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