Meet this Zinester: Rich

Who are you? Where are you based? 
Well, my name is Rich, and I’m based in Norfolk, VA. I write poetry and satire and love involving both in all aspects of my life. I skate when I can. I’ve found that when I grow my own ingredients and cook with them, it’s like making my own magic. 

What are zines to you?
As a creator, zines are a way to convey a complex thought or emotion to my audience in a concise way. As an avid zine per user, I enjoy the many different lenses zine-reading gives me. 

What was your first encounter with zines?
A good friend introduced me to zines. They were constructing a collage-style perzine. I immediately began researching zine history, content creators, binding styles, everything. Then started making the most low-fi 8-page foldies ever. 

Tell me about your zines. What kind of zines do you make?
I make tongue-in-cheek satire like a recipe guide but for your Tinder date. Then I also write poetry that is sweeping and emotional.

What inspires you to create zines?
My most obvious muse is my partner, Ellie. She encourages me to take time to myself to create because she knows how much joy it brings me. 

What’s your favorite thing about zines?
I love how accessible zine-making is. 

Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
BINARY. It was a composite piece where I took the first lines of two poems that went nowhere and smushed them together. I started performing it at open mics, and it got such a positive response that I decided to DIY/self-publish it in an oversized 8-page foldy. 

Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
My zines are simple in presentation, so I’m mindful to be intentional with the direction of my content. I map out my zine pages with rough sketch guidelines on notebook pages then I use a vast array of MS Office tools to create and print. 

What do you hope people get out of your zines?
I hope my zines bring folks joy. 

Name two of your favorite zinesters.
Dylan @objectsofridicule IG
Abby @_ab_synth_ IG

Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
There’s sooooo many zines out there. Tailoring your work to appeal to many can be exhausting and unfulfilling. Consider instead refining your message and style to stand out if you’re not getting the traction you want.

Is there a zine website or resource you would recommend new zinesters to check out?
ABSOLUTELY (self-plug!) @seizethezines IG

Rich’s Social Media:
IG @r.justis757 IG

Interview conducted by Solansh M.
Photos provided by Rich

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