last month i was at brum zine fest which ‘celebrates independent publishing and diy making, bringing people together using zine approaches, methodologies and formats.’
the event was organised and managed by a lovely group of folks, who put together a weekend of events that included a zine fair as well as a series of activities and talks.
they faced particular challenges this year because they received no arts council funding so had to crowd-fund the event in a very limited amount of time. they were successful in doing this which meant they could pay artists for running workshops and activities, provide an access fund to help cover travel and accommodation for stallholders at the fair, pay festival assistants a living wage and invest in independent local suppliers. The full story is well-documented here.
i was in attendance as part of indigo octagon (the artist group i work with from time to time), and we had our series of self-published work for sale as well as a few prints, 2 new book editions by andy and a t-shirt design hand screen-printed by shaun. it was great to meet so many people, discuss our work, and pick up lots of zines and artwork by creative and talented folks.
they had an open call for poster designs, so i enjoyed producing an illustration just for this. the template included the text and a rounded rectangle – it was supposed to be the outline of a train ticket, but i made it appear that the shape was a hole cut into the background, rather than an object placed on top.
the positive, supportive and community-led approach by the organisers was particularly inspiring and made it a real pleasure and privilege to be a part of the event, and we were thankful to them for selecting us to be involved. i’m really looking forward to next year’s brum zine fest.