2020 has been an unusual year to say the least… I’m extremely privileged in several ways so I really can’t complain and I won’t do that, even though it was hard for me too at times. I’ve also been lucky to find a lot of energy and motivation to work on creative projects which have been an excellent form of distraction, and which were also just fun to do. Having things available at home that you are passionate about can be a life-saver in these times. Even if there are people and activities and places that I miss and that I can’t meet/do/visit right now, I’m so grateful for the existence of zines and for my passion for drawing and for making/listening to music. Reading books and watching tv series have been entertaining for me as well, as were walking and exploring my neighbourhood.
Recently I’ve started writing some posts about what 2020 was like for Echo Zines. In this post I’ll look back at the new year’s resolutions I made for 2020 and at things I did and made last year. So this is a little creative overview of the past year:
My resolutions and plans for 2020 were:
- Make and print Same Heartbeats #16, 17, and 18
Finished and published #16 and 17, working on #18
- Make some mini-zines
- Make “The Oracle of ECHO” card set to inspire creativity
I made my own personal oracle card set and keep adding cards to it which was an excellent easy project when I was feeling very uncreative. Thanks to my witchy zinester friends for the inspiration! Some day I’ll make the Oracle of Echo…
- Make (a) new postcard(s)
DONE: I designed two new postcards and got them printed.
- Sew more
DONE: especially face masks of course
- Draw a self-portrait
DONE: you can see it here
- Draw at least one Chainsaw Bunny comic
DONE: Chainsaw Bunny plays a major role in my Confined diary comic zines
- Go to at least one zine fest abroad
SORT OF DONE: I had planned to go to 5 zine fests last Spring (in Germany, the UK, and Belgium) but of course they were all cancelled. I did go to several international virtual zine events which were fun too and gave me a chance to “meet” zinesters from all over the world.
- Participate in a zine reading
- Release “Awakening” the first album + zine of my band Lavender Witch
- Tour with Lavender Witch
NOPE: we only did two live concerts this year, both in Belgium, and 1 livestream show.
- Write and record more songs with Lavender Witch
We did start writing new songs but haven’t had the chance to record them yet.
- Finally finish that Lost Luna album
I started (re)recording songs (old and new ones)… to be continued next year!
- Try to improve my guitar skills
I hope I did at least a little bit… still lots of work to be done…
- Read at least 20 books
- Write mini-reviews of all the zines I read
I posted photos of all the zines I read instead of reviewing them to give myself more time to read more.
Overview of the things I did in 2020:
THE ZINES I’VE MADE THIS YEAR:
I’ve made several diary comic quaranzines, two issues of Same Heartbeats, and two mini-zines, and I’ve worked on some collaborative zine projects.
THE POSTCARDS I’VE MADE THIS YEAR
In 2020 I made two new postcards. Take a look here to see them.
ALL THE ZINES I’VE READ:
Since this year, I don’t write regular zine reviews anymore but I do post pictures of all the zines I read every month. Because I want to keep spreading the word about all of the wonderful DIY publications that I stumble upon and seek out and love.
VIRTUAL ZINE EVENTS I’VE ATTENDED OR PARTICIPATED IN:
Covid-19 didn’t allow for a lot of IRL zine fests or craft fairs to happen in 2020. But zinesters and zine fest organisers are creative people so a lot of them have created very cool virtual alternatives. I’ve attended and/or participated in: Swansea Zine Fest (contributed articles and free downloadable zine), International Zine Librarians UnConference, Marché créatif féministe (tabled), Coin-Operated Virtual Christmas Zine Fair (tabled), Snail Mail Zine Fair (tabled), Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Book Fair, Brighton Zine Network’s 24 hour zine event (participated), MoZiPro workshops, and a few others…
Another virtual event that was very exciting for me to do was teaching a zine workshop via videocall. It was the first workshop I ever taught online. It was first planned to be an IRL workshop to be held outdoors but because of the worsening Covid-19 situation we changed that plan. It turned out to be really fun, if I can say so myself.
ALL THE BOOKS I’VE READ:
Lavender Witch – the band I play guitar and sing backing vocals in – released our debut album Awakening (on CD/digital/tape, including a zine) in the summer of 2020. Listen here. We played two live concerts and a livestream concert, made a video for “Not My Sister”, and got our music featured in a documentary about feminist collectives in Brussels. Our songs were played in several podcasts and radioshows and we were interviewed and mentioned in articles for webmagazines and (video) podcasts. In the meantime we also kept working on new songs… There will be a more detailed overview of our adventures on the blog of Lavender Witch soon.
Because I was (stuck?) at home more and unable to rehearse (or play concerts) with Lavender Witch for several months in 2020, I decided to dig up my solo project Lost Luna. The lockdown gave me time and motivation to write and record songs on my own. Still early days and still a lot of work but I hope to share some of it online soon.
Curious to know which bands and artists I listened to a lot this year and inspired me? Read this blog post.
- I’ve created lots of crafty stuff in 2020 but I’ll post some pictures of that in another blog post.
- I participated in International Zine Month.
- I participated in ZineWriMo (Zine Writing Month).
- I was interviewed by Archiv der Jugendkulturen and by Shoot Me Again about my zines and my love for zine culture.
- I wrote about the importance of zines, also in quarantine times on this blog.
- One of my drawings was included in an L7 video.
- Some of my zines are now part of the collections of Barnard Zine Library in New York and Kunstenbibliotheek in Ghent.
- My zines were mentioned in the Happy Mail Monday video by Sea Green Zines.
Not a bad year, huh? Especially during an ongoing pandemic… As I said I’ve been incredibly lucky and privileged… If you’d like to read more about what this year was like, read my Confined and Scissors & Chainsaws zines.
In a next blogpost I’ll write about my plans and dreams for 2021!