I’ve wanted to make a zine for the longest time, but as usual I have been “waiting for the right time, the right topic, the skills, the tools etc.”, and I just didn’t. It went from a small seed to an avalanche of inspiration, to paralysis, to putting it out of my mind until it came back with force and the cycle repeated itself.
Like this project, I have many others. Tucked away in a Wunderlist (who uses it anymore?) I also have a Trello board, a notebook, a Pinterest board… you get the picture. But the most insistent of them was a zine. I was a 90’s kid. Riot Grrrls were my idols. I had the booklet Stolen Sharpie Revolution.
I wanted to make a zine of my writings, my poems (I don’t write poetry anymore), my stories and some photos but it was all garbled in my head. As years went by I saw the rise of indie publishing. Beautiful magazines à la Kinfolk, Gentlewoman, Oh Comely, etc. became my obsession and the desire to create a publication resurfaced.
Fast forward decades. Still I didn’t create my zine.
Or did I?
Ideas planted, tangible things grow
These are examples of the zines I have made. They exist individually. One of a kind, moments frozen. Inspiration struck. I folded papers, rubbed colors, crayons, ink and gouache. I cut and pasted and I piled them up while I looked longingly at all those indie creators who sat in their tables at the Montreal event Expozine.
One of my favorite artists is Mélodie Vachon Boucher and I took her impromptu 1 hour zine-making workshop during the Montreal Comic Arts Festival. I was in luck since I didn’t have the possibility to take her regular 4 hour class.
I had always sort of snubbed the 1 page zine, but during her workshop she made me discover the powerful effect of a tiny book. During that workshop she said: dites oui à toutes vos idées. It had a powerful effect on me. Instead of fearing the avalanche of ideas that populate my mind every single day, I took a few and said, yes please do come out.
I work only forward
Never one to read my past writings or revisiting my past in general, I’m known for moving on, leaving cities never to return and I do that with my days as well. So when by accident I need to find a receipt, a document or something in my studio, I’m usually met with tons of work that I made one day but which as the day came and went, the work did too.
That’s the true you
It’s the things that we neglect, the things that came through you, not those that come TO you that are so valuable. Of course, you need to put in the time, but mostly you need to put in the wonder. These days without my social media distraction I see how easy it is to say yes.
Introducing: Pencil Dogs a Zine
I’ve spent most of May and June sketching and painting animals, doing a lot of pencil sketches to feel more confident in my lines but mostly because dogs are currently my number one source of comfort. In our visit to Turin I asked my husband to sit with me in a huge dog park. The feeling of happiness I get from watching these creatures is unlike any other.
I wanted to capture what it is about dogs that brings me so much joy. The qualities they represent, their underlying character traits, their infinite love.
You can get this little downloadable zine in my shop. Make it into a nice hand-made gift for a fur-mom or fur-dad.
If you get it, please take a photo of it with your pup and tag it #pencildogs so I can add him or her to my sketchbook and next issue of Pencil Dogs.