In today’s installment of ‘Meet this Zinester,’ we meet the very talented 18 year old zinester/artist, Emma Wiseman, from Salem Oregon. So stick around, get inspired, and then make zines~
Who is Emma?
I am an artist living in Salem, Oregon. I plan on moving to Portland next September and studying photography and video + sound at Pacific Northwest College of Art. I love styling outfits, editing videos, running around, and cracking open a cold Lacroix.
What are zines to you?
An all inclusive way to share and make art.
Why do you make zines?
I make zines because it is a form of mixed-media expression that can be made exactly how I intend. I love using original + adapted photography and text to help share my beliefs and opinions. Most of the time I distribute my zines around my town to friends, teachers, pen-pals, or leave them in public places. I love that I am able to share my art at a lower cost than painting on canvas or printing a photograph large. I love that zines make art accessible.
As we know, zines can be about anything and EVERYTHING. Sometimes the art-world feels like it could eat me for breakfast, just because there is so much content and new talents being shared all the time. Zines have given me a freedom to just create exactly what I want, it’s not for money or anything, just pure self expression.
What kind of zines do you make?
Usually they are collage based, and are meant to be types of visual storytelling. At the moment I don’t have a huge budget, they are mostly all “mini zine” size, printed in color on 8 ½ by 11 inch computer paper. I’ve been experimenting with half page zines, as well as really small zines. I usually have some underlying political themes of ideas like justice for all, as well as that every person matters.
What was your first zine about?
My first zine I ever made was a collage zine. It was titled “Good Morning, Good Afternoon” and was black and white themed. It was mostly me experimenting with mediums and storytelling.
Name your all-time-favorite zine that you have made? What do you love about it?
My all time favorite zine I have made was my third one. It’s titled “When The Sun Burns Out We’ll Light The World With Tiny Glowing Screens”- a lyric from the rapper Watsky. I love it because it was when I began developing my own aesthetic for a series, I noticed my own art style coming out.
What kind of messages do you convey in your zines? What do you want people to get out of your zines?
A lot of my messages are about self love, being self aware, and listening to other people’s stories. It’s my hope to help people realize that the human connection is the most powerful and special thing we have.
Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
I start out by having a story to tell. Sometimes the story is just the front and back page somehow connecting, other times it is more scripted like a zine about a niche topic. After I have what I want to “say” I explore it with visuals. Usually the adding of photos/paint/drawings is all spur of the moment.
If you came across a person who was itching to create, would you recommend them to make zines? Why?
100% I would. There is so much freedom in making zines. I’ve made one with just drawings of animals and other ones with pages of stories. Here is a video I made on encouraging on how to get started!
Name two of your favorite zinesters.
Craig Atkinson who creates a zine called Coffee & People, which tells amazing stories from his life. He inspires me to work on my writing and storytelling skills. Secondly, my pen-pal Noel who is the founder of Rising Bull Studio. She makes zines about being an artist. My favorite zine of hers is called “Bad Art” which displays crazy doodles and drawings by her that were not always successful. I like this because they don’t always have to be!
Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
It’s just as important to read other’s zines as it is to make your own. When you support other artists you not only learn tips of making your zines more creative and unique but you’re also helping grow the zine community.
Stay tuned for next weeks ‘Meet this Zinester’ with Angela and Martin, creators of the zine ‘Bully-Free Zone.’
Interview conducted by Solansh Moya
Pictures provided by Emma Wiseman