Kiss My Art!

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I’ve been saving most of my zine-production mostly for my art meetings with friends. And they’ve been fun. They’ve been super fun. But then, this week, my work schedule was all over the place. On Sunday, I had the whole day off. And on Monday I worked a full day, which I haven’t done in ages. So on Sunday, I had a couple of friends over and had quite a pleasant crafternoon. And on Monday, I used any downtime in the office to continue working on my zine. I continued it on the following days and just now put the finishing touches on it.

I honestly can’t believe I managed to finish it. When I worked on the cover, I marked the release date as “April 2018” because I found it hard to believe that I’ll have it out any time before then. But the end of March is 10 days away, and I finished this zine that I’ve been planning for the past couple of years and never got around to producing because I’ve been too busy pushing a human being out of my gina and then raising her.

Also, this particular issue was extremely difficult for me. It is the Silent Issue. That is, it includes a fuckload of artwork, visual art, and little to no text. Whereas all my other zines are rather text-heavy because I consider myself more of a writer than an artist, and I focus most of my work on the written word. Also, expressing myself with the visual rather than the written element was always hard for me. I would get headaches every time I attempted to draw something half-decent. I would get frustrated whenever I saw something in my head and could never reproduce it on paper. All the people I draw would always have the same blank look on their faces, their gaze pointing down, their faces would be too long, and their noses too small, and their heads would be immense compared to their scrawny bodies.

But for this zine, I forced myself to avoid the written art as much as possible. As a result, I found myself doing most of my talking through the visual one. The photos I shot across Jerusalem came out pretty fucking rad. The collages I made, simple but powerful in their message. The drawings still came with a certain degree of difficulty (and my people still came out the same as I described them) but I don’t particularly hate it. In fact, some of them are some of my best work, especially because I added color – something that is lacking in all my previous attempts at drawing.

Aside from that, I added four pieces that were not made by me. One is a drawing of me by my friend. And the other three (get ready for this one) are by my daughter.

Yes, you read that right. My one-year-and-four-month-old daughter made three drawings and I used them in my zine! Of course, they’re nothing more than scribbles and squiggly lines, but artists throughout the ages have made big bucks with less, so there. I call these squiggly scribbles total fucking art.

I feel so totally accomplished. I am the mother of a toddler and have managed to bang out a 32-page visual zine. And I love the shit out of it! I had such a blast with all of it and hope to start on another new zine pretty soon.

The Silent Issue will be printed and stapled and posted on Etsy at some point next week or so. Until then, here is the bitching cover, still marked as April, but whatever. Kickfuckingass!

Peace, love and ART4EVER

cover

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As I Was

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Yesterday, I made a few lists in my journal to see how my habits and hobbies have changed from my pre-maternity to my post-partum time. I wanted to see if I would be able to reclaim some semblance of my pre-pregnancy life.

Things I regularly did before pregnancy and motherhood include:
– Zines
– Tai Chi
– Baking/cooking
– Reading books
– Writing letters
– Power walks
– Playing guitar

Things I do now:
– Laundry
– Raising my kid
– Sleep

Despite that enormous shift, I have managed to engage in some of my earlier activities. I made a zine and am working on another one, I baked cookies, I read two books and am ordering a few more, and I wrote some letters. This is not bad at all considering parenting is a full-time occupation. And yes, I did most of these while neglecting laundry and sleep.

Now, I am not stupid. I know that all these activities will never take a front row seat in my life ever again. I’m under no illusions about that. My life right now is all about my daughter and everything I do is for her, and I love and cherish every minute of my life as a mother. So these other activities that define me in every other aspect of my life will not be regular activities as they have been before.

But since they are important as part of my self-care, I will still try to find/make time to do them. I think it’s also important for my daughter to see her mother engaging in self-care and doing things that she likes. I want to lead by example and teach her that she too should take care of herself and do things that she enjoys and that are important to her, whatever it may be. If she grows up to love art just like her mother, that’s great! I will be thrilled to make art with her. If she grows up to love playing basketball like her father, that’s amazing! I’ll sign her up for lessons or encourage her to play with her father in the backyard or the park.

