Who are you? Where are you based?
My name’s Beth and I currently live in Sussex, England.
What are zines to you?
For me, zines are a way of creating art that is accessible. You don’t need to be a professional illustrator, anyone can do it. All you really need is a piece of paper and a pen and you can create and share your messages. To me, zines are a way to amplify your voice and share your thoughts, in a way that is accessible for everyone.
What was your first encounter with zines?
Honestly, I can’t quite remember. I had been making zines since I was little, although I wasn’t really aware that that’s what they were. I guess I started to become more aware of what zines were and the culture surrounding them when I was about 15.
Tell me about your zines. What kind of zines do you make?
I make various types of zines, although they generally center around mental health, LGBTQ, and autism/Neurodivergence. I enjoy making mini zines with illustrations, although I have made some zines that are much longer.
What inspires you to create zines?
Zines are an outlet for things I want to say. I create zines to express the things I think are important, but also as an outlet for all the stuff that builds up in my head. I’ve struggled a lot with my mental health in my life, so I also try to make zines that are helpful to others going through these same experiences. I guess I want to turn that pain into something useful to others.
What’s your favorite thing about zines?
I love being able to self publish and share your voice, and that zines are imperfect. They are just such an amazing way to share art, info, and messages and I think that’s why I love making zines so much
Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
The first ever zine I made was actually when I was in year 4 in school (age 8/9). It was a task set by my teacher in which we made a zine (although I didn’t know that was what it was then). It was about different breeds of dog which was probably inspired by my family recently getting a dog.
Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
My process generally starts with a piece of paper and a pen. Usually, I will just sit down and see where this takes me. Sometimes I’ll go into it with an idea for what I want to put into the zine, but often I just let myself express whatever I need to that day.
Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
I think the best thing a new zinester can do is make zines! I know that sounds silly, but the best way to start is by jumping right in. At first, your zines may look messy or scruffy but that’s okay. We all have to start somewhere and each zine we make allows us to grow as an artist.
Is there a zine website or resource you would recommend new zinesters to check out?
A great place to start would be social media. There are many wonderful zinesters on there making awesome art, who will not only inspire but be happy to help with any questions you have. I’ve found the Instagram zine community to be a really cool place to be. I would also recommend buying other people’s zines. See how other people make them and get inspired by the huge variety of things you can do with zines!
Interview conducted by Solansh M
Pictures provided by Beth