As International Zine month draws to a close, so does the deadline for applying to table at Over Here Zine fest.
Some of you may have stumbled across us because you want to know more POC/BAME zine makers, perhaps you’ve just discovered zines and want to know more, or maybe you’re a long time zine reader but never managed to make a zine yourself!
Well what follows are the top ten things you need to be able to make your first zine….
1. An idea.
Probably the hardest part to making a zine, coming up with an idea. That’s because the possibilities are endless. Maybe you want to make a perzine (a personal zine that is all about you!) an art zine, a comic zine, a zine full of interviews, a fanzine about your favourite thing!
Like I said, endless.
I’ve made zines about race, class, my favourite TV show, favourite band and crisps.
Zines can take a while to make, so make sure you pick an idea that you can get enthused by!
2. Paper, a pen and scissors.
That’s right, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make a zine, for a one page zine all you need is a piece of paper (A4 is a good start) a pen and some scissor…..
As I said above, sometimes zines can take a while to make. Either due to lack of motivation, time or confidence. Zines are a passion project for me and should always be fun, or useful and not a chore. Holding a finished zine in your hands is a great feeling though, so keep going!
4. A reason.
If you are struggling to finish a zine or lack the determination then having a reason to make your zine will give you that extra push.
Maybe you are talking about a personal subject that means a lot to you or share a tough time you’ve been through and how you got through it, to help others. Maybe you just want to shout about the thing you love and find like minded people.
Maybe you want a way to get your art out there, stories, poems, illustrations, photos, whatever, a zine is the perfect way to do that uncompromised.
I started out just making zines to send to a couple of friends about stuff I love, and now 19 years later, I’m still making them!
5. An understanding of the four times table.
If you are making a zine bigger than one piece of paper, then thinking in multiples of four is a great help.
Say you wanted to make an A5 zine, you need to work from an A4 basis.
for example My zine I have made has 20 individual A5 pages including front and back cover, so I need to work from 5 pieces of A4 paper is 20 divided by 4 is 5.
If I had 22 individual A5 pages and I went to collate, I would end up with 2 blank pages as 22 does not divide by 4!
I know when I am struggling to finish a zine, if i shout about it to friends and give it the hard sell, prior to that, then they will encourage me telling me all about how they can’t wait to read it. So give your yet to be made zine the hard sell, whether to mates or all over the internet.
If you don’t manage to make the zine, it’s fine , you are your own zine boss!
7.Less Skills than you think you need.
Zines can be made on a computer, through various programmes, that’s’ great and often the best way for some people, for me however I find it harder! I’m not the best at grasping how technology works.
I also love being able to make stuff with the resources and skills you have readily available to you. I enjoy skill sharing and getting people to believe they ca be creative and create something despite their ‘lack of skills’
You don’t need to be able to drawer, that’s’ why collage exists! Not a professional writer? Doesn’t matter! Don’t know how to use Photoshop? me either, I do however know how to use scissors and glue.
Making computer based zines is more accessible for some people, I just like to debunk myths that you need a plethora of skills to make a zine.
8. Cut n Paste skills
The only skill required for a DIY zine! Like I mentioned above, a pair of scissors and some glue are your friend when making a zine. you get t work out your layout manually and see how thing look.
Cut n paste can be messy, but its also tonnes of fun!
9. Ability to ask for help.
Maybe you’re stuck for ideas, or suck at using scissors and a glue stick. Perhaps you do want cool illustrations, but can’t do that, or want to learn a new skill, be it writing, drawing, Photoshop or a printing method.
Seek out a seasoned zinester, or a zine group online and ask away.
10. Have fun.
Remember, it’s not a class assignment, it’s not a stressful work project, it’s something for you to enjoy and be proud of and show the world (or just your bff!)
If you have any questions about zines drop us an email overherezinefest[at]gmail[dot]com or Instagram and Twitter @overherezinefest