Your friend LP

It's been real! 2011 – 2016

Category: Zines

Ch ch changes

When I started this blog 5 years ago, it was the plan to keep it for the three years that my studies would take. As those who have followed my journey know, things have not quite panned out the way I expected them to.

The last 5 years have both been more awful and more awesome than I could have imagined: while my studies were more often than not a huge stressful disappointment and my health issues (culminating in my stroke) were awful, I did get to go to Berkeley, work on my sketchbook projects, do screenprinting, photography and creative writing classes, was admitted to a creative writing MA and for 3 of those years had the luck to have a cat as awesome as Clark living with me.

It had always been the plan to move on to somewhere else after I was done with my studies.

Despite me not having graduated yet, I will indeed be moving on. There are only so many hours in a day/week/month and there are still so many things that I want to do. On top of that, I think this blog has served its purpose. I want to retire it in style, instead of letting it fizzle out.

Fear not, I’m not going to erase anything, this blog will be here for as long as wordpress.com leaves it up. And yes, I will make sure to back it up of course.

My new place will be LPinprogress, a more static portfolio style site where I’ll collect information about my zines, sketchbook projects and other creative activities past and present.

My Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest will continue to exist in (more or less) their current form, as will my LogPoes email account, zine mailing list, wemakezines profile and my Etsy shop.

Speaking about zines: I have finished the writing for The Wreckage. File under: things nobody expected to happen, ever. I will be writing The Berk next week. If all goes according to plan, they will both be published sometime in September. Yes, 2016. When they are done, I will resume working on the three sketchbook projects, finish them and send them off to Brooklyn.

Thank you, dear reader, for coming along with me on this bumpy ride. For cheering me on and supporting me when times were rough, for being happy for me when things were awesome, and for respectfully and thoughtfully sharing your thoughts, opinions and feelings with me.

Love,
LP

Method writing

In the last two weeks, apart from going on a short holiday and attending a vegan food festival, have been spent working on the final edits of The Zine Formerly Known As Zine #2. The Wreckage, as it is called now, has been long in the making: the happenings described took place from 2011 to 2013, placing it between The Summer and The Berk zine.

On one hand, it’s good to have some distance from the material, especially the things described in The Wreckage, as it deals with a… not so great time in my life. On the other hand, it requires me to delve into a state of mind that I had 3 to 5 years ago, which is 1) more difficult than I thought and 2) draining.

The way I go about it is quite similar to the method acting uh, method, which is effective, but, as stated before, draining. I am hoping to finish this project up this week, so I can start on finishing up less taxing projects like the sketchbooks (for which I received all the photos this week) and the final zine in the trilogy, The Berk.

Around here

With the amount of doctor’s visits finally winding down for real (my previous claims of “From next week on, I won’t be seeing doctors 3 to 4 times a week!” was clearly a case of wishful thinking), I am finally getting around to catching up on things around the house.

First, there was a huge pile of zines that needed to be sorted out. I soon found out that I still had unopened envelopes containing zines that were sent to me in… August 2014. Yeah, that’s embarrassing. There were also a huge amount of zines that I had enjoyed reading, but that were now hidden in boxes, not being read by anyone. I felt they needed an adventure, so I send them on their way to Australia! I mean, Nyx’s website tagline is “I love the zines, and the zines love me.”, so I figured that would be a good match.

Then, with the zine situation sorta kinda sorted into a “keep” and a “read” box, I went throught all the magazines still lying around. Turns out I was more up to date than I thought, with only a couple of issues from the beginning of March still unread. Having read most of them since, I am almost completely up to date with regards to my magazines. Score!

After all that, I had to get through all my papers lying around, and make sure all Official Forms were filled in and filed correctly, which they now are. Seeing that I was energised and enthusiastic, me and The Big Kahuna went through all my clothes and shoes, and donated all the no (longer) worn items to the second hand store. I even had two bags that have needed repairing for about 8 million years to the taylor/bag repair person AND remembered to pick them up, so I am very proud of myself.

Amidst of all this, I also had to clean out my university email account, as it will cease to exist soon: having decided (or, realised actually) that I will need more time to recuperate, I am taking a break from finishing my BA until February 2017. I have also deferred my MA offer until September 2017. It took me some time to get to this point, to actually accept that this was not an issue I could just ignore and “Keep going, hardcore-style”, that I REALLY need to start taking better care of myself.

In the coming weeks I’ll continue to clean up my house, and get rid of rehome the things that no longer fit in my life. I will also continue work on the sketchbooks and the zines that need finishing. And watch a ridiculous amount of Casey Neistat videos, that too.

Zine/sketchbook news

Finally, after about 8 million years, some zine news: I have resumed work on The Wreckage, zine #2 in ~the trilogy~! Having read through all the material, I have distilled which topics are going to be featured in what order. Well, sorta kinda, I assume some switching around will happen, but at least I have a general idea. In the coming week(s), I will be editing down the heap of words into readable “chapters”, and then hopefully get to the layout phase and finally finish it and move on to the final installment of ~the trilogy~.

