by Julianna Holshue
Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to write, but never had the focus for a novel. I could write poetry, short stories, jokes, and rhymes, but my heart was never set on in-depth world-building, drawn out character development, or well-planned plot arcs. No, my mind thrives better when I create the transient, even the changeable, as I am prone to distraction and grow restless from dealing with the same pieces of a story for too long. This same approach applies to my illustrations, which I have recently taken up. I sketch what I write about, which includes anthropomorphized creatures, ill-proportioned characters, untamed fauna, and bubble lettered dialogue. My illustration style lends itself more to the pages of a choose-your-own-adventure book rather than the deliberate order of the adorned walls of an art gallery, which works for me, since I do not plan on making a living as a novelist or classically trained artist.
I have always wondered what would happen if I combined my impromptu writings and drawings, or what genre or medium this amalgamation of creations from a dreamy, largely unorganized mind would fit into. I found my answer when I was introduced to the zine and its scatterbrained community of zinesters in a class called Self-Publishing taught by Dr. Jason Luther. I felt I belonged in this community as someone who indulges in the unexpected, random, and fluid process of creation. Zinesters, like me, are scatterbrains, and perhaps to your surprise, this method of creative functioning works to our advantage because of how experimental and open the zine medium is.
by Joe Gramigna
Discipline is hard. I’ve tried many times to reinvent myself via practices that I planned to follow diligently. The first few weeks, everything’s peachy. The 5 a.m. gym sessions get my blood flowing. The kale and green concoctions don’t yet taste like bug spray and depression. The lavender incense lightly laps against my nostrils to center a newfound meditation routine.