Saturday, April 20, 2013

She Said Boom Feminist Zine Making Symposium

Okay, people-- let's get down to business.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I have two first loves that are inextricably linked: zines and punk rock.  It is a "chicken or egg" situation.  I was inspired by early British and American punk zines when I was barely a teenager.  I made my first punk fanzine on my dad's fax machine in Scarborough.  My awkward earliest explorations of punk, politics and social justice were through writing in zines. While this blog more or less chronicles my "art life," and I can honestly say that I would not have an art life if it wasn't for zines and punk rock.  Zines and punk are the heart and lungs of my life as an artist.  (Whoa...did I just say that?)

I am in my early thirties and still involved in p-rock, but sometimes I wonder why I stick around.  In contemporary punk and hardcore, zines and art are marginal activities at best.  I have stood by local punk as it openly disparaged art.  I have stood by punk even as it covertly disparaged women.  I have stood by punk (reluctantly) as it reproduced many of the structures and conventions found in the "real world."  Zines have recently made something of a comeback in the punk scene, but they draw from the conventions of Twitter and Vice Magazine.  One-liners and pictures of people at parties.  Punk rock by way of advertising and back again.  But I digress...!

Thinking about this makes me want to revert back to a simpler time...a time when women like Caroline Azar and GB Jones were the gold-dust of my teenhood fantasies.  When I was sixteen, I destroyed my bedroom floor with glue stick residue, utility knife slashes and metallic blue nail polish.  By this time, I had made about fifteen zines, though many sat in my room assembled and saddle-stitched but not distributed.  The postal service was still the zine-makers super (slow) highway.  I dreamed of run down bachelor(ette) apartments in Kensington Market with back alley access, walls painted in red enamel, plastered with obscure tracts and littered with trinkets from Chinatown. The sound of static on the radio and red wine seven nights a week.  A full moon framed by a windowsill  rough with decades of paint layers peeling and chipping away; robins-egg blue, beige and salmon. Creativity as a transcendental force.

As nostalgic and somewhat jaded as I may sound here, I still believe in the power of self-publishing.  And the above event happening next weekend (I am one of it's several organizers) combines all these "first loves" into a stew of zine, art, punk and lady goodness.

The She Said Boom Feminist Zine Making Symposium consists of three days of activities with a focus on zines, print culture and feminism from April 25-27.  Heaps of inspiration will come by way of a screening of the documentary She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column, which features the story of the legendary Toronto band who were nothing if not totally dedicated to the blending of art, music, film and publishing.  Art and rock heroes GB Jones and Caroline Azar of Fifth Column will give a talk about their work on the Friday night.  The following day, several local printers and zine-makers will help facilitate a day-long collaborative zine making marathon, while giving guidance on Risograph, letterpress, hand and perfect binding and photocopying strategies. Selections of zines loaned from my old pals the Toronto Zine Library will be available for browsing over the course of the day.  That night, the finished collaborative zine will be launched at a party at Gallerywest on Queen Street West.  FYI: On Saturday afternoon, I will be running zine participants to Kinkos, where I will teach a clandestine workshop entitled "Photocopier Tips N' Tricks."  Among the workshop facilitators and symposium organizers are local printers and zinesters Shannon Gerard, J.P. King/Paper Pusher Print Works, Erin Oh (a.k.a: symposium brainchild), Amy Egerdeen, Mary "Mack" Tremonte and myself.

For more info on this extravaganza or to register for your spot in the Saturday workshop, check out this and that link, or email

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thesis Zines

Finished school last week and I'm in a bit of a daze.  My final project-- which I've decided to not post about here in detail because I'm a little sick of it-- culminated in the production of these two publications. One was a collaboration with my mother and one is a reprint of a zine I did in 2011 which contains a transcription of an interview I did with my father.  I'll be posting them both on my Etsy shop for purchase real soon.

My brain is teeming with ideas for new zines.  Thrilled to finally have the time to follow through with them!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Interview in Essen Magazine

An interview with me was just posted on the Italian online magazine Essen, which covers intersections of food, art and culture.  Thanks Giulia for asking me to take part!  Check it out for yourself here.