I think it’s especially important with activities that promote good health, such as Tai Chi and power walks. I want my daughter to lead a healthy active lifestyle and make exercise a regular part of her weekly routine.

SO! The next item on my list of things to reclaim is my Tai Chi exercises. I seriously need to get my ass back in shape, dammit. Not to mention my back, my legs, my arms, my neck, my abs… I feel completely wrecked. Integral Tai Chi should do the trick. I am attempting to make it a weekly thing as it was once before. But instead of Friday mornings (during which I am too busy with my daughter) I will set it on Thursday mornings.

Fuck sleep. Sleep is for the weak. The Dragon will devour any shred of my drowsiness and The Phoenix will team up with The Tiger to make me own the day and fuck shit up.

Peace, love and Corpse is for the Living

chakras

 

Zinesteritis

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Zinesteritis. Definitely a virus worth spreading!

I planned to have an art night or whatever crafty event with a couple of friends on Tu Bishvat. The friends invited are all mothers (all but one) and living on opposite sides of the country, so finding a time and place for the art event, plus an arrangement for the kids that would work for everyone was tricky, which is why only one friend showed up.

However, it didn’t take away from the awesomeness of the time I had and only served to encourage both me and my friend to try and set a future date where more people would show up. That’s for later. But for now, I was just happy to be creating again.

After spending a rather frustrating night where I couldn’t fall asleep because of my on-and-off problems with insomnia for one thing, and my daughter’s inability to sleep due to intense teething for another, I was sure that this morning’s art endeavor would go down the drain and I would simply fall asleep on my pile of papers and art supplies.

But no. Quite the opposite. I had such a blast, I totally forgot my sleepiness. And in the spirit of zinestering the winter blues away, I even forgot it was winter and just how much I hate it. Not only did I manage to produce several collages for my upcoming silent issue of PMS Perzine, but I also taught my friend how to make a mini zine! It was her first time making a zine and I gave her my copy of Overthrow the Status Quo zine by my friend (which I already wrote about here) for inspiration and to show her that anybody can make a zine. ANYBODY! And she did, and it came out even more amazing than I expected. For a newbie zinester, she wrote one biching zine! She packed so much power into such a small zine, I was totally blown away that this was actually her first shot at zine-production.

Not to mention that she also felt rather proud of herself and proved to herself that yes, she too can make a zine. I totally know what that feels like. I remember the pride I felt when I first held my first zine in my hands. There is no other feeling like it.

“Not only can we make human beings, we can also make zines,” she stated in a coincidental rhyme.

So yes, indeed an awesome, productive and satisfying morning. I can’t wait for the next time I get to engage in badass zinestering, and hopefully have some more people to share it with.

Next up for my silent issue, hand drawings. I’ll try to use color crayons this time.

Peace, love and yes, laundry basket, overthrown.

In My Heart of Arts

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61574_430831122470_2287989_nMy mind tends to wander quite a bit when I have my morning tea. If it wanders far enough, it also makes me lose track of time and I end up being late for work. This morning was one of those long and wide mind-wanderings.

Back when I lived with roommates and had no living beings depending on me for survival, we used to have art nights. I just realized I didn’t write much about these affairs in my past blogs, but damn, these were some fucking awesome nights.

We came up with the idea when my roommates and I took a road trip up north and visited the Dada museum in Ein Hod. There was a section of it dedicated solely to what they called “Garbage Art”. Basically, art made with recycled things and discarded objects left in the trash. Random shit that anybody can make. Like a discarded toilet bowl with a boot stuck on the rim.

So we were like, “Hey, we can make that too!”

And so, every once in a while, we invited over some friends, laid out all our art supplies and made whatever we felt like. If it was drawing, painting, writing, poetry, playing guitar, jewelry making, zine making, fimo molding, knitting, crocheting, absolutely anything goes.

Sometimes, we also tried to set art nights with a theme. We had an art night on Purim once, where we painted masks and noisemakers, some people showed up with costumes, we served Hamantashen and a bunch of sweets. It was so rad! We also had an art night on Lag Baomer and made Smores on our stove top. An art night on Tu Bishvat (the tree-hugging holiday) with a special lecture by one of my friends about all-natural body products. Of course, an art night involving a small zine workshop led by me for anybody who was interested in zine production.

