Posts Tagged ‘zines’

01_biz card


Two weeks ago, Miz In Cahoots and I were wandering around the Embarcadero, after a far-too-long hiatus from hanging out. Ice cream had been consumed, the bay had been viewed, and gossip had been swapped. Heading back to the subway station, I thought that life couldn’t possibly get any better.

I was wrong.

At Market and Steuart, I was stopped in my tracks by a Most Wonderful Place.


the work of Roman Madov and Angi Brzycki

Have you visited The Grand Newstand? Have you heard about this project? If not, you should, because it’s AMAZING.


Courtney contemplates the difficult question of “favorite zine”…

We met Courtney Riddle (one of the mistress-minds behind The Grand Newsstand kiosk) who explained to us that the newsstand stocked zines, small press editions, and the occasional artistic project (prints, broadsides, home wares) — housed in one of the vintage-ish newsstand kiosks lining Market Street. The two of us were immediately enchanted.

04_evah fan

the work of Evah Fan…

If you’re looking for gift to give a budding zine maker or an inspired per-zine to read on your daily commute…


…this is your kind of kiosk!! It was wonderful to see a variety of artists I know and love hanging out right there on Market Street. In a city strapped for art space and DIY culture, it was such a joy to bask in the ambiance at the Newsstand.

06_awkward ladies

the work of Awkward Ladies Club (just in time for Burning Man!!!)

So: what are you waiting for?!?! The Newsstand is (usually) open six days a week; check out their hours on tumblr. Stop by, support small press, and get an eyeful of this quintessentially San Francisco endeavour.


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I know, I know: two posts in one week. But I just couldn’t save this one until next week (especially since I’ve got a FANTASTIC interview with Hope Amico all lined up!) So I figured I’d share this as a “welcome to your weekend” sort of thing.

I was interviewed at the ALA2015 Conference by Joseph Coco, on behalf of Rebecca Hillburn and her “Natto Soup” blog. Joseph and I chat about mail art, zines, and how to get involved in the Network — take a look! (everything was completely UNSCRIPTED –> insert some sort of anxiety emoji here…)

PS: there is a little flub that I made at the very beginning of the interview…did any of you catch it? If you hit the 2 minute mark, you’ve gone too far!




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This past weekend I felt oh-so-lucky: I was an invited artist for the American Library Association’s Zine Pavilion! Imagine if you will: a national conference of librarians descending upon San Francisco, who are brimming with curiosity about zines and zine making!


I spent most of last week getting a bunch of new (and old) things ready: issues 1-4 of RLD, rubber stamps, zines that were due to be reprinted…


…and Miz Happenstance put together a handful of “Herstorical Oakland” artistamps (shown above), in order to showcase them at the table.


Much of the weekend was spent discussing zines: what sorts of people make them, how they can be defined, the different ways in which libraries collect them. In the photo above, you can see some zines on display; ALA attendees could read anything they wanted, with the entire collection raffled off to one lucky winner on the final day of the conference.


Interested parties could contribute a page at the make-a-zine table…


…using materials and supplies provided by Zine Pavilion organizers.



The idea being that: on the final day of the conference, if you had contributed a page to the group project, you could return to the Pavilion on the final conference day and collect a copy of your zine! (I really really really love this idea, and would like to figure out a way to implement it into my own zine making projects.)


Some of you may remember punk rock poet/zinester/mail artist Irene Dogmatic from last year’s Ex Postal Facto event; she was my tablemate for part of the event, which I greatly enjoyed. XPF was so frenetic, I didn’t have a real chance to connect with Irene in just the right way. Sharing the weekend with her was enlightening, entertaining, and wonderful.


I learned a new party game called “Knuckle Sharpie” from Alex Wrekk (one of my zinester heroines) and Jonas Cannon (buy his zine Cheer The Eff Up RIGHT NOW): cross your arms at the wrists and have a person on the left and right hand side of you (different folks, naturally!) write four letter words across your knuckles. No peeking! When everyone has written something silly/serious, put your right and left hands together: that’s the name of your new punk rock/goth/emo band! Hilarity will ensue.


(I even managed to get some “work” in, during the down time of the event…SF Correspondence Co-op lists shown above, hand stamped with all the usual goodies!)


