Who are you? Where are you based?
I’m Iestyn (pronounced Yestin) a Welsh ex-pat living in sunny Brighton, with my family and 2 cats.
What are zines to you?
Zines are a place where I can make things without being precious about whether they’re good enough. They’re a place to find interesting people doing interesting things. They’re a place to say things I’d be hard-pressed to say face to face.
What was your first encounter with zines?
Poem zines in a headshop in my then home town of Newport, South Wales. They were on pink paper and still live somewhere in my loft, with all my other treasured reading matter! And an Australian! Christian comic zine called Fair Dinkum someone was handing out around town as well. Both in the ’90s.
Tell me about your zines. What kind of zines do you make?
So far, I’ve made poetry comics, abstract comics, photo zines come per zines dealing with being a parent of a child with Special Educational Needs and detailing my own mental health issues. One of these – Emergency – was picked up and published by Colossive Press on nice paper, with decent printing. I’ve been working on drawing zines that are actually cheerful as well! But they still need finishing and publishing. I’ve set my sights on running a subscription and now people can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to join up and send payments to the same address. I’m offering 6 zines for £10 in 2019. You can also email me for swap as well!
What inspires you to create zines?
Needing to put stuff out there and not having much money or a publisher!! Really – it is just the need to put it down and make these things and then wanting to share that with people to hear back from them or get to see their work. Trawling and posting on the internet is all well and good but, for me, it’s more meaningful and understandable when you’ve got that object and can interact with it.
What’s your favorite thing about zines?
They’re open to everyone. You never know what you’ll like, because you never know what’s out there.
Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
Yes, it was about not wanting to fit into the role of a MAN as I didn’t feel it fitted me. MAN being the archetypal man, not necessarily male. As with everything I do – I just hoped it would find people who would talk to me about these things because they found it interesting.
Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
It’s so different for each one, some are drawing, some are photos I seem to like making complicated (to me) layouts that take forever to figure out how to lay them out!! It all always starts with an urge and then barrels out from there. I really like reaching out and getting people to collaborate. I’m a bit of a curator and like to put together people I see as complementary, dissimilar but complimentary (if that makes sense!!)
What do you hope people get out of your zines?
A window into another world, one that they respond to and that they want to share opinions back to me.
Name two of your favorite zinesters.
I’m going to be cheeky and name THREE!!
@shuffleplaycomics (on Instagram) Because he’s such an awesome person, who does cool work! And because I’ve got some great band tips from him
@vacuumbooks for making work I never knew I needed until I saw it and for sharing it so generously – one amazing person
@warglitter who is so cool and inspired me to be personal and not hide behind my images
Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
Find people you admire and reach out to them. They may not respond, but what’s to lose? And if they do respond, you’re in touch with someone awesome that you didn’t know before.
Is there a zine website or resource you would recommend new zinesters to check out?
Go to youtube and watch Sea Green Zines, Feral Zines, and Warglitter – all awesome zine reviewers and all cool people
Twitter – @iestynpettigrew
Interview conducted by Solansh Moya
Pictures and answers provided by Iestyn