a new way. There are limited copies of my 16 page zine for sale (UK only at the moment) for £3 (P&P £1.50) Please feel free to "contact me" or message me on my socials if have any questions or would like a copy.