Monday, September 28, 2009

just a small update...

well here i am, back to the internets, but just to tell you a couple of news, like, i have a new computer, i finally bought that "damn" laptop i've been dreaming of the last months. so i spent the free time i had during this weekend learning my way around it, installing some software i need to be able to function with this thing...

today was election day here in Portugal, for the government/parliament, so a part of my afternoon was spent on that, going to vote and "socializing" with friends & acquaintances of my parents (i went with them to vote).
then after dinner i decided to do some cleanings & (re) organizing some areas of my bedroom. hopefully, i'll be able to set up a little space so i can have the laptop there. i still need to set up the wireless modem/router i had to buy to go wit the cable ADSL internet i already had on the desktops at my house, so that i can take the laptop to my room and still have internet in there.

i don't think they will read this, but i got a lot of stuff in the mail last week, from lovely Etsy zine-makers & from the We Make Zines community, but because of my job i didn't have time to let them know i got their packages or to leave them feedback at Etsy :-(
i'll probably get a few more stuff this week, i hope i can get to contact that all of them and tell them that their zines (& goodies) arrived safe and sound and that i loved their decorated envelopes, postcards, stickers, and etc etc ^__^

p.s.: hurray for me! i managed to type all this without using a mouse, cause i bought one indeed, but it's not working and i'm going to the store to exchange it. so, my nightmare is a touchpad with two buttons! EEEKK!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

random errors

(couldn't come up with a better post-title, sorry)

spent many parts of today working for my zine, which wasn't so bad because i usually just lurk around for visual inspiration and topics to develop essays in my mind. it could be better, i could be working in the zine, but hey, you can't have it all at once now, can you?

nothing i the mail for me today :-/ . but hold on my beating heart, in the next weeks i'll hopefully have at least one goodie in the mailbox per week, since i went on a online shopping spree for zines (hurray for Etsy!! hurray for PayPal!! hurray for zinesters at WMZ and everywhere else!!) these last days of my vacation...

after breakfast, i picked up some books i had tagged with colored post-its for cool stuff to scan and started at it. then i browsed some old schoolbooks, which i've found make for good collage and page-backgrounds resources along with illustrations and random blocks of text/typography. at least i'm actually learning something from seeing zines samples online and buy them like an addict.

i got some schoolbooks from the 50's and 60 from my parents, and my bothers' from the 70s. my books are not that "vintage" (hahaha), i only got stuff from the 80s and 90s, not so cool when it comes to images or diagrams, and full color leave little "image-manip potential" to my imagination.

all i needed now was a few more vacation days to get my arse off to the copy shop at the mall and print some stuff to test the copiers and start making some backgrounds for layout samples and collage stash. but i can't have any more days now, i'm ending my vacations tonight, sadly for me and for my computer, my biggest companion during these "hermit" days, i'm sure ´he´ is going to miss me much and so will i :-(´´´

yesterday i hardly ever thought about the "implications" of going back to work. but today, as the deadline came closer, i started feeling a bit anguished about it and a bit depressed too... i can't help feeling like that sometimes because as time goes by, i think more and more on the meaning of my job and how it's affecting my life. and when i say affecting, i mean it's in a bad way. but i can't quit my job can i? it's a long story, but i waited a long time until i got a "real" paying job and it would turn my life upside down if i quited now, specially this year because if the so-called crisis and blah blah blah.
so i just keep on at it, getting sucked into a void that keeps me away from my friends and my hobbies and time to take care of myself. how can someone balance the need of a job with feeling unhappy at it and at the path that that job keeps taking your life into?

the bad news is...

i might take a while to answer emails from now on, because tomorrow i'm back to work (my last vacations for this year end tonight snif snif´´´´) and i'll have less time to come to my computer (that sucks, but days only have 24 hours so...). i could try to check my email at work but the next few days i'll probably won't get much free time in there and besides it can be hard to get enough privacy to check my mail...

also i'm having some guys install optic fiber at the building where i live and if i'm not lucky i might loose my internet connection for a couple of days (that sucks too, hopefully nothing will happen but...)

so, don't think i'm ignoring your messages or anything, it's just life getting in the away again ;-/

lots of new stuff in the mailbox but oops!