Weekend’s end: I packed up my remaining zines and headed back out to the fogbelt. As I was making my way to the studio, I spied this work of art hanging from a telephone pole — I felt this was a good omen for the week to come, as well as a lovely way to end the fantastic weekend which had just passed.

May each of you have a creative and inspired week, as well as a happy fourth of July! Light some fireworks for me (my Aries personality LOVES fireworks!)


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so bright, so colorful!

so bright, so colorful!

Well, September has come (and practically gone!) I’ve spent the month wandering different stationery stores in preparation for my first “back-to-school” day of teaching! The semester kicked off without a hitch, and now I spend my time divided: three days at the studio, two days in the classroom. Oh luxurious days of summer, how quickly you flew by!

and how about these guys?

and how about these guys?

Once my work for SF Zine Fest wrapped up at the beginning of September, it was time to jump into production mode for the NY Art Book Fair (I’ll be vending there next week). But first, I wanted to squeeze a couple of extra projects into the mix (because, you know…I wasn’t quite busy enough…)

this is what an edition of 65 looks like...

this is what an edition of 65 looks like…

Long time postal pal Mr. Jazz has been involved with the Burning Man PO for quite some time; one could say that he was one of the original postmasters of the BRC PO. As a special favor, he carried SF Correspondence Co-op mail up to the BRC PO, so that it could receive special Burning Man cancellation, and be sent to addressees. AWESOME.

there's a recurring theme here somewhere, but I can't quite figure it out...

there’s a recurring theme here somewhere, but I can’t quite figure it out…

I’ve also been doing more soft block carving, gaining inspiration from artists such as Julie Hagen Bloch and Carroll Woods. I love the fact that printed, these small size blocks look as good as a wood block print – without all the hassle of actually carving wood blocks. Plus it’s “no muss, no fuss”; I can literally carve a block in 15 minutes or so, depending on how elaborate the design is.

I feel so official, addressing an envelope to PM...

I feel so official, addressing an envelope to PM…

But the main thing that’s been taking up practically all of my time is prep for the upcoming NY Art Book Fair. Brainstorming, stamping, constructing, printing: I’ve spent untold hours in the studio lately, creating an avalanche of new items to tempt! (more photos tomorrow, I promise…)

signed up for "Mail Art 101" at The Ink Pad? This is a sneek peek!...

signed up for “Mail Art 101” at The Ink Pad? This is a sneek peek!…

I’m also thrilled to be teaching two evening classes at The Ink Pad in NYC – what a treat! Putting together class kits and goodie bags, carefully planning all sorts of demos, and selectively choosing artwork for show-n-tell have been additional matters to take care of – but oh what fun! As I taped up my boxes to send to NYC, I made sure to put a little bit of SF mojo in as well.

a whirlwind of tissue, plastic, and bubble wrap...

a whirlwind of tissue, plastic, and bubble wrap…

So there you have it! I’ll post photos tomorrow of the new artistamps, zines, and items that I’ve been working on throughout the month. And if you happen to be in NYC next weekend, be sure to drop by the Art Book Fair and say hello! I’ll be located in “The Schoolyard”, table A17.

Until tomorrow!


PS: classes held at The Ink Pad are currently sold out, but you can give a call to the store and put your name on the wait list…

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this year's poster was designed by Squillo Studios...

this year’s poster, designed by Squillo Studios…


This has been a summer in which I devote my life to zines. Mind you, I’ve always been a believer – but over the last few months I’ve become a true believer. How does the conversion happen? Lots of hard work, enthusiasm, and a pretty near full-time volunteer gig as one of the SF Zine Fest organizers.


new work-in-progress...

new work-in-progress…


And now, I’m in the home stretch! This weekend (September 1st and 2nd) the SF County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park will play to host to the largest zine extravaganza yet! Free and open to the public, SFZF will showcase small press and DIY vendors, informative workshops, and a roster of exciting lectures. I mentioned that it’s all FREE, right?


typing up labels with my cursive typewriter!

typing up labels with my cursive typewriter!


