Online Free Members’ Workshop: Making Zines with Antonia DaSilva

Zines are small, inexpensive publications that can be easily reproduced. They are typically made by an individual and handed out for a few dollars or for free, making them more about community and expression than profit. The origin of the zine (originally referred to as a ”fanzine”) lies in the science fiction and fantasy counter-culture of the 1930’s. Over the decades, however, subject matter has ranged from political activism and feminism to topics like poetry, birdwatching, and how to  grow lettuce. Artists, cultural enthusiasts, and creators of all types have adapted the zine format to share their opinions, hobbies, knowledge, and art. The rule about zines is that there are no rules! They can focus on any topic and be drawn, printed, collaged, typed, hand written, etc. They can be completely abstract, relay information, or tell a story through words, images, or both.  

In this workshop, we will explore the history of zines with a particular focus on those made by contemporary artists and how these small publications fit into their broader art practice. Then we will dive into making our own. We will learn a couple of simple books structures and test them out. Come with an eagerness to explore, have fun, and make a zine! 

Materials to have on hand:  

  • Several sheets of paper, 8/5” x 11” is good, or larger if you like, either copy paper,  colored paper, whatever you want to use 
  • Ruler 
  • Scissors or exacto knife and cutting mat 
  • Glue 
  • Pencil 
  • Materials for filling your zine (this can be whatever you want: old magazines, pens,  pencils, paint, photographs, etc.)