Hi there! It’s July 16th, a sleepy and very hot Monday, but it’s also International Zine Month (IZM)! Yay!
So today we are going to:
“make a list of reasons you love zines and share it with others”.
Because yes, of course we all love ziiiiines!
As a zine nerd, I made an entire mini-zine dedicated to why I like zines. I also wrote about it on this blog in 2015, 2014 and 2013 for International Zine Month. I even did research and wrote two articles on the motivations of zinesters (based on literature and interviews: survey 1, survey 2 and survey 3) that got published in two gender studies journals. Before that I also wrote an article about it in one of my zines Be All You Can Be too.
But for IZM 2018 I decided to think about the reasons why I love zines again. They probably don’t change much but I do think the reasons just multiply…
- Accessibility: zines are easy and cheap to make and cheap to buy (or sometimes free or for trade). You don’t need a lot of materials to make your own zine and everyone can make them, no journalism/art degree, talent, or experience necessary! Yes, you can write zines too!
- Creative freedom: you decide everything: you make your zine entirely how you want and about what subject(s) you want! There are no editors or advertisers to please or control your content or style. Your voice counts!
- Creative exploration: I love drawing and I wanted to experiment with writing and collage-making in my zines. I like it best when I can make the page (mostly) hand-made but I also enjoy editing in Photoshop and InDesign (or Scribus). I carefully choose which yarn to bind my zines with and sometimes add some colour on the cover pages.
- Paper treasure: I like that zines are made out of paper, that you can hold them, keep them, treasure them (even pet them, as some zinesters do 😉 – I can relate!). So much nicer than reading from a screen and also much lighter and easier to take with you everywhere than a book.
- Snail mail: zine parcels are often beautifully decorated and/or come with notes, postcards or letters, or with some little extras like stickers and flyers. It’s fun to receive zines/mail-art in my mailbox and to send them out as well. Zines make the best gifts! Sometimes I even dream about received nice zine snail mail. 🙂
- Therapeutic: zine-making, especially the cut & paste layouting part makes me feel so relaxed. Often zinesters write about important personal issues such as mental health and self-care which can be therapeutic and healing both to read and write about.
- Community building: zines were important for me to find my community. Zine scenes create friendly, supportive and encouraging networks and helped me find people with similar passions and interests.
- Zine friends: I love sending out zines and receiving zines from zine pen pals (or even strangers) or working on zines together in a café with local zine friends. It’s so nice and inspirational to see and read the creativeness and enthusiasm of other zinesters. Zine friends rule!
- Personal stories: zines are similar to letters for me with the authors sharing often personal stories or passions with the readers. It means a lot to be able to relate to the things I read in zines, something that rarely happens in other media.
- Target your audience: zines don’t have a high circulation and will never be like “bestsellers” or make you “famous” but that’s a good thing. The writing can be more personal and private. It’s kind of in between a diary/letter and a book/magazine and you don’t risk trolls or spam like on blogs or social media. You can write anonymously or use a pseudonym and choose where and how to sell or distribute your publication and keep some control over who gets to read it. This way your readers will really be interested in your zine and be supportive and positive.
and probably a lot more reasons I forgot at the moment…
Yes, it’s clear I like zines a lot!