One thing I kinda enjoy about New Year’s is looking back at the past year and blogging about it. Can you tell?
2021 obviously wasn’t an easy year for anyone but I’m trying to keep this post light and positive and focus on creative projects. I hope you’re doing alright!
Here are the things I did in the past year:
BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS / THINGS I’M PROUD OF:
In 2020 I decided to revive my solo project Lost Luna. I started home-recording my songs and in 2021 I self-released a digital EP called Shadow Play (and mini-zines and buttons to go along with it). Listen here. This was a big thing for me to achieve during the pandemic and a good way to cope when my band Lavender Witch had to take a pause from rehearsing and performing because of the covid situation. Lost Luna’s music is super lo-fi and DIY but I’m still happy and proud to have created some music on my own for a project that I’ve wanted to make a demo for for aaaages. And a second EP will be released very soon! More news on this blog asap…
Last year was my 20th zineversary (aka zine anniversary) and despite all the ideas I had, I couldn’t really “do” a lot to celebrate. Some of the things that I did do was look back at some of my oldest zines: Punk Feminist Mini Zine, Flapper Gathering, and Same Heartbeats. I also did a little DIY zine residency aka quiet holiday in the summer where I had time to work on some zines (including a mini-zine to celebrate 20 years of zine-making called Echotopia #2 which will be out in a few days!). Later in the year, I developed and performed a creativity gratitude ritual and got big into witchcraft in general. For example check the list of witchy zines I compiled in October. (Hopefully, 2022 will be magical too).
Another cool thing I really enjoyed doing was participate in podcasts. I was honoured to be interviewed for the Superbeast Podcast (as well as making a jingle for it) and proud to appear on the Cidade das Mulheres podcast. ❤ I was also interviewed in a few zines (Lights Go Out, The Screever…), mostly as part of Lavender Witch and Lost Luna.
I’ve been wanting to do a “zine reading” for a while, i.e. reading from one of my zines at a public event, a bit similar to spoken word or a poetry reading. Because of the pandemic, Swansea Zine Fest organised a virtual edition of their zine fest and they included and encouraged zine readings so I gave it a shot! (Scroll down for more zine fests).
Finally, my zines were distributed by several distros including Pen Fight and Vampire Hag (both UK distros), collected as part of several zine libraries such as AGV-Carhif and Fonds Suzan Daniel, and reviewed by Sea Green Zines (read the reviews of Witches’ Brew #1 and Do it yourself care #3).
OTHER CREATIVE STUFF:
As in 2020, doing crafty projects at home provided mr with entertainment and distraction. Here you can see some things I made: part 1 (facemasks, DIY oracle cards…), part 2 (sleeping masks, dableing in embroidery, and Chainsaw Bunny’s horrible washing machine adventure!), and part 3 (more face masks, buttons, felt self-portraits, and sewing patches on everything). And then there were some embroideries projects too!
Making zines could not left out in 2021 of course: I published Same Heartbeats #18, a 24 hour zine (read about the making of), the pandemic lockdown diary comic Confined #3+4 (read about the making of), and the Lost Luna mini-zines mentioned above, and I’ll be releasing 6 more mini-zines soon! Find the zine/merch bundles in my webshop.
I’ve also designed a new postcard, shared my protest posters, contributed illustrations to other people’s zines, books, and podcasts, and talking about illustrations… I finally built a portfolio website. Here it is.
I may seem like a hyper-active hyper-productive person when all of these blog posts are put together but that only goes for creative stuff, while I happily neglect household shores and stuff like that. 🙂
I like the idea of creative challenges such as dedicating a month to a certain project or creative exploration. For example initiatives like NaNoWriMo, Inktober, or Stitchtober. In 2021 however – and it may not come to any surprise – I focused on zines…
International Zine Month was fun again and I blogged about it a lot. 🙂 Here are a few highlights: I compiled a list of BIPOC zinesters, a list of distros, a list of youtube zine channels, and a list of L7 zines, updated/recreated my zinewiki page, made a collage with reasons why I like zines, made a flyer to advertise my zines and music, and visited the Girls Go BOOM Clubhouse zine library. Find the overview here.
I also participated in ZineWriMo, though a little less actively. Read the overview here.
