Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Nicole Elaine Schlosser and I’m based in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.
What are zines to you?
Zines are little books that are fun to make and fun to experience.
What was your first encounter with zines?
To be honest… I can’t remember, but surely it was during College and was most likely something to do with politics.
Tell me about your zines. What kind of zines do you make?
I like to make D.I.Y. zines or zines that are about whatever is on my mind, in the sense that if I’m thinking about food, or relationships or happiness, I might just make a zine about all these subjects and the ideas and thoughts that pop into my head.
I sometimes make “art” zines; a zine made through a traditional printing technique like screen printing or lithography, but I also really enjoy making your standard cut and paste photocopy zines!
What inspires you to create zines?
Ooo, good question! I really like creating in general. I like drawing and printmaking and writing and I guess zines are a fun way to combine them all. But that doesn’t really answer your question… I suppose everyday life inspires me to create zines.
What’s your favorite thing about zines?
I have two favourite things… One, I really like the length. Most zines are short, so it makes me more inclined to pick up a zine about a topic I know nothing about. It’s not a huge investment of time if I’m not into it.
Two, there is something nice in knowing that one person (or a small group of people) have invested so much energy into the creation of a zine. Often it’s just one person who has drawn, written, collaged, printed, and assembled the whole thing. Zines seem intentional.
Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
One of my first zines was a D.I.Y. zine on how to make a wallet (pouch) with a juice box and a rubber band. I really value a low waste lifestyle, (I seriously live by the 5 Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse/repurpose, recycle). I had discovered how there isn’t much to do with tetra packs once you’ve drunk or eaten its contents and then I think it was one of my roommates who showed me how to make the pouch with a milk carton. So, the zine was a set of illustrated instructions on how to make the pouch and came inside an already made pouch. I actually still have a few.
Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
Normally, I start by coming up with a subject, and then often I think of format. I most often make a little maquette and do an inventory of what materials I have at my disposal or will have to acquire. Then, I either start drawing or writing. I like to work on loose sheets of paper. Normally the other side of printouts I find in the recycling bin. And then, I guess if it’s your typical photocopied sort, once I have everything glued together I photocopy one or two copies, assemble them and then get a friend to proofread for me. I’m a horrible speller! Once the necessary changes are made I photocopy as many as I think I want to give away or sell. I like making a limited edition and so often mark the date, my name and number them.
What do you hope people get out of your zines?
I’m searching to make people feel and reflect. I want people to feel motivated to create or work towards a more socially just, accepting, or environmentally friendly world, or a kind of acceptance of themselves and others. I sometimes just illustrate other people’s texts, but I hope for the same thing, that our work is sparking a little something inside of them, even if it’s just a simple reminder to enjoy life and remember to laugh out loud.
Name two of your favorite zinesters.
Samantha Ouellette and Les bêtes d’hier- quand la beauté s’en va, la bête reste.
Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
You just have to get started. Don’t worry about it being crappy.
Is there a zine website or resource you would recommend new zinesters to check out?
My favorite in-person zine library is the Anchor Archive Zine Library. It was the first place that made me realise that zines are awesome, it’s not all in my head! They had everything well organised and there were always people willing to talk about and suggest zines during their opening hours. When I lived in Halifax, I would go with my roommate Mark to meet the artists in residence and take part in their workshops. It was great.
I really love going to small publishing and zine fares. I really like meeting creators and having an exchange with them.
As far as online resources, I’m still exploring! I found the Broken Pencil helpful, but often just browsing on Instagram and entering the hashtag “zines” is kind of fun. Since the covid lockdown, I’ve been buying zines through Etsy. I run a very small zine Library at a vegan café in Trois-Rivères. We have a Facebook page called Les zine de Frida.
Nicoles social media
Interview conducted by Solansh M.
Pictures provided by Nicole S.