Here and there, I’ve been squeezing in time at the studio and putting together a few bits for the SF Correspondence Co-op table at the Fest. You heard that right – the SF Correspondence Co-op will have a table at Zine Fest, and it will be filled with postal delights from Co-op members near and far. If you love postal-ish papery things, you won’t want to miss this!


a smattering of ephemera, to be used...

a smattering of ephemera, to be used…


The Co-op will also host the Perennial Postcard Project on Day 1 of Zine Fest from 11:00am – 1:00pm. We will have tables set up on the Main Stage in Room B for SFZF attendees to stop by, make some mail art, and have some fun. We did a similar project at our Co-op birthday party in May, and it was a HUGE success.


the Perennial Postcard Project, in action!

the Perennial Postcard Project, in action!


It’s hard to believe that by this time next week, SFZF will be wrapped up for another year – it seems impossible, after working so intensely throughout the summer. But my eyes are already looking forward to the end of September, when I will be vending once again at the NY Art Book Fair as well as teaching a series of classes at The Ink Pad. This fall is going to be non-stop, I can tell already!


a story with a happy ending...

a story with a happy ending…


Will you be able to stop by the Co-op table at Zine Fest? We’d love to see you there! Let me know in the comments if you’ll be saying hello in person…
In all things postal, I remain –

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Hello postal people!

In my daily life of paper, ephemera, and correspondence I find that there’s alot of crossover. This is how it breaks down: bookbinding led to artists’ books, which morphed into zinemaking. Penpal-ing as a kid transitioned into decorated envelopes in college, which then moved into the realm of full-blown mail art escapades once I arrived in San Francisco. (surprising? Not really, when you think about it…) When asked the eternal, killing question “Yes, but what do you do?”, I find myself at a loss, unable to bring all of these varied elements together into a single niche-based sentence.

Readers and friends of the RLD blog know that I do a range of different things (artists’ books, zines, prints), but my true love is mail art. Putting together something special for a far-away Networker or designing the month’s new postal “Cadeux” puts a smile on my face and charges my creative batteries.

I like to be involved-with-a-capital-i, in a very Aries-centric kind of way. I love organizing, putting things together, helping people meet other people — that kind of thing. Each person I meet these days has a story which is so uniquely them that I find myself constantly recalibrating my ideas of art/creating art, based on the discussions I have with somebody. That seems to be another part of the process.

artistamps created for the "Revenge of Print 2011" project...

artistamps created for the "Revenge of Print 2011" project...

Participating in events and meeting people go hand in hand. One of my favorite aspects of “doing what I do” (that hard-to-identify thing mentioned above) is vending at shows — Alternative Press Expo, the Printer’s Fair, SF’s Open Studios — each event is an opportunity to meet people, introduce them to the idea of mail art, put on a puppet show (well, not really…) A special fave in my “pantheon of vending” is the SF Zinefest.

SF Zinefest 2011 poster, designed by Lark Pien!

SF Zinefest 2011 poster, designed by Lark Pien!

This year is a banner year for the SF Zinefest; they’re celebrating 10 big years! That’s a whole decade of promoting zines, zinesters, and DIY culture. As one of the largest zine events on the west coast, the SFZF continually has a stellar line up of panelists, workshops, and vendors year after year.

a quiet moment at 2010's SFZF, by Green Lantern Press...

a quiet moment at 2010's SFZF, by Green Lantern Press...

In a world where print books are racing to flip the digital switch, zines are experiencing a contemporary renaissance. Hands-on zine projects abound throughout the web; all one needs to do is search “zine projects 2011” or stop by the “We Make Zines” forum to see that zine culture is alive and well. People want (need?) to share their stories via the printed word; turning thru the pages of someone’s real-time zine is an introduction to their thought process, their aesthetic, the things that they are passionate about. Is there a better way to be introduced to someone? I can’t think of one.

zines for reading, at the Tokyo Art Book Fair, 2010...

zines for reading, at the Tokyo Art Book Fair, 2010...

So what does all this talk of zines mean for RLD readers? Two things: if you make artists’ books, zines, or any sort of DIY (think Renegade Craft Fair or Bizarre Bazaar) product, you might be interested in vending at the SF Zinefest. Tables are still open, but they’re going quickly — take a look at the application page over here. (the .pdf takes a minute to load in…)

a stack of zines, from Sweetie Pie Press' flickr...

a stack of zines, from Sweetie Pie Press' flickr...

If the idea of small-press-with-big-ideas is intriguing, but you’re not ready to commit to vending your wares, never fear! Instead, why don’t you stop by the Zinefest and see what it’s all about? Admission is free, and RLD will be there (with some new surprises on the table!), along with the likes of Two Fine Chaps (beautiful letterpress artists’ books), Monkey + Seal (printmakers and silkscreeners), as well as a galaxy of other talented vendors.