I loved how most of the art nights that we had were attended only by women. Sure, we had some men coming every now and then. I even invited my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) once, who refused at first because he felt he had no artistic talent.

“You play guitar,” I replied. “That’s an art. Come and play guitar for us!” So he did.

But most of the time, we were all women. There is something special in being in the company of a bunch of women, making art, talking about art, living breathing art, even if just for a few hours. There is no tension, no competition, no animosity, no need to justify or prove oneself for one reason or another. As we saw it, we were all equal, and we were all friends.

These were the thoughts that were going through my mind as herbal tea was rushing through my system in the morning. I started longing for these art nights which do not happen anymore because the roommate clan has disbanded. We each went our separate ways, mostly to the married life and subsequent motherhood. Of course, I regret nothing. I love being a wife and mother. But I certainly wish that “artist” was still included in the list of things that define me.

Peace, love and maybe I could have an art night with my kid and her friends when she grows up.

Overthrow the Laundry Basket

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OTTSQ

I really miss being crafty. I miss writing and making zines. I miss drawing and making collages. I miss trying out new crafts I’ve never tried before. But mostly, zine-production is my most missed activity. Especially after reading my friend’s zine about zines, Overthrow the Status Quo (which everyone should get, and I would link this to her Etsy page if the issue was being sold there, but it’s not. Here’s the link to ZinesByNyxia anyway because all her zines are awesome).

Good zines inspire me to create zines. Great zines inspire me to go crazy with more inspiration and create more zines. And zines that tell me that I should put off mopping the floor and make a zine instead make me feel silly for doing house chores when the time could be better spent with zine production.

I have free mornings on days when I work the afternoon shift, and I have a couple of free hours in the afternoon on days when I work morning. But then, I have my laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. And then I have dishes. And then I have my daughter’s laundry to wash, dry, fold and store. And then I have more dishes. And if I have any leftover time, I try to sleep (and fail), and then it’s time to go to work or go pick up my daughter, depending on my shift, and any hope for zine production dies.

This is why I write blogs. Because seriously, if I didn’t have that, I would go mad. Writing is important to me. Whether my writing is being read or not is completely irrelevant. Writing is the end in and of itself. But at the same time, deep down, I feel that these blog posts are a temporary treatment until I find time for the ultimate cure (i.e. zines).

So that’s why I miss it. And that’s why it’s not just mopping the floor that needs to be put off but everything else. And my house would need to be a mess, I would need to run out of dishes and my daughter would need to run out of clothes, and then maybe I would actually be able to get cracking on paper cuts and sticky fingers.

Peace, love and thank the goddess that at least my husband does his own laundry and sometimes does the dishes too.

 

 

 

Motherzinester

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It wasn’t easy, but I did it!! After almost two years of having made no more than a single mini zine, I finally managed to produce a full-length one. This is not an issue of Purple Myrtle Squeegy, and I wonder if I’ll ever make another one from that series. This issue is called Ima Badass (a play on words to those of you who speak both English and Hebrew) and it focuses on my experience with pregnancy and the onset of motherhood. It might be a one-off, or the first of a few. I haven’t decided yet. All I know is that it needed to be done. You can’t be a zinester and a mother without writing at least a single zine about motherhood.

IB cover

The format of this zine is slightly different from the previous DIY issues of PMS perzine. Since I rarely had any time to work on it, I did most of the layout by computer. The cover is a photo I took while my month-old daughter was napping on my lap. Although it’s mostly cut-and-paste, the script is all computer typed. There are no backgrounds because that would have involved a hell of a lot more time and effort, which anyone with a baby would understand that I simply don’t have.

But still, I did it! And it’s as raw and intimate as any perzine should be.

A huge thank you to all my awesome zinester friends and artist friends for your constant inspiration. A special thanks goes out to my husband for finding the time in his crazy schedule for printing this issue. And another special thanks to Shoshana for contributing a beautiful drawing included in the zine!

