As some of you know, I’ve struggled for some time to find cohesion in all the things that I do / make. It was reassuring to have a stall at the Auckland Zinefest with my books, zines, DIY Kits, AND Blue Mushroom Books, and feel like they all fitted together somehow. Yay!
I also got some wonderful feedback. One customer had bought my #blog zine last year and had been inspired to start her own blog. My Where Do Ideas Come From? zine sold out, including one purchase from a primary school teacher who is going to share it with her class. And I met a couple who fell in love with Ramble On, got excited about zine-making, then had a wonderful conversation with me about creativity, self-expression, and mental health.
I didn’t buy much myself this time – two mini zines from Jamie Sands, and a zombie mushroom pin from IZS Comics.
So, onwards and upwards. There’ll be more news soon about what I’m planning as I continue to carve my own path, so do keep an eye on my blog. And if you want me to come to you, sign up for my newsletter – there’s a link in the sidebar.
Setting up at Hamilton Zinefest
The first zinefest I ever attended was the 2016 Hamilton Zinefest, so it was great to be back at this year’s event. I managed to sleep in, then got ready in a rush, and somehow arrived half an hour early. Yeah, don’t ask. It was definitely a coffee day.
I’m all set up!
What I love most about zinefests, and zines in general, is the creative freedom you get. There’s so little monetary investment that there’s less pressure to make something commercially viable, or mainstream, or even necessarily ‘good’. The room was filled with truly diverse expressions of creativity, and a huge range of people.
What really struck me this year was how incredibly nice everyone was. There was no judgement or comparison. The local school zines were as valued as a professional illustrator’s posters which were as valued as the lady next to me who’d just started drawing (Mini V – you can follow her on Instagram). This is what a real celebration of creativity looks like. More of this please, Universe!
The room begins to fill…
I also loved that, compared to other markets, there was very little emphasis on sales. What we were all there for was to share our work, to invite others to share with us, and to make connections through our zines and conversation. Kudos to the zinefest committee who made this such a successful, seamless day – I am already looking forward to the next one!
ALL the links:
Books + art at Youthline gallery
Four of the artists from ‘I am an Artist’: Zee, Anna, Jane & Megan (photo: L. Simpson)
Zee & Jane (photo: M. Murphy)
photo: B. Southcombe
Zee’s speech (photo: P. Southcombe)
The exhibition and book launch was a wonderful event! There were so many positive people in one place, it was hard not to feel happy, loved, and important.
Here are a few photos from the night for those of you who couldn’t make it.
Artworks can be viewed here and the book can be bought on the website shop or Felt.
So the super creative young writer, Ella, has written the most awesome foreword in history. Or something like that. Read it here (opens in new window).
In case you’re not familiar with it, the NZ Young Writers’ Anthology is an idea I dreamed up to help encourage young writers. We all know I have issues with the phrase ‘when I grow up’ and one of those issues is that being a child should be reason to not be a writer / artist / scientist / dancer / yogi etc.
From its first year (last year) I started calling it an annual, mostly so I wouldn’t have an excuse to give up on it if it didn’t meet my expectations. It’s now in its second edition and quickly gaining momentum.
Speaking of gaining momentum, there’s another exciting annual: The NZ Book Festival. I’d already decided to match this up with the anthology and release it on the day, but then I was informed that one of this year’s winners, Poppy, was flying up to be here for the festival. After a brief chat, we decided: what better way to celebrate young authors by getting one of those authors to read their story?
Poppy Nightingale-Ayson, age 11, will be reading an extract from her story, Endangered, at the NZ Book Festival Storytime at 11am, and will be available for a short Q&A afterwards.
All my books will have festival-only prices, and I’ll try to get some bundles together as well, so if you’ve been thinking of picking up any as gifts, or haven’t gotten round to buying one for yourself yet, the festival will be the best place to get them.
As always, I’m happy to sign them or write a personal message for the recipient 🙂
I’ve been a bit quiet online, partly because I’ve been plodding away at the various projects I’m working on at the moment (you can read about them here if you want), and partly because sometimes social media just isn’t healthy for me.So I thought I’d let you know how some of the things are going in the studio 🙂
All the drawings went up last week for Artweek Auckland 2016, and we had quite a few people in and colouring. They’re not finished yet, though, so I’ve been allowed to keep them up until they’re done. Yay! If you’re in Auckland pop into the shop (open 7 days) and add to the pages.
Artweek Auckland 2016 at the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop
NZ Young Writers’ Anthology
I’m doing the final proofreading and formatting today (accompanied by the Harry Potter movie soundtracks and my… third? cup of tea) so I can get the files off to my printer. There are a great mix of poems, stories, and even a wee non-fiction piece (personal essay) about heroes of all sorts.
This anthology has been interesting, because sometimes it feels like I’m too small a fish to be behind something like this. But then again – isn’t it more impressive for a small fish to be doing this? 🙂
The NZ Book Festival
I’m also excited to be releasing the anthology at the NZ Book Festival alongside one of the contributors, Poppy Nightingale. Poppy will read some of her contribution, and I’m sure she’d be happy to sign some books as well. She’s looking forward to meeting lots of authors!
The colouring pages are almost done, and the bookmarks are on today’s LONG to-do list. The posters are being distributed, and after a great meeting last weekend the whole committee is looking forward to this year’s event being fabulous. More info here if you’re interested.