I am trying to get them done quickly not only because I have been working on them for so long and need to get the momentum back, but also because I still have three different Sketchbook Project projects lying around that I would like to finish up. Only one of them has a deadline, thankfully. The biggest challenge will be finding the folder in which I put them (and the notes/ideas I already had for them), as my house is still a lot on the messy side and I seem to have misplaced… everything. I will of course, as always, keep you updated. 😀

2016 – The Pre-Cap

Happy 2016 everybody! I figured that in a world in which the Star Wars franchise gets sequels and prequels, I could have my own pre-cap. So here’s what I’ll be doing in the next few months:

  1. This month, I will be writing the final two exams of my studies, after which I only need to write my thesis to graduate. I have decided that if I for some reason do not pass these two exams, I will be quitting my studies. I have apparently gone through all the Stages of Grief and have reached the “I don’t give a flying f*ck anymore, I just want my life back come February 1”-stage.
  2. Once February happens, independent of potential thesis writing, I will be cleaning out my house Marie Kondo style. I am sick and tired of living in a crypt surrounded by Stuff From The Past/Stuff For A Future That Never Materialised. I am planning to get rid of at least half of the things that are currently in my house. I will of course donate everything useful and recycle everything that is broken.
  3. Despite planning and some progress, I still have about 3 zines and 3 sketchbooks that are Not Finished Yet. I will finish them in the month of March, then go on a Sketchbook/zinewriting hiatus as I re-evalue my ~creative existence~: do I care enough about my ~creative existence~ to be a 40+ year old person who writes and glues stuff together that nobody cares about (see also: the piles of my own zines on my cupboard), or should I maybe do something else with my time, money and energy?
  4. Re-evaluate my life in general, to see if the constant feeling of “I feel stuck!!!” subsides once my studies are over, or if I need to make other adjustments in my life too.
  5. Try not to fall apart completely and turn into a non-functioning mess once Clark (my cat, he has terminal cancer) dies. As you can imagine, this point will be the hardest to manage. I’m not sure I will. Manage, that is.

I have already started studying for my exams, so point 1 is on its way. Next week I will finally post a photo set of an exhibition I went to in November(!), peeps who love graffiti/street art should definitely be stoked! *studies some more*

“Stupidity at University – 5 short stories of WTF!?” – online zine

This weekend, I really wanted to so something creative, preferably work on my Sketchbook Project entry, but I just wasn’t in the right mood for that project. It is going to be about city lights, insomnia, and other topics that profit from a bit of a contemplative mood while writing about them. My mood however was !#$@%$#$^@!

I went through my “List of Projects 2014 – forevah”-list and almost immediately spotted the ideal project for this type of mood: a short zine about 5 of the most ridiculously WTF!? interactions I’ve had with grown *ss mature adults in a university setting. I got to work and here it is:

Enjoy! 🙂

Not a listicle (well, not really)

As last week was a bit too busy and the next one will be equally a bit too busy too, I decided to do ab-so-lute-ly nothing this weekend. The only thing I did was customise a onesie into a post-operative cat outfit and be very relieved that Clark doesn’t seem to mind wearing it. Although he looks very cute in it, I really do hope his surgical wound heals up quickly so he doesn’t have to wear it anymore.

Apart from this, in the last week I have:

  • started both the new semester and the new block, so two classes;
  • completely “remodelled” my résumé according to the newest trends I was introduced to at a workshop, as these things tend to change over the years. As I am significantly older than the regular student and sincerely wonder if it will be of any relevance to future employers that I worked as a cashier at a supermarket 15+ years ago, I will be making an appointment with a Specialised Person who will hopefully be able to enlighten me;
  • started research and the writing of an outline for my BA thesis;
  • bought a fancy usb-stick in the shape of a pastry to backup said research on and two packs of 500 A4 pages of printing paper;
  • made some appointments left and right that will hopefully lead to Things That Will Be Announced Once They’re Certain;
  • started physically (as in: I went to visit) researching possible MA studiesand last but not least
  • actually figured out what are going to be the topics of Zine #2, how I’m going to be writing about them, and I’ve also decided that the working title is going to be the official title, because why not. So from now on “Zine #2” will be referred to as “The Wreckage”, making the trilogy “The Summer – The Wreckage – The Berk”. Work on both The Wreckage and The Berk will continue on an infrequent but continuing basis, “Slow motion is better than no motion”-style, until they’re done.

If all goes according to my plans, I will FINALLY have some time next weekend to start working on the final stage of my entry for the Sketchbook Project 2015, which would be great. *hums “slow motion is better than no motion” like a mantra*

Hibernation mode

For a while there I thought I was sailing smoothly through this winter, but a couple of days ago I realised that despite vitamins and fancy daylight lamps, yup, I am tired. Le Tired, even. Combine that with preparing for exams, waiting for the results of said exams, waiting for yet another decision from The Powers That Be, and we’ve got a “study, eat, sleep, wash, study, eat, sleep”-situation going on.

