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August 16, 2011

What goes in to making a zine? I’ve been working on my latest I am a Camera and thinking about the process and what it involves. If I was to have photographed it from the start it would have had all sorts of stages. Writing the story, of course, which would be photos of my hunched over my computer typing, then photos of me complaining about my sore back from using the computer in an unergonomic way, then me reading over the story many times in the garden, on trains, on buses, in waiting rooms, and making adjustments to it, then me lying in bed feeling depressed as how it is taking a long time and will never be finished, then preliminary trips to Officeworks, then tidying my room so I have the space to start lying things out on the floor.

Here we see some of the important tools of zine making. A list of what pages go where, steel ruler, various papers, cookie, and what looks like coffee but is actually Ecco. Am I the only Ecco drinking zinemaker? Possibly. I like 1970s coffee substitutes, and Ecco is “the drink for modern families”. The biscuit is a rather uninspiring “Paradise” brand chocolate chip cookie.

Here I have taken a few sips of Ecco and you can see some more details of my zine making environment. The red double cassette deck playing one of the tapes I’ve had since the 90s, in front of it a pile of ephemera from my trip to Japan, the prototype copy of my zine which is made out of blank pages where I again plan what goes where, and of course a glue stick. It is not my preferred gluestick, actually. My favourite is 3M Restickable glue, which I fear has been discontinued as I haven’t been able to find any for a long time.

Here we can see a wider shot that includes various unsafe things such as the bar heater and craft knife (or “slicer” as I like to call it) with the blade still extended. The gap in the middle is where I sit surrounded by all this mess. By this time I’ve drunk the Ecco, gone back for a few more biscuits and am now cutting out images to put in my zine.

Today I’m going to assemble the master copy. The kettle is on, the sun is making its way across the room, and I have three hours or so until I have any other engagements. The zine I’m making, I am a Camera #16, will enter the world at the Snapdragon Zine Fair, on Sunday September 4th at the Red Rattler.

In other news, I’m running a zine workshop at Manly Library the day before the fair, on Saturday September 3rd. These are always lots of fun, so come along and make some zines with me – the crazy carpet and the Ecco is staying at home, but the typewriter might come with me…



5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 5:06 pm

    I love this post! You are much tidier than me when making zines. I too enjoy a cup of coffee substitute, but go to Camp Coffee when assembling zines: Wikipedia tells me it’s made out of “water, sugar, 4% coffee essence, and 26% chicory essence”.

    • Vanessa Berry permalink*
      August 16, 2011 7:50 pm

      Thanks! I don’t think anyone’s ever called me tidy before! But yes, there is some order involved… I will try Camp Coffee!

  2. Amanda permalink
    August 19, 2011 7:39 am

    I love chronicles of process. And I agree that your process is pretty tidy! Anytime papers are involved, I tend to get them spread EVERYWHERE. I can’t wait to read this new zine!

  3. August 28, 2011 8:25 pm

    I’ve been reading your zines since I was a young’un and have sometimes imagined what happens when you create them,,, thanks for sharing, a life long question answered! I’m currently all about the hot honey and lemon drink, popular with the sickly but good any time.

    • Vanessa Berry permalink*
      August 28, 2011 9:18 pm

      At other moments in the process I talk to my mum on the phone as I trim pages, listen to the radio while collating… I’m glad the process is interesting.
      The honey and lemon drink is very good for you, think of all the vitamin c!

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