July is International Zine Month, and for 2020 I have challenged myself to make a mini zine every single day throughout July! That is 31 whole mini zines from start to finish PLUS a tutorial style video documenting each zine that I make!! A busy month for me indeed!!
Bookmark this post, and pop back to see how I am getting on with this challenge – I will be updating it every day with my latest zine…..
Day 1 was Bubbles! Bubbles are a staple of my pattern drawing style, and I wanted to dedicate a whole tiny zine to the humble bubble. Each page is an experimental drawing of different ways to draw bubbles, as well as a tutorial page showing you to draw four individual bubble patterns.
Day 2 was Hidden. For me, that meant creating black-out poetry. I used an old, tattered, duplicate copy of Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse to uncover my poetry from. The method is simple, yet really effective, and a perfect boost of inspiration for a poetry writing novice like myself! You take a marker that is thick, and dark enough to cover up the text, and then cover over the words with only your poem remaining to be read. My poetry started off with deep consideration, and literary thought… but then quickly descended into finding the rude bits and making dirty poetry! It was good fun!!
Day 3 was Discarded. For me, that meant going back in time. The theme for my final A Level art project was Discarded, and I wanted to make a mini-zine to be a documentation and a way to share that body of work. I was super proud of what I created when I was my little 17-year old self, and it was the first time I really threw myself into my art, and realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life.
Day 4 was Banana. For me, that meant journeying into the kitchen! I enjoy cooking, but I rarely make the time for it. Recently, I have started to collect recipes for dishes I want to cook, and I am slowly experimenting in the kitchen. This zine is a result of those experimentations, in particular, my experimentations with bananas!! This mini-zine is full of delicious and nutritious recipes featuring the humble banana to help you get one… or more of your five a day! All of the recipes are vegan, simple to cook, and use easy to source ingredients. Bananas are among the most important food crops on the planet! I hope you will enjoy eating them in these decadent recipes!
Day 5 was Microadventure. A Microadventure is an outdoor adventure that is “small and achievable, for normal people with real lives” and this microadventure zine is all about our day trip to the beautiful fishing village of St Abbs… or as it is now more commonly know New Asgard.
This tiny, remote village was used as a set in Avengers Endgame, and became the home of the remaining stranded Asgardians. I made this teeny tiny zine to document our shenanigans, and share our travel stories with you. I hope you enjoy reading all about our mini-adventure, and seeing the photography from this stunning Scottish coastal village.
Day 6 was Conversation. I met my partner, Stuart, online. For the first year of our relationship, it existed mostly in the digital sphere. We lived in different cities, at opposite ends of the country… and I am an anxious bean when it comes to phonecalls, so Messenger chats were our main option. It worked for us. Even now, a lot of our conversations happen through our phone-screens. It might sound cold, and distant, but sometimes I struggle to form my thoughts into words, and more often than not they stumble out of my mouth in incoherent rambles. Damn you anxiety!! Luckily, I am able to string together sentences more coherently when I type them out. Stuart is very understanding of all of this, and he will patiently wait while my fingers tap away at the keys, and then we can talk things out. Our communication has evolved, and grown through the digital. In this zine, I wanted to share a little snippet of what some of our conversations look like, as well as telling the story of how we first met. It started with a question prompt, and meandered into a glimpse of our relationship… all the while enjoying the stunning views of New Asgard, which we visited during the making of the Microadventure zine!
Day 7 was Climate. For me, that meant writing tips on how to be more environmentally friendly in small ways! When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, I think we all need to start small. Enacting manageable bite-size changes is much better than not doing anything at all, and we all need to start somewhere. I wanted to make this zine as a tiny guide with a few ideas on how to make little changes happen in your life for the benefit of the planet!
Day 8 was Care Guide. For me, that meant creating a care guide for my Fluffy Jellyfish blog all about the Hierodula majuscula Praying Mantis. Praying Mantids make fantastic pets as they are beautifully unusual creates, and are fascinating to observe. This care guide is all about how to care for the Hierodula majuscula Praying Mantis. Gamora was my Hierodula majuscula, and my introduction to the world of Mantis keeping – this zine is dedicated to her! Gamora was a beautiful 9.5cm lady, and her adult form was a stunning shade of bright green, with sharp contrasting reds on her forelegs. I had her from an L4 instar, and she lived to a great old age of 23months. I miss you special lady, you brought so much joy into my life.
