The first time I listed zine packs in my shop, they sold out before I could even write about them, but I definitely wanted to document my process a little bit here, so here's a post all about my first zine!

how can i not zine

If you're not familiar with zines, they are small magazines. Some are printed professionally, but many are made from photocopies, put together by hand and bound with staples, which is exactly what mine is. I have been fascinated by zines for many years, and I have amassed quite a collection by artists that I love, and I've wanted to make one of my own for just as long.

For my first zine, titled How Can I Not?, I wanted to start out with something personal, must like the work I used to make in art journals (and am trying to get back to). I've included lists, quotes that I keep thinking about, short phrases that reflect my thoughts, and pages of only artwork. 

how can i not zine

The process of making the zine was much harder than I thought it would be at first. With the broad theme of "personal thoughts" my idea was to just make lots of work and take things I was thinking about and turn them into pages, but it didn't really go that way. It took me quite a while to come up with ideas, create work that I liked enough to put include in the zine, and put it together in a way that flowed nicely. My zine is 20 pages long, and although the books themselves are small and don't seem extremely long, 20 pages worth of artwork is no small amount to make.

One challenge was for me to work in black and white. As I'm sure you can tell, color is very central to what I usually make, but I decided to make this one in black and white. This definitely made some things simpler, but I also found it very difficult. I struggled to add interest without relying on color, and color is often what inspires me, so it was sometimes difficult to come up with ideas. 

In the end, I'm really happy with and proud of the result. I feel like How Can I Not? really does reflect me (in a small way) and what's going in my mind around the time that I'm releasing it. I find these kind of peeks into other people's brains, so hopefully my zines are similarly interesting for people who like me or my art or just like zines.

You can buy How Can I Not? in my shop. I've included it in a pack with stickers and original mini paintings (which is a really great deal if I do say so myself). I'm closing the shop at the end of June and won't reopen until August, and I'm not sure if I'll restock these zines when I do, so get yours now if you're interested!

Geometric Collage

Hey friends!  A lot has been going on around here since I last posted, most excitingly, I opened an Etsy shop. Inside you'll find giclee prints of some of my favorite and most popular artwork, original paintings, pizza stickers, and several geometric paper collages

I'm super excited about the collage work I've been doing lately (if you can't tell from all of the Instagramming). I loved creating a collection of 10 unique mini collages in a variety of color palettes, so I thought I would share a little bit about how the idea developed and my process for creating the collages changed over time. 

One of my first collages in progress.

The idea all started back in early June when I saw some images of Laura K Sayers's scrap books on Tumblr. Laura is an amazing artist who makes incredible illustrations from cut paper. Definitely check her out if you're looking for some fun art inspiration (she has no idea who I am, I just think she is rad). But I saw these books with her paper scraps and offcuts arranged on the pages so they almost fitted together and a lightbulb just went off in my head.

One of the gem collages I had been making.

I had already been experimenting with painting watercolor paper and cutting it up to create collages (like with my gemstones series), so put that concept together with the inspiration that came from Laura's notebooks. I decided to paint scraps of watercolor paper and cut them into geometric pieces and fit them together, almost like a puzzle with a white border around each piece, when adhering them to the page. 

Painted scraps and offcuts.

I went to my desk and started working right away, and created my first few collages using a palette of 9 colors on 4x6 pieces of paper that I had pre-cut.  My intention was to fill the whole page, but I realized that I like the look quite a bit more with some negative space.

An early piece.

For the next few days I kept making collages in different color palettes and played around more with developing the technique. I became more precise and adept about the fit of each piece and started letting the pieces go off the edges of the page.  I started cutting extremely tiny pieces to fit into the smallest possible gaps.

One of my first LA collages. I'm still in love with this color palette and the movement of this piece.

Over the next few weeks I packed up and moved from DC to LA, which didn't leave much time for making a huge mess with paper scraps, but once I got to LA I started up again. When I was homesick or stressed out, fitting pieces together was very meditative and calming to me, and the finished pieces made me incredibly happy. 

I also improved my materials and techniques when making each collage. I started out using glue tape to adhere each piece, but didn't feel that it completely secured the heavy watercolor paper (I also wasn't a fan of the little glue globules that would sometimes stick out from the edges of the collage). Now, each piece is made archival liquid glue and sealed with a uv protectant so it is extra secure and ready for display.

As I started to make pieces for the shop, I played around with color, shape, and composition. I learned to balance the collage in the same way that I would a painting. I made many more pieces than the ones that are available, because i only selected the ones that I loved. I also started to work bigger than 4x6" and made collages out of abstract paintings, instead of only working with solid colored scraps. 

The best part about this new work is that I have so many more ideas! I have only scratched the surface of what I want to do with this medium. I want to work in all different sizes, on backgrounds that aren't white, go back to the more chaotic style of the first collages that I made, and more.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my process. If you're interested, you can purchase a collage here. I may be biased, but they are even cooler in person - the watercolor paper is thick and pops off the page in a way that photos don't quite capture.