Meet this Zinester: Sira Pocovi (@its_1958)

Who are you? Where are you based?
I’m Sira Pocovi. I’m based in Whistler, BC, Canada. I’m originally from Barcelona in Spain, but I moved to Whistler in 2018. 

What are zines to you?
Zines are a way to express my thoughts visually. I started making them during quarantine following a blog post from @austinkleon where he explained how to make them. I found the beginning of quarantine really uncertain and scary so making zines helped me cope with all those feelings from the pandemic. 

What was your first encounter with zines?
I’ve always been aware that zines existed but never paid too much attention to them for some reason. They only became a thing for me when @austinkleon started making them. He made it look to me that anyone could make them, so I started making them. 

Tell me about your zines. What kind of zines do you make?
I would say they are visual collages. I like to recycle older magazines in my town. Living in a ski resort gives you access to all these amazing free publications like @mountainlifemedia. I felt bad cause once people read them, they would just collect dust or go to waste. I wanted to give them a new life, use as much from them as possible. Now my friends call me if they find old magazines and keep them for me until I come by to collect them ❤

What inspires you to create zines?
I like the medium of zines. It’s so wide and freeing. Everyone can make whatever they want, and there’s no right or wrong way of doing a zine. It feels very communal and open-minded. It also helps quiet the voices in my head for a few hours, which is always good. 

What’s your favourite thing about zines?
The feeling of having finished a zine. When the zine is complete, I love looking at every page over and over. That feeling of completion gives me joy, also the collection aspect of it. My dream is to have so many zines one day that I can display them somewhere, like a gallery or an artsy shop. Not to sell them but just to look at them and let them inspire you to make your own zines!  

Do you recall your first zine ever, what was it about and what inspired you to create it?
Yes of course! it was a very basic one about the pandemic! I used the local newspaper that mostly talked about the pandemic. It was called ‘Waking Up with Sira’ haha. I used a printed photo in black and white, and it mostly had collages of headlines from the newspaper that said things like ‘COVID 19 request Tourism decrease’ or ‘is up to all of us everywhere’ in a blackout poem style. 

Tell me a little about your zine-making process.
It is so long. Honestly, I think I overdo it sometimes. Nowadays, I have to have a clear idea of what the theme for the zine is, otherwise I lose focus and interest very quickly. Sometimes I even do a quick storyboard of what each page needs to have. The hardest zines to make are the ‘book themed’ ones or the’ song themed’ ones. Because I have such specific texts to put in them, and I have to use text that’s already been printed in a magazine! So I usually either go through a million magazines to find one word or if I can’t find it, I have to make that word by collaging different letters together. Yes, like a serial killer or kidnapper…and it’s so hard and tedious! After all of that, when the zine is done, I scan them at work and then edit the photos in photoshop so they all have the same background – the background is a marble table I have in my terrace, is not a stock photo btw! – see? even explaining it’s long! 

What do you hope people get out of your zines?
Mostly inspiration to make their own zines. I recently brought all my zine materials to a friends house, and she made her first-ever zine. Her joy about her zine made me happy. Also, I would like people to see that you can do things just for the fun of it. My zines are not making me any money, and I like that. They are my hobby, and that’s okay. I feel these days every hobby has to be monetized otherwise it’s a ‘waste of time,’ and that makes me so sad! Do things cause you enjoy making them and share them with people so they can get inspired! Of course, I don’t have a problem with people making money from their art, but I’m just saying that you don’t have to get stressed about making money per se, you can just have fun and that’s okay too! 

Name two of your favourite zinesters.
Austin Kleon is my #1 inspiration for life, but he’s famous enough so my favourite zinesters are @thesparklyartshark with her beautiful hand-drawn zines about her life and thoughts, and @sarahmirk with her powerful stories. I really like hand-drawn, comic-style zines cause I wish I could make zines like that! 

Do you have any advice for new zinesters?
Just make more zines. Experiment and play with your materials. There’s no right or wrong. Just do it. Honestly, who cares if they are good or not? 

Is there a zine website or resource you would recommend new zinesters to check out?
I really enjoyed this explanation about making your first zine on the creative independent website: https://thecreativeindependent.com/guides/how-to-make-a-zine/

Links to social media: 
@its_1958
www.its1958.ca

Interview conducted by Solansh M.
answers and photos provided by Sira P.

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