"The Chase", by Two Fine Chaps...

"The Chase", by Two Fine Chaps...

I’ll be sure to show you guys the works-in-progress as we get closer to the Zinefest. But for now, a question: have any of you made zines? And if so, did you like the process? What was your zine about? (and can we still get a copy?…)

Postally speaking (of course) —

* the word “zine” is pronounced “zeen”

** did you notice those “Revenge of Print” artistamps in the photo above? They’re pretty fancy, right? If you’d like to receive a sheet, send a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) to the following address:

Jennie Hinchcliff/Red Letter Day

ATTN: revenge of print 2011
PO Box 170271
San Francisco, CA. 94117
(international requests are welcome, but you must include $1.00 USD to cover the cost of postage)

07.23.11 edit: RLD reader Angry Violist kindly emailed an inquiry as to whether international readers could Paypal money for postage — so clever!  Of course you can — let’s use this technology for good, instead of evil!  International readers should Paypal $1.50 USD ($1.00 to cover international postage, .50¢ to cover all of Paypal’s fees) to: redletterdayzine@gmail.com

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Here’s the final installment of my report from the book fair! I’ll jump right in with the eye-candy…

Tokyo Cultuart by Beams

Tokyo Cultuart by Beams

I love the fact that publishers Beams built a cabin-shaped booth, complete with shelves, books, and shingles. Adjacent to this setup, they had a screenprinting station: each day, they handed out free t-shirts and folks would que up to pull the squeegee…

the zines of Soda Design...

the zines of Soda Design...

Did you look closely at Soda Design’s table? Get an eyeful of that show announcement — it’s envelope shaped! The zine “Frei” is great looking on the inside…

Red Fox Press represented by MediaBus/Yebisu Art Labo

Red Fox Press represented by MediaBus/Yebisu Art Labo

This one’s for my friends over at Red Fox Press (hi Francis!); it was super to see these little books on the wall! I’ve long admired Red Fox Press’s work, but since they’re in Ireland, it’s rare that I get to see the full range of their work in one place. It was a treat to talk with the Yebisu Art Labo vendors, and say “oh yeah, the people in these books are all friends of mine!”…

Nishidate-san's mixed media zines and prints...

Nishidate-san's mixed media zines and prints...

Nishidate-san had some amazing prints that I fell in love with immediately: the prints were mixed media collages, incorporating ledger papers, tissue paper, gouche, and pen. They were all in subtle shades of white and buff — beautiful. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to say hello, since his table was always crowded with people.

"InsideOut" -- mapping Tokyo's art spaces...

"InsideOut" -- mapping Tokyo's art spaces...

3331 Arts Chiyoda was the perfect place to have the book fair: formerly the site of a preschool, the building has been turned into a multi-level arts venue. The first floor comprises a cafe, exhibition space, and a few little shops; upstairs there is more exhibition space, as well as artists studio space. “InsideOut” was a show in the upstairs gallery space which turned the entire space into a map of all the galleries and art spaces in Japan — all four walls comprised the entire country. It was interesting to see a visual representation of what’s going on in the arts throughout Japan. Places like Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto were filled with little brown post-it notes, whereas less populated areas weren’t as well represented. I think it also says alot about the folks who probably come through the gallery space, and where they’re traveling from…

you better believe it!

you better believe it!

At the end of the weekend, this was the sign that left a warm fuzzy feeling. また来年ね!

Once the fair ended, my vacation could begin in earnest. So far, I’ve spent the last couple of days on “stationery safari”…I’m happy to report that 文具(stationery) is NOT an endangered species here in Tokyo. Tomorrow I hope to have a rundown of some of the cutie things I’ve been finding, as well as some “day in the life” pictures…

Keep those questions coming! You know I love to answer them. Is anybody out there looking for anything special, in the way of envelopes/paper/office supplies? 🙂

PS: one of the cons of Tokyo: the love of canned muzak. So far today, I’ve heard clinky-Casio piano versions of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and “Cocomo” by the Beach Boys — both songs I detest. Ugh. However, for those of you, like me, are in love with The National: I heard “Bloodbuzz Ohio” over the speakers at Tokyu Hands. Go figure.

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