Day 9 was Eyes. For me, that meant getting back into the roots of my drawing style. I used to draw eyes all the time. I was a little obsessed with them. They became a large feature in my Faery Wings jewellery project, and it was from there that I started drawing patterns in the first place. Those initial pattern designs were the origins of my illustrative style today, and I owe all of this to my obsession with drawing eyes! This mini-zine is dedicated to that obsession, as I used my creation time to be purely experimental with my pen, and dive straight into the zine and get drawing! I did not make any pencil sketches, or plan any of the drawings, I just set to work and let my inspiration tick away as I was drawing. As I was drawing that this zine would make a fantastic colouring book, so I decided to leave all the pages as black and white line-work – with the exception of the front page, where I added a little colour to be almost like a serving suggestion of what the reader could do with the inside pages!! I hope you will enjoy finding your creativity by colouring in the eyes in this colouring book zine!
Day 10 was Botanical. For me, that meant figuring out all of the different ways I could use to capture botanical elements to use in my illustrations. This zine is a glimpse into my sketchbook process. It was an experimental journey for me to create, which translates into a fun how to guide for you to learn all about how to add more botanical elements into your own art projects. In this zine you will learn how to press, seal, rub, hammer, and print your natural elements, as well as some tips and tricks for how to collect your floras. I hope you enjoy getting out into your natural world and making art!
Day 11 was Playlists. For me, that quite simply meant making a bunch of playlists for different occasions! Music really has been the glue that has bonded my life together, it is there to pick up my pieces when I feel broken. My musical taste has evolved a lot. My Chemical Romance and The Dresden Dolls are the two bands that shaped my music tastes, and in fact, my life the most. I am now a digital listener, as it seems to be the easiest way to collect all the songs I love in one place… but I do still have an ache for the CD and the record, I like the physical things sometimes. That is why I wanted to make a hand-written zine full of playlists with some of my favourite music, and I decided to theme each playlist to a specific activity or setting. My 6 playlists are devoted to Making Art, Feeling Blue, Walking in the Woods, Having Sex, Going on a Roadtrip, and Happiness.
Day 12 was Pattern. For me, that meant putting my tutorial hat on and creating a how to draw patterns guide zine! Inside this zine you will find 6 different step by step guides for drawing unique patterns. These are great for adding detailed elements to your drawings, as well as practicing your line skills, and giving you inspiration for sketchbook drawing exercises. This is Issue 001 in this series, with many more tutorials coming out for you in the future! Happy learning!
Day 13 was Myth. For me, that meant diving under the waves to tell some tales about my sharp-toothed friends. The 14th of July is Shark Awareness Day, and to celebrate this I wanted to make a zine all about sharks. It is true that sharks are impressive hunters and predators, yet the sad fact remains that these magnificent creatures are more threatened by people than we are by sharks. This is a day of respect for these wonderful animals. SHARKS ARE FRIENDS NOT FOOD!
Day 14 was Wings. For me, that meant practising character design. My work has always featured a fantastical element, and I enjoy adding fantasy into my illustrations. I used this zine prompt as a sketchbook exercise to help me design different wing elements for my drawings. I hope you can enjoy using this zine for your own character design reference, or you can use it as a colouring book!
Day 15 was Adult. For me, that meant showing off some of my sexual illustrations. My portfolio of NSFW illustration is inspired by my deepest darkest desires, and I often feature strange creatures, rope play, strong feminine symbols, and kink pride within my highly patterned portraiture. The crisp black and white lines have become my signature style, and this Adult zine shows off a collection of my kinked up illustrations. Please only purchase this zine if you are over 18 years of age.
Day 16 was Character. For me, that meant having a conversation about Emojis. The word Character can have many meanings, but the 17th is World Emoji Day, so it is those characters that are stuck in my mind! I really like using Emojis, as I said to Stuart in our conversation, I feel like they add a human emotion to our words. Informal chatterings on social media can often come across as harsher than they are, or the meaning is slightly lost somewhere in the void behind our screens, and these tiny little pictures can add context and feelings to our words. This little zine is dedicated to the humble Emoji, and in it I have a conversation with Stuart all about how we use Emojis, our favourites, and a bunch of interesting facts and information all about Emojis!!
Day 17 was Tea. For me, that meant indulging in one of my favourite things! In My Teacup Today is a blog that I dip in and out of to indulge in my love for all things tea! I write reviews of the tea I have tasted, write all about my experiences of the various afternoon teas that I attend with Stuart, share the knowledge I have learned along the way about tea, and a lot more tea fun! I wanted to make this zine to share my love for tea – it is full of reviews, a couple of afternoon tea adventures, and it is more than enough to sate your curiositea!