got another big amount of stuff on the mail today; the rest of my last BookDepository order and a package from Microcosm. Microcosm = ZINES!!! but sadly, they seem to have missed one of the items i ordered, a book about the Icarus Project :-( I'm gonna have to email them back to solve this problem, but i hate doing this kind of stuff, really i do!
weirdest thing about all that is that the package that arrived today was the last order i made at Microcosm and was which was shipped about a week ago, and i'm still waiting for two previous orders that were shipped almost a week before the last one.
since these two first orders were pretty big, lot's of zines & books, they sent them in large boxes instead of flat envelopes like i usually get, so i hope and cross my fingers that it didn't get lost or stopped in the damn customs in Portugal, or that the guys at the post office didn't screwed my packages!
i know it's probably a big & heavy package and the delivery man/woman might not be able to bring it to my door but that's why they have warning flyers on heavy/big volume mail, for the gods' sake! arghh, i get really annoyed when mail delivery works that mediocre, it has happened before but then i didn't get mail/packages for a while and when i started again it worked fine... until now :-(

My first submission for a zine?...

not long after i had joined the We Make Zines community, i got a lovely invitation to write a piece for one of the members, a zinester with a lot more experience that me for sure. i was surprised at the invite, because i never did anything like that before but that zinester was really friendly and patient, explaining me what his project is about and encouraging me to write down some stuff.

about four days after the invite, after thinking about it a lot and researching photos (yep, the project includes sending a photo but for documenting purposes only), and after a bit of procratination (i wouldn't be me if i didn't do a little procrastination!) i finally managed to put thoughts down on paper. i had one of those rare epiphany moments: after waking up early and not being able to fall asleep again, my mind started thinking about the project; i had already thought about a few things to write and i knew i had to pick up pen and paper and start writting! so i did, and i ended up with four A5 pages of text, not that bad for a starter.

after lunch, i came to my computer and started to transcript the text, then noticed some spelling and grammar errors, researched the dictionary and wikipedia for translations for some Portuguese words i had never used in English and i got the text down to one A4 page, which is half of the maximum required for the project. so, i should pat myself on the shoulder a bit and feel proud of having actually written something, and probably i might just make it in that project, yey!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zine projects in mind

next are a few ideas i had for different zines and/or contents for a zine, topics i would like to receive submissions for and print, if i only had enough time for everything hahaha! now don't go and steal these names, ok?! i will be using them, somehow somewhere, even as a combined project, why not?

Birdcage - that's probably the name i've decided for my perzine thing... the name does mean something to me, it came to my mind in a somehow random way but when i thought about it better i found a meaning.

Paper Scraps - that's the delayed project for an art zine, the first idea i had for making a zine actually...

You Suck at Drawing - don't ask... the title sucks too, i know, but the intention is what really counts :-p

Summer Leaves, comes Autumn Breeze - now this is definitely artsy inclined, since Autumn is such a visual theme. poetry, prose, illustration, photography, comics, whatever has visual & literary content, preferably mixed in the same piece.

Busy doing nothing - how about this? yeah, not very original 'cause i got it from an article on «The 7 habits of procrastinators», but it's the best i could 'come up' with...
Procrastination is a subject that affects me way to often, so i could build from here to make something ziny about it. i've googled it up and there's already a zine in th UK called «The Art of Procrastination (Or How to Write a Zine)», which leaves me a bit limited as using the word 'procrastination' as title.

A Helping Hand - all about Volunteer Work, but i'm more curious about stuff related to animal shelters & animal welfare and about volunteer work made in jails. oh, and when i come to think better, also women's shelters, and literacy programs for children & adults without economic opportunities. i feel if there was more good work done on these subjects, the world would be a better place.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
So far, this is it... all the names are down on paper*, ups, i mean on digital/online form, so to make it more real and appealing. and maybe motivate me a little bit more!

If you have any work you related to any of these themes (except for Birdcage, since it's a perzine project i want to keep all content personal or friends related), and would like to see your stuff published in a zine of mine, i'd be happy if you leave a comment on this post. it can be work you've published before on other zines, but i would really appreciate if it was original work ;-)

* actually, most of the names are written on paper, on my scrapbook where i first put down any ideas and topics i have for zines

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More Tips & Tricks!

and here's another post i'll be updating with Tips & Tricks, these are collected from several posts, websites, etc.  you can add your own tips if you have any, just leave a comment on this post!

1.Learn to wrap packages properly in kraft paper instead of using envelopes. It is much cheaper. " (from Kate, at the We Make Zines community.)
My add-up tip: it's not hard to make an envelope out of a sheet of paper. you can use a real envelope, "unfold" it and outline the shape and the folded/glued parts on thicker paper or cardboard and save that as a pattern for making envelopes yourself. I'm sure there's a tutorial online about this type of stuff...
Also, you can also recycle old papers when making envelopes, but to keep it from getting your mail sent back to you, maybe use papers that are white on one side and patterned on the other. then, fold it so that the patterned goes on the inside of the envelope and the outside is plain white. Either way, these tips combined are a way to recycle and save money, and that's always good!