Fear not, I’m not depressed or even unhappy, I’m just not in a state that is very conductive to creativity. So although I technically do have some time asides from studying that I could be using to write zines and sketchbooks and extensive blogposts, it’s just not happening right now. Lots of sleeping is what is happening, which, considering I’ve been having these moments again where I think I still need to do things that I’ve already done weeks ago, seems like a great idea. Creativity will surely happen again when my mind is caught up with my life.

Helping me with the chillaxing, is Clark, and this is what it looks like when he cuddles me:

Clark snuggle

Best face ever, y/y?

On schedule

With everybody doing end of year/recap type posts, I felt compelled to do one too, until I realised that for me, this isn’t really the end of the year: I’m only half way. Recap post will therefore be happening in July, as always.

At the moment, I’m enjoying 1 1/2 weeks off and for the first time in 4 years, “off” actually means “off”. I am completely on schedule and I don’t have lingering extended deadlines I need to get things done for, which feels GREAT. Apart from sleeping a ridiculous lot, I’ve been working on selecting pictures for my Sketchbook Project 2015 entry, which is coming along nicely and will most definitely be ready on time. I have also started on the final draft of The Berk zine, and have been compiling material for the zine still named Zine #2, so those projects are also still on their way.

While I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I am planning 2015 to be the year in which I finish up all the “loose ends” (zines, Sketchbooks, STUDIES!!!) and start envisioning what ~the next phase~ will look like. You can all probably imagine that as a person who enjoys having DONE things more than actually doing them, I am REALLY looking forward to that. So onto more writing I go! See you all in the new year! 🙂

Amsterdam Zine Jam 2014

Last Saturday, I attended the Amsterdam Zine Jam at the Felix Merits building here in Amsterdam. I was welcomed at the door by two lovely people who gave me a program, that featured a zine within a zine:

booklet

This seems to be a bit of a theme this year, as my zine has one and so did this one:

zine by steeb“All that we see or seem is but a zine within a zine” – Edgar Allan Poe

Since the building was very high and the staircase-depth thing was very deep, I decided to play it safe and take the elevator. I started off in the reading room, where there were zines hung on wires and swings you could sit on, to read said zines. While it looked great, I would have loved to also have a bunch of zines NOT hanging from the ceiling, especially the more elaborate text and/or comic ones, because it’s just not the most comfortable way to read a zine.

At the zine fest I went to in Paris, they had zines on strings, but also zines in a box that you could sit around with a small group and read. This also made random interaction with fellow zinefesters easier, something that I personally found hard to achieve at this fest. But I also do realise that this is Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where people will just randomly steal shit just because they can. I hereby volunteer as a librarian/zine guard for next year. Yes, I’m serious.

After the reading room, I went downstairs to check out the new zines. This room again had lots of zines on strings, but also a couple of zines attached to a sitting bench type thing. Or at least, I sat on it. No alarm went off and it didn’t break, so I assume it was okay?

In one of the other rooms, you could sit down and have somebody type up your story, which you could then use to make your own zine. It was a huge room, with one person typing and one person talking, and for (I assume) privacy reasons, you were not allowed in there. While understandable and very stylish, from a “how to organise this sh*t as efficient as possible”-perspective, it did feel a bit like an ineffective use of space, especially when looking at how packed the main room was: it had a bar, a fairly large collection of photography zines, a big table where you could work on your zines, a photo copier, a binding table, and all of the vendor stalls.

There was no sitting space except for at the (very busy) zine making table, I would have loved to have been able to sit down with a pile of the photography books and just look at them for an hour. Leafing through zines/books while standing always gives me the feeling that I’m at a book shop checking out what to potentially buy, not at a library enjoying the reading. The same goes for ordering a drink at the bar: I like to be able to sit with my drink, maybe even sit next to new people and exchange some convo, not awkwardly stand around with my cola in a corner all by myself.

Don’t get me wrong: it was really cool to see all the different kinds of zines people had sent in, and it was great to see a lot of people trying their hand at making zines, but it would have been nice to have a place to “rest”, read some zines, have a drink, have a convo with fellow (new) zinesters. Not that I think that a zine jam should be a full on ~networking opportunity~, but especially here in the Netherlands where there are not many zinesters, it would be nice to meet some likeminded people, if only for a short talk over a drink.

With the setup as it was now, it felt more like an exhibition. And, like at an exhibition, it’s kind of hard (and probably not even appreciated) to just walk up to a group of people (I was pretty much the only person who was by herself – Protip to others and to future me: bring somebody) and go “Hey! Do you also make zines?” So yeah, that part of the experience was a little disappointing to me.

Anyway, I did take lots of awesome pictures, which (with added captions of course, so make sure to check those out) can be seen here on Flickr.
Speaking of Flickr, I remember promising linking to the photos of the wooden letters, printing presses ‘n stuff. They can be found here: click!