Day 18 was Treasure. For me, that meant making a zine all about Geocaching. Geocaching is a treasure hunt for the digital age. A geocache or cache is a small waterproof treasure box hidden outdoors. Geocaches come in all different shapes, sizes, and difficulties and are hidden in both rural and urban settings. Geocachers seek out these hidden boxes guided by a GPS enabled device which uses coordinates, or waypoints to help you find your cache. Geocaching was started to celebrate the accuracy of the modern GPS (Global Positioning System) and the first cache was created in 2000. This game of hide and seek is played by millions, and there are Geocaches all over the world. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries and there are caches on all seven continents. There are probably a bunch of caches near you right now, and you will have passed so many of them every day without even realising! This zine is a mini field guide introduction to all things Geocaching! It is written from the perspective of a Geocaching newbie, and answers all of the questions you might have about Geocaching when first starting out aka all the questions I asked when I first became obsessed with this treasure hunting pastime!!
Day 19 was Joy. For me, that meant taking some time just for me and working on a project I have been wanting to do for a long time. I painted my ukulele with a space octopus. I really enjoyed painting my ukulele. I do not have a musical bone in my body, and my ukulele was sitting collecting dust in the corner. It was getting no love. So, I dusted it off, and got to work! It was a challenge for me, as I have never painted something 3D like this before, and adjusting my painting methods to fit the odd shape of the ukulele was hard work! Have you ever painted a ukulele? I would love to see how you painted yours, and if you haven’t, I hope this little zine has inspired you! If you paint your ukuleles, connect with me on social media and show off what you have made!!! I made this zine as a how to guide, as well as documenting my process for the future, in case I want to paint more ukuleles… maybe I will start a ukulele painting business in the future… and space octopuses will take over the world…
Day 20 was Venn Diagrams. For me, that meant pretending that I am funny. A Venn diagram shows the relationship between a group of different things in a visual way, typically using circles. Using Venn diagrams allows enables us to sort data into a number of circles which overlap in the middle. Each circle follows a certain rule or ideas, so any information placed in the the intersections follow both of the rules or ideas. I enjoy Venn Diagram memes, and wanted to try my hand at making my own! Sometimes, I like to pretend that I am funny… did I succeed?!
Day 21 was Children. For me, that meant writing about my decision to live a child-free life. I am a 27 year old woman, and I do not want children. No, I will not change my mind. No, I do not hate kids. No, I will not regret it when I am older. No, I am not worried about who is going to take care of me when I am old and frail. No, I am not less of a woman, and my family is still a family without children. No, I am not single. No, getting pregnant will not make me feel different about my choice. No, I am not selfish. I do not think that the idea of choosing not to have children should be that radical, yet when it comes up in conversation I can see that my opinion is not shared by a lot of folks. This zine is all about my choice to not have kids, why I made that choice, my experiences with the judgement I have received from making that choice, and why I no longer care about your opinion!
Day 22 was Mandala. For me, that meant using found images to improve my pattern-drawing skills. A Mandala is a circular illustration representing the universe as seen in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism. While Mandalas are beautiful as visual artworks, they often hold symbolic and meditative meaning beyond their vibrant appearance, and are used as instruments of meditation and symbols of prayer. I use Mandalas to practice my intricate pattern-drawing skills, as well as to develop new ideas for different patterns. I also find them incredibly relaxing, and they are a perfect calming method to soothe my anxiety. In this zine, you will see me take found images as inspiration for creating my Mandalas.
Day 23 was Anxiety. For me, that meant writing all about my experiences with Anxiety. Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It is a feeling of fear or apprehension. If your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. I have an anxiety disorder. My triggers are social interactions, health issues, anger, and being overwhelmed. Anxiety feels different for everyone. I often feel out of control, like there is a disconnect between my mind and my body. This zine contains some methods I have found useful in helping to calm me down from an anxiety attack.
Day 24 was Hair. For me, that meant writing all about my experiences with body hair. I used to worry so much in my teenage years about the unsightly little black hairs poking out from my legs, protruding from my underarms, and when I was especially unlucky at the swimming pool curling out from between my thighs. My anxiety might be worse than it ever has been… but in this instance, I do not give a single fuck about what you think of my floof. If I shave, I shave for me. If I choose not to shave, I do that for me too. In this zine I am approaching the topic of body hair from a feminine point of view, as that is my perspective, but I hope you will find this information and my thoughts useful regardless of where you fall on the gender spectrum.