VIRTUAL ZINE FESTS & IRL ZINE EVENTS
I was happy that virtual zine fests were still a thing in 2021 to provide some entertainment and virtual community. So I eagerly participated in several of them:
- Coin-Operated Birthday Zine Fair where I tabled
- PHX Zine Fest -> I “tabled” and participated in a panel of international zinesters!
- Portland Zine Symposium
- Queer Zest Zine Fest (take a look at my queerest zines) which included video meetings with zinesters
- Street Cat Zine Fest
- Swansea Zine Fest as mentioned above
There were two IRL zine events that I went to as well:
- Fan Zijn an exhibition in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) about music and fanzines -> take a look at what it was like
- A collective outdoors zine workshop organised by Les VoiZines in Ghent (Belgium)
- Read my previous blogpost for a list of music I listened to and films/series/youtube videos I watched
- Every month I posted about all the zines I read
- And here’s a blogpost with all the books I read
- Chainsaw Bunny turned 13! Hurray!
- I bought a guitarlele and I love her!
- And I visited the industry museum (with a zine-making station and printing presses!) in Ghent, the zine collection of the art library in Ghent, a witch town called Vielsalm, the Witches exhibition in Brussels, and the Into The Streets exhibition at Huis Van Alijn museum in Ghent.
Soooo, what did I check off my “to do list for 2021”?
Each January I try to come up with a list of things I’d like to do that year, fun stuff, not any new year’s resolutions I don’t want to put into practice. So these were my plans for 2021 and what I did with them:
- Release some music of Lost Luna on Bandcamp
- Learn more home-recording skills (f.e. by reading the book Guerrilla Home Recording)
I learned more options in Audacity (like doing a bit of “photoshopping” with sound) and read (half of) the book Guerrilla Home Recording.
- Write and record new songs with Lavender Witch
We’re working on new materials and if the pandemic situation permits, I hope we will be able to record it soon. We’ve already performed some of the new songs live in the only concert we did in 2021.
- Play concerts again with Lavender Witch (my dream is to play together with Judith Judah and Passionless Pointless! ❤ )
So yeah, we did 1 concert. 🙂 Those tour plans are still my dreams!
- Start a joke band called Zuurpruim and home-record some mean anti-patriarchal tunes.
I started writing songs and riffs but then used some of those riffs for Lost Luna songs instead because I felt more motivated to record them as Lost Luna. Maybe Zuurpruim can become a mysterious ficticious cult band.
- Finish and publish Same Heartbeats #18 (a split zine made with Xyendra of Zippity Zinedra Press!)
Same Heartbeats #18 turned out to be a 24 hour zine made during Virtual Swansea Zine Fest and not a split zine but I do hope to make that split zine with Xyendra one day soon!
- Finish and publish Confined #3 and maybe #4
YES! I finished both Confined #3 and #4 – hurray! #5 is in progress and might be the last issue.
- Finish and publish a mini-zine
YES! I created and published a few Lost Luna mini-zines and recently finished several more mini-zines which will be published very soon.
- Interview creative friends
YES! You can find two interviews in Confined #3!
- Travel abroad and/or explore my neighbourhood
No abroad travelling yet but I did enjoy exploring my city some more as well as travelling twice to a witchy village to take a pause from everything.
- Attend or table at a zine fest and/or radical bookfair (IRL and/or online)
YES! See above.
- Start sketching or writing down some scenes for a graphic novel
Been brainstorming but that’s it.
- Learn coptic stitch bookbinding and make my own hand-bound journal
Laurel Tree Bindery taught several bookbinding workshops online which I gladly and gratefully followed. Find her upcoming events on facebook.
- Design 1 or more new postcard(s)
YES! I finished and printed a postcard just in time for New Year’s!
- Draw a self-portrait
YES! Find this year’s self-portrait here.
- Get feminist stickers printed
Not yet, but hopefully soon.
- Design activist posters
- Read at least 210 zines
YES, and a lot more than 210 I think. 🙂
- Read at least 21 books
- Do something to celebrate my zineversary: 2021 is my 20-year-anniversary-of-making-zines – what should I do to celebrate it? ideas welcome…
YES, see above
OK, that’s it. :-p I’ll post soon about my plans for 2022! 🙂
What would YOU like to see on my blog and in my zines in 2022?
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