Peace, love and babies

IZM 2017 Recap

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This year’s International Zine Month almost didn’t happen. For the better part of the month, I was changing diapers and missing out on sleep while lamenting my lack of time to do any decent zine production. For the rest of the month, I was changing diapers and missing out on sleep, while trying my best to engage in zine-related activities and missing out on even more sleep.

Obviously, as I mentioned in a previous post, I couldn’t do all the activities listed for IZM, and unfortunately, I was also unable to do the 24-Hour Zine Thing. So instead I made a short list of activities I could probably do. Here’s what I managed to do with this year’s IZM:

Cover - pic

Create a profile on the new We Make Zines website:
To be perfectly honest, I don’t like the new website. It doesn’t have as many options to edit the profile as the Ning one did. But I still created what minimal profile was allowed on the website, joined a few groups and added a few friends.

Read some of my unread zines that I got in trades:
I had a pile of them on my desk for further reading. Some of them were pretty good. But there were some that put me to sleep and gave me a headache. I struggled to keep reading them hoping that I might actually find something of interest in them, but I couldn’t do it. At some point, I just told myself, fuck it. If the zine doesn’t draw me in, I’ll just drop it and find something better to do with my time. I’m trying to find some place/zine library/people to send these zines to. I don’t generally like to throw zines away.

Send a few more zines to Quimby’s Bookstore:
They actually manage to sell some of my zines! And I recently asked my friend from Boston to send back to me all the leftover zines I sent there for the zine fest of 2015. So now that I had a bunch of extra copies, I decided to send some of them to Quimby’s. They were happy to restock them.

Revamp my Etsy shop:
There were a few edits I had to make for the items I posted, and add a new item (the full postcard collection of Alternative Jerusalem). I also edited some of the prices, amount of items in stock, and categories.

Set up an inventory system for all my zines:
I spent a whole day counting the copies of all my zines and postcards. I wrote it all by hand in a notebook but that proved to be a mistake whenever I reprinted an issue or sold some and the numbers had to be changed. So I took my notebook to work and set up a chart on Excel.

Send trading requests and trade:
I once traded with Katherine Montalto. She sent me some pretty cool zines plus a few small drawings she made. I loved her drawings so much that I decided to frame them and hang them in my daughter’s bedroom. I contacted her again this year and we agreed to trade again. I can’t wait to see what she sends me this time! I also contacted Xyendra Fragola and just recently sent them a couple of my zines. Xyendra and I have been in touch since 2004 through the defunct MSN Spaces (before it was taken over by Windows Live before it was taken over again by WordPress. This blog started off as an MSN Space). I followed Xyendra’s progress with IZM activities on Facebook and I’m excited to see what they’ll send me!

Make an attempt to write a full-length zine:
I actually got all the written part down for this zine. Unfortunately, I wrote it all on computer instead of by hand or typewriter as this would have taken me way too fucking long. Also, the subject matter of the zine is of a sensitive nature so it will not be published here or posted for sale on Etsy. I will share it with a few select people (you know who you are) once it’s laid out.

Design a catalog for my Etsy shop:
It took me much longer than I expected but I got it done! I’m very pleased with it. I will send it out along with zines sold or traded.

Twigz 3What I planned to do but didn’t manage was: Make a mini-zine, respond to penpal letters, and make a new logo/flyer for my Etsy shop. On the very last days of the month, I even came up with an idea for a stencil for a new patch. I drew the image with a sharpie, hoping to make it as thick as possible. My husband printed it on a transparency, and today I attempted to transfer it onto the exposure sheet. But it didn’t work. It could be that the artwork wasn’t dark enough or maybe the exposure sheet was too old. I ordered it sometime around summer of 2015. Just like camera film tends to expire, maybe the exposure sheet does too. So when I noticed it didn’t work, I made the drawing a little darker and thicker and ordered a refill of exposure sheets. I hope to be able to do the rest of the activities as well as try the stencils again during August or something.

Lack of sleep notwithstanding, I had a good time on IZM anyway. I loved having the chance to deal with zines, talk about zines, read zines, being somewhat artsy after a longass time of being completely out of the scene.

Peace, love and hoping for more extensive and intensive IZMs in future years.