Day 25 was Viewfinder. For me, that meant finding beauty in different perspectives of my body. I have always struggled with accepting my body for what it is, and I have never loved it. I hate looking in the mirror, I am never happy with the figure that looks back at me. This little exercise is a step closer in finding that lost love for my body. I used a viewfinder to select different parts of me that I usually try to hide. I enlisted Stuart to help me photograph them. Stuart has always been good at helping me to love myself, and today was no exception. When we had taken enough photos, I downloaded them to my laptop and forced myself to flick through them. There were imperfect images in there, and it took me all my effort not to just delete them all. I didn’t. They are still in a little folder on my laptop. I then used these images to create illustrations. Making myself focus on the images enough to draw them was supposed to make me see the beauty in my body. I think I did. A little bit at least. This journey to self love is a long way, and this is but a small step… and I am glad I took it. It did help. I am growing. Slowly. Very slowly. One day I will get there. For now, here is a zine…
Day 26 was Garden. For me, that meant visiting a story I had written as a teenager. Faeries at the Bottom of my Garden was a reflective essay that I wrote for part of my creative writing classes at school. Our task was to write something that we could remember from our childhood, but we were to tinge it with elements of fiction. I will leave it up to you to decide what elements of this story are real and what is the imagination of my bitter teenage self…
Day 27 was Flip. For me, that meant flipping through old trashy magazines to unearth the poetry within… When I told my Grandma that I was collecting old magazines to make zines with, she unloaded a TON of old magazines on me!! I can always count on my Grandma to come through for me when I need to upcycle art supplies! Sadly, my Grandma reads trashy magazines. I don’t want to call her out too much, but I wish she would read less of the miserable so called “women’s interest” magazines. They are so depressing, and perpetuate the very worst of what it is to be a woman… as if we all have the same interests… they are certainly not in my interest. I’ll need to get her subscribed to some awesome zines, and fill her reading time with fantastic small artist’s content! For now, I am going to turn these awful magazines into art! I decided to challenge myself by blindly flipping through the pages, and landing on something random. From the single page that I landed on, I would have only the text on that page to work from to create my poetry. I then flicked back through the magazines to find some images that corresponded with the poetry I had created as accents and decorations to my zine pages. It was a fantastic challenge to force my creativity to work a little differently from my usual patterns of art making, and while a tad overwhelming at times, I really got into it! The poetry I created is neither good nor bad, but with this zine, it was the process that was the most important part… I mean, I would have never created a poem about Paul Hollywood without it! I would highly recommend you to try this method if you are having art block! It is great for visual artists, and writers alike.
Day 28 was Stitch. For me, that meant indulging in one of my crafting hobbies… It is a tad odd that, as an artist, I use different forms of art to help me unwind! A lot of my hobbies involve some form of art or craft. In this instance, I use stitching as a means of stress relief. I quite often buy kits to make little sewn creatures from, but with the making of this zine, I realised that it was just as easy – and a lot cheaper! – for me to make my own pattern… it was also a lot more rewarding! In this zine, you can stitch together a teeny tiny adorable little sloth figure. I want to use my down time to make more of these fabric decorations, as well as making more of these zines… so, do stay tuned for the future!
Day 29 was Names. For me, that meant making my own wordsearches. I really enjoying wordsearches. They remind me of childhood, and are just puzzling enough to enjoy as an adult. Adult puzzlebooks should definitely be much more of a thing, so I wanted to make my own mini zine full of mini wordsearches! I themed each one around a set of names, and gave a little hint with each puzzle. In this edition you will find words the relate to cute Antarctic residents, fantasy games, delicious morsels, strange creatures, and more!
Day 30 was Horns. For me, that meant getting horny. I have really enjoyed these mini-zines where I get to practice my character designs, and use the zines as a sketchbook to bring my ideas to life. So far, I have tackled the mermaid tail, wings, and now it is on to the horns… I am very much trying to complete the fantasy set! I hope you enjoy checking out my horns, and this little zine would make for a fantastic colouring book too! So, get your felt tips out!!
Day 31 was Rude. For me, that meant getting a little catty. Rude cats. That is all.
Do you want to make zines with me? I am celebrating International Zine Month July 2020 by creating a mini-zine every single day! We can respond to the list of prompts I have unveiled, and challenge ourselves to create LOTS of zines!!!
Everyone is welcome to participate! Make zines all the time? Want to amplify your skills by making more zines? New to the intriguing world of zines? Reading this, and wondering what a zine is? THIS is the challenge for YOU!!!
Let’s make something unexpected together!
If you want to be a part of this art challenge just use the prompts list below to help give you inspiration for your daily zine making. Be sure to tag your zines with #IZMZineADay on your socials, and don’t forget to tag me as well! I want to see all the amazing things that you create this month!
*Sidenote* Don’t feel pressured to make a zine every day, you can participate in this challenge at your own pace. Zine-making is supposed to be fun, and I want everyone to feel like they can be a part of this challenge… I just like making things difficult for myself!! Be creative, make zines, have fun!