What is a Zine?
Since I started writing 52 Feathers and T H R I F T W I T C H a lot of people have asked me “What is a zine?”
I wanted to take a moment and share what I believe a zine to be.
Zines are somewhat hard to define but generally they are a form of self-published printed media that explore a niche topic of interest to the author. Part of the beauty of zines is that they can be created with very little overhead, many often created with a photocopier, so they can be an easy and accessible way to distribute information. Today zines range from one-page, black and white, copy pasted pamphlets to multipage, full color art books.
From Wikipedia: A zine (/ziːn/ ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine) are either the product of a single person, or of a very small group and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation. Popularly defined within a circulation of 1,000 or fewer copies, in practice many zines are produced in editions of fewer than 100. Among the various intentions for creation and publication are developing one’s identity, sharing a niche-skill or art, or developing a story.
Zines have been around for a really long time. I’m not sure when zines came into my life but I’m sure i’ve known about them since High School. When living in larger metropolitan areas like Chicago and San Francisco I would occasionally find zines distributed freely in coffee shops and empty newspaper boxes. I once found a zine stapled to a telephone pole with a collection of poems.
From the University of Texas: The word “zine” is a shortened form of the term fanzine, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Fanzines emerged as early as the 1930s among fans of science fiction. Zines also have roots in the informal, underground publications that focused on social and political activism in the ’60s. By the ’70s, zines were popular on the punk rock circuit.
The zines I am creating today were inspired by the growth of zines in the wicca community. From self-care to practical magic you can find a zine on lots of topics exploring the craft. I have spent a lot of my life cultivating my own witchcraft practice and wanted to bring that depth of knowledge to the table with the creation of T H R I F T W I T C H. This series will feature each of the Wiccan Sabbats, starting with Winter Solstice, which is already available on Etsy, and traveling through the wheel of the year, ending with Samhain.
via Umami Design Studio.
52 Feathers is a more focused exploration of various bird messengers. Each issue features a different bird where I share various musings and stories i’ve collected over the years. I’m amazed at how much birds have informed the mythic landscape of my life and its a pleasure to share that learning with the world.
Both zines are printed on one sheet of paper, with full color art created by me as well as al the writing. The pages are then folded and pasted to create an eight page booklet. I love origami so this format is extremely satisfying for me to create. I can’t wait to continue sharing the wealth of my creativity and learning with you in this format for the rest of the year.
I also have a Patreon account set up now where you can receive even more insights into my creative process. Patreon allows you to send me a monthly contribution to continue in my artistic journey. This gift is a real treasure for me, allowing me to deepen into my creative process without as much stress on selling my art. I have so much to create and share with the world and your support in birthing more art means the world to me. Patrons who contribute $5 or more also have the opportunity to receive copies of my zines. This is an easy way to never miss an issue and receive all the beauty, ritual, and story straight to you mailbox. Become a Patron Here.
Hope this enlightens some of you, or even inspires some of you to create your own zines. If you are interested in getting started and need some more pointers please reach out.