Sunday, July 15, 2012

Poetry Mixtape: A New Project!

So I have a little bit of announcement to make, about a project that I dreamed up whilst rearranging my collage wall/ listening to the Portlandia themed Nerdist Podcast/reading countless articles about zine making in Rookie Mag. As you can see, I'm pretty easily influenced.

I've always been fascinated by the idea of making something out of nothing; I suppose that's why I enjoy writing so much, because I love creating characters and worlds for them to live in out of all the bizarre, seemingly nonsensical happenings of inside my mind. It's a very empowering feeling, to know that you have it in you to create something, something you admire, something you think is beautiful, something you can call your own without question.
In this instance, I've decided on the approach of taking something and turning it into something else, transforming materials into something so different to what they started out as, it seems as though they really might have sprung from some strange pocket of energy in the atmosphere.

I know this sounds a little pretentious, but I have this incredibly, almost exhaustingly strong need to create something, every single day. It's almost gotten to a point of OCD where if I haven't done anything creative, whether it be write twenty pages of my novel draft, or an idea for a new piece or project on the back of a receipt or a metcard on my way home from work, I start to feel anxious. I start to feel like I'm wasting time, and that makes me even more anxious, and then I waste more time on anxiety, rather than actually coming up with ideas that could lead to awesome creative projects. It's a vicious cycle, and for some of you it may sound a little bit familiar.

Poetry Mixtape was born from such a scenario; an idea that sprouted from my deep seeded need to be creating more frequently, to bring a little bit of my focus back to my much neglected poetry, and the desire to have a physical manifestation of my words.

It is a combination of three of my many major creative outlets; poetry, DIY, and collages. I am a very visually stimulated person, and can spend hours staring at things; paintings, photographs, even whatever is happening outside my window. People can often mistake this for vaguness, and they aren't always wrong, but I promise you, that most of the time my mind is busily working, trying to figure out how I can preserve the memory of this thing I have become so enamoured with.
It would be wonderful if I had any sort of artistic talent, because I could take all these beautiful influences and the visions they have evoked to create my own beauty; but I can hardly draw to save myself. I have no idea what to do with a paintbrush. Even the photographs I take cannot do justice to what I see before me, and what I can see in my mind. I just get frustrated and put the Nashville filter on them (instagram anyone?).

So, instead of dwelling on what I can do, I asked myself, what can I do? I can take images from old books and magazines, whether it be old dictionaries, Yen, or Vogue, or National Geographic, or even an old copy of Harvest Literary Magazine that I picked up from the Op Shop for $2, and use them to make my own art. I am pretty handy with a pair of scissors and a glue stick. And I can write.

That's all well and good, I hear you say, but where does the mixtape part come in?

Well! Each week, I'm going to put aside an afternoon or evening to create one of these tiny poetry zines, which will consist of 8 pages, and contains one poem, and however many accompanying mini collages I can come up with that I feel represents said poem the best. Each month will have a theme; I've already picked my first one but I'm not going to share it with you yet (oh the suspense!). I will however, give you a sneak peek at the cover of my very first instalment.

 At the end of each month, I think I'm going to take the four tiny note books, and sew the bindings together to make one larger monthly poetry zine! Because just like musical mixtapes, I think it works best when there is a theme involved, however stretched or thinly veiled or convoluted it is. I've also thought of making copies of the tiny zines, and hiding them in magazines all throughout the city, in the hope that someone might find it, and like it, and keep it for their own. Tiny Guerilla Zines! Huzzah!

As you may know, I've also become quite passionate about the way out society consumes things, so I have one rule for this project; only the words can be brand new. The base materials must be recycled; the books, the paper and the magazines used for collaging. I've decided that little embellishments, like stickers and washi tape are ok (because it's almost impossible to find them at the op shop), but that's it; not only do I want to give some of the thousands and thousands of magazines (most of which go into landfill) a new lease on life, it pushes me to kind of think outside the box in terms of finding patterns and pictures that work together, rather than just going down to Lincraft and pick out some pretty scrapbooking paper. 

The first instalment will be released in full on my new Poetry Mixtape blog, where you will be able to read the whole zine cover to cover, collages included! The first of four will be launched on the 1st of August! What do you think of the cover? I really like it; it is very pink, but with the right combination of colours, pink isn't as offensive to me as I once thought. I'm starting to learn that liking some shades of the colour pink is not the gateway drug to the Fashion Club (I've also been watching a lot of Daria).

So if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please, have a peruse, share what you like, and if you're so inclined, try it yourself! I would love to see what a little slice of your creative world looks like!

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