2. A problem that seems to come up often when selling zines with cash payments to outside your own country, is getting foreign currency and what to do with it. It's not always easy for people to go to the bank or post office specifically to exchange a couple of dollars (i used "dollars" because the zine scene is quite active in there). James N. Dawson at WMZ, suggested " why not just keep the money and use it to order zines from the country it came from? " Now that's an excellent idea, i would've never come up with that! Again, another tip that can save you money and you can still read new and cool zines, and keep your zine collection growing!

3. Lauren Arcade at WMZ says the following: " I write a lot of zine reviews, and I know it's proper to write out the full address of the author at the end, but I usually go with an email or website if there is one listed. Because you never know if somebody is going to read that review in 2 years and send their money to an address that the zinester moved out of a year ago. Also, if the mailing address for a zine is misprinted or if you screw up just one of the letters or numbers, then you're out a couple bucks. "
I've seen this issue brought up before many times, so it's definitely something to keep in mind, folks!

4. ...

Zine Trade Tips

following my last post, on SamProof's video tutorial, he talks about zine trading and he has had a great idea i feel i must share you (even) more people!

according to his own words, if you would like to have a copy of the zine but are short or out of money, you can send a drawing with a self-addressed stamped envelope and you will receive a copy of the zine back! also, your drawing might appear on the next issue of the zine!

i think this is a very good idea! usually, zine trading means you send your own zine to get a copy of someone else's zine. but what if you are not a zine-maker? that would leave you with no zine to trade and you would never be able to get that zine from that person... so, SamProof's proposal is a very generous one, in my humble opinion.

my only question/doubt on this hole process is:
how do self-addresses stamped envelopes work when sending them outside your own country?
i mean, i know how much it costs to send a letter to another person in my own country (Portugal), but how can i know how much it costs to send a letter from the USA, for example, to Portugal?
and in terms of currency exchange (Euro stamps postage vs. American dollars stamp postage), how does is work?
perhaps this is a bit of a dumb question, but, hey, if you can enlighten me, i'd be very thankful :-D

video - DIY: How to Make a Zine

i found this cool video on YouTube, by SamProof, were he demonstrates how to make a zine (small format, about 7.5 cm by 10.5 cm, that's about 2"95 by 4"13) without using glue/staples/stitching/etc, just by a special but simple folding process!

see it here:
DIY - How to Make a Zine; Paper, Scissors, Pen - Rockin!

i've tried making some mock-ups of this mini-zine style and it's fun, opens a lot of perspectives ;-)
give it a try yourself! have fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

click here to visit:
(hosted by Lou Brooks)

i found this interesting museum through "How many of these rulers, plastic templates, gauges, bottles of goo, and pens have you used or still use in your art or design projects?" 
and what's also really cool about this webpage, is that you can submit your own pictures of art supplies to add up to the museum's collection ;-)

new book in the mailbox

finally, the books from my last BookDepository order started to arrive today. actually, i got another surprise from the mail earlier, when my posters arrived from, but that's a whole different thing.

anyway, back to the book i was talking about, it's called «Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-destruction», by Sabrina Chapadjiev, and this is the product description from the website:

"In a collection of original stories, essays, artwork and photography, Nan Goldin, Eileen Myles, bell hooks and other curring edge artists explore their use of art to survive abuse, madness, incest, depression and the impulse towards self-destruction. The diverse array of contributors - novelists, poets, cartoonists, artists, photographers, dancers, playwrights and burlesque performers - traverse the pains and passions that can both motivate and destroy women artists."

sounds kinda weird that i'm excited about this book, since it seems to be a bit of a heavy reading, but the main themes - art, women artists, pain - are quite appealing to me, also for personal reasons, of course, but it goes a bit beyond the personal side, since i'm becoming very interested in learning more about women artists. an, in a certain way, i hope that reading this book will sparkle my own creativity (if i really have any...).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

thinking to much can be bad thing

this project is turning to be a lot harder than what i had expected... i haven't made any advances in the zine, and i had already giving up the format of an "art zine" thing, since it was/is turning into a more personal issue. so, maybe it will end up being a perzine, like they call it in zine slang ;-)

there seem to be a lot of things going on in my mind and very little things really happening in my life, which is kind off ironic, i guess...
my mind can't stop thinking and keeps wandering every time i came up with a subject for a "mental conversation" with myself, which was supposed to turn into subject for writing and developing. so, in the end, i end up writing nothing, zero, nada, niente... zero. dammit, that's so frustrating!