Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Dublin Zine Fair





Intrigued? For those of you out of the loop, zines are home-made, self-published booklets that might contain art, stories, essays or anything creative. It’s pronounced “zeen”, since the word comes from “magazine”, which is what a zine essentially is--except on a smaller scale and, to be honest, a lot more fun.

So on Saturday 16th August, myself and my best friend hopped on the bus to Dublin to attend the fourth annual Dublin Zine Fair at the Centre for Creative Practices on Pembroke Street. Ever the procrastinators—and procrastineaters—we’d been up until 11.30 the night before finishing our zines… so perhaps rather than “hopped”, we stumbled, zines and stall d├ęcor in tow.

We were so excited to be there, having gone both in 2012, when we promised we’d make zines someday, and 2013, when we dragged some other people along—roughly half of whom actually wanted to be there. We absolutely loved it both times and this year, as we finished our Leaving Cert exams, we became even more determined to return not just as customers, but as Zinesters.

We brought along two varieties of zine: “The Little Zine of Happiness”, which focused on the things you can do to try and let yourself be happy, as well as what happiness can mean for different people. This was all original content, some based on writing I’d done and enjoyed in the past.

The second zine was an edited compilation of some more popular posts from my first blog, Unlucky for Some. As I began work on this blog, and started to say goodbye to Unlucky for Some, it was nice to have a printed version made for myself, my readers, and some new faces at the fair.


Both zines were illustrated by my best friend who happens to be a fabulous artist. We called our publishing company “Bear and Wolf Production”—I’m Bear and she’s Wolf.  You can read about Bear and Wolf Productions on the Dublin Zine Fair website.



We’d never expected to make shedloads of cash, and ended up scraping together the bus fare home, just about, but were actually surprised and delighted by how much interest we got. I’ve been blogging for about eighteen months now, but to see my words in print felt much more serious, much more professional… satisfying, somehow. It was pretty nerve-wracking when people read the zines right in front of us, but such a lovely feeling to see them smile or laugh in all the right places. 

The stallholder next to us was Venus de Vilo, whose brand of horror-punk contrasted nicely with our bright orange zines! 


The only problem with a fair like this is that you will invariably end up buying more than you sell. There was so much amazing art on offer—most going for a song—that we had to nab several bargains. I’m going to do a separate “haul” post next week, so you can see what I bought in detail.
We’ve already got tons of ideas for some more zines, and have vowed to return in 2015. I want to write a handbook about Scoliosis surgery which I had a couple of years ago: the things I wish I’d known, etc. It’s safe to say that we caught the bug!


For those of you who missed the fair and have an interest in Zines, I’ll be selling the leftover ones on www.Etsy.com in the next couple of weeks. I’ll install a “shop” button on this site when they’re available.




In the meantime, if you’re any kind of artist or writer, why not have a Google and see if zine-making is for you.

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