Directional Question

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Daniel D. Teoli Jr. 1 month ago.

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    So I have all these ideas and more artwork than words. I just don’t know what direction to focus on for my first zine. I want it to be an extension of myself but not exactly like the chaotic mess I seem to be. :/

    I love zines that have a central theme to them, I’m always more drawn to that but at the same time I don’t want to be locked down to one thing.

    I guess my question is what drove some of you to make your zine in the first place and did you know right away what it was going to be about or does that unfold as it progresses?



    Julius Smit

    Hi Ginger,

    This is a good question which I think haunts many, irrespective of whether it’s about making a zine or creating another equally challenging piece of art, visual, textual or tactile! I don’t think you need to get hung up on what the zine is going to be about, or its theme right from the word go. Be playful and think about it in terms of process. You compare yourself to that of a chaotic mess, so maybe you could explore that further by kicking off using a collage based approach to your zine. You mention you have more artwork than text, so this does suggest a possible collage route. It’s often suprising what king of message/narrative comes out of trying this approach.

    I’ve recently used collage, which I’ve always loved, to build up a 24pp A5 zine, building up the collage from a selection of collected images and then overlaying that with cut-ups of a short story I wrote. Strangely, and almost subconsciously, a theme began to grow within the zine which I wasn’t aware of at the start. I will post up an image of it when I finish printing and binding it. Give it a go! Julius



    Thanks Julius! I’m a lover of collages so that seems like a natural way to start to be fair. I guess I was a bit hung up on things that don’t matter so much. Always trust the gut huh?!

    Thanks again!



    With one zine series of mine, I started with “I want to make a perzine!” and went from there. Even though I sometimes can’t see it until the very end, a theme of some sort usually comes about.

    Lately what seems to be driving my ‘one off’ zines is not finding what I’m looking for. I couldn’t find a zine on PCOS, so I made one. That sort of thing.


    Billy McCall

    All of this is good advice. For me, I also think, “What zines do I like to read?” I like per-zines, so I make per-zines. i like stories about sex, so I write stories about sex. Same thing in my band, I try to make music that I’d want to go see.

    All that being said, at some point you just have to do it. Once your first issue is out, you’ll see stuff you like and stuff you don’t, then you’ll improve by the second issue. Every issue of a zine should be better than the one before it, that’s part of the long-term process, it’s not a bad thing.



    Thanks! I’ve been working on it and it’s definitely a perzine! I guess it’s that fear that what I create or the things that I find interesting or matter to me will seem trivial to others. /shudders

    I guess it’s like my favorite quote ever!

    In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the coexistence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found.
    — D.W. Winnicott

    Anyway, thanks maybe you all will give your honest opinions once it’s done!




    Hi Ginger,

    In this day, there’s an audience for everything. I’ve written and read zines that by their nature couldn’t possibly connect with many people. But there’s a great satisfaction in having the courage to put yourself out there for whatever does or doesn’t come of it.



    Hi Archie,

    You are so right! I’m going to make the last line of your comment my mantra while I continue this creative process! It’s actually exactly what I needed to hear/read right now.

    Much thanks! ♥


    Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

    OP, my artist books have little writing in them. Maybe a page or 3 per 100 pages of photos. I am not a writer I am a photog. So I am never feeling bad about not having loads of words.

    I produce landmark photos that need no words, maybe just basic descriptions sometimes. Where I need to advance is in the cover design, layout etc. I a not that creative in those areas.

    If you have loads of $, one can just hire a designer. But budget wise I have to do it all. My books evolve over time. I print up a maquette then maybe another 2 or3 prototypes. Then the book I usually settled.

    Sometimes if the book evolves I make a 2nd or 3rd edition. Just make it and then off to the next project. I can always change things.

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