Three months of planning, gathering materials, creating inserts, and then one crazy week of assembly = my second zine. I love every part of the process. A zine is essentially a self-published magazine. You choose the topic and the contents. It's more than just writing articles, though, because you make the pages, the cover, and inserts. You make a lot of decisions in the planning stage:
-- Will I write all original articles or have guest writers?
-- Do I want to include a page of links or sources?
-- Should I do a how-to article, including examples?
-- Will I type the text, hand-write it, cut and paste it?
-- What size will the magazine pages be and how many will there be?
-- What material will I use for the cover? Will it be all handmade?
I don't know how you plan projects, but my initial planning is all in my head. In fact, I can plan an entire jewelry piece or ATC in my head. For the zine, after I've done the initial planning, I start to mock up the pages. I use 8 1/2" x 11" pages so I can type most of the text using Word. I'll take 5 blank pages, and fold them over, and write the heading for each page and the table of contents. I'll include other notes, like if there will be a pocket, what kind of inserts, and if I'll add handwriting to the typed words.
I think inserts are key to an engaging zine. It's fun to pull out examples of handmade papers, or ATCs, or mini-books. The theme of my zine is always mixed media art, so those are the kinds of inserts I include. I think the reader likes to see and feel the examples.
I'll tell you more about my zine in my next post, but here's a sneak preview of what it looks like.
I hosted a swap, and ten other artists made zines as well. We made one for everyone, they sent their boxes of zines to me, then I split them up and sent them back so they have a full set. Now we're all spending our free time reading these wonderful works of art. Check out my blog again, and I'll show you each of the 11 zines individually.