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 further observing the zine medium, it became obvious to me that artistic expression in all forms is encouraged given its inclusive nature. And in a community where the avant-garde is welcomed, the external and internal forms of zines can vary from conventional formats like collages, mixed media, photography, comics, illustrations, collections, poetry, prose, to completely new formats. The value of diversity exhibited by this community supports the concept that disorganized people flourish in this medium as diversions from order, conventions, and focus are embraced in zine making where anything goes.
Zine making is also inherently more emotional than logical given its tentative approach, which caters to a mind that succeeds in a less constrictive environment free from judgment. Dwelling Place Community Building, an organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan, describes zines as “a voice for the untried ideas that come from creating without a sense of stigma against the outcome,” and so without the expectation of adhering to rules and conventions, the zinester is free to explore uncharted waters. Therefore, I believe many zinesters favor intuitive subjects over cerebral ones because these subjects fit the medium as their expressions are typically more free-flowing and vulnerable than structured and conventional.
It is important to let go of the notions that everything has to be perfectly complete and according to the idea you initially set out to do…Art is an organic thing and should be approached and accepted without limits by the creator. I think being possessive of your vision is a way of suppressing parts of yourself or your art that still deserve a change to considered, even if it is not part of the final outcome.
https://www.jasonluther.net/zines/ - Dr. Jason Luther’s website.
Antiquated Future’s website - an online zine distro in Portland, Oregon.
Quimby’s Bookstore - a popular zine distro located in Chicago, Illinois.