News: 4/14/2009  

Tell Me, Have You 'Zine Her?

Funny enough, I did not discover Steph Walker’s homemade ‘zine whilst browsing for journals at the bookstore. I did not stumble upon it at a print show, nor did we ever broach the subject in conversation. Rather, I found out about it in the same lazy fashion I find out about most of the things my friends are doing in their free (or not-with-me) time: Facebook. Anyhow, I’m not sweating it, as I was among at least ten others who immediately responded (with equal enthusiasm, I might add) to Walker’s online announcement: “Zine is done! Handing out/mailing this week!!! Ask if you want one (its free!).” You might recognize Walker’s designs from the print collaborative Yeller, or if you’ve ever done your homework—but even if you haven’t, now might be a good time to study up.

Tell me a little ditty about Zine: Four Corners. Why free, why now?

I've been wanting to create a free ‘zine for awhile, and mostly do it because I have few projects I get to work on just for myself. It also gets a little of my work out there and seen, though that's not the main reason I made it. Mostly I want people to pick it up and identify with the content. It's nice when I receive emails or calls from people saying that they liked my work, and that it made them want to do the same thing, go through the same process. It creates a kind of community that can be built on and shared with increasing numbers of people (hopefully). I also love ‘zines because they represent, if not a total separation, a removal from traditional graphic design in that they are self-published and can be messy looking. There's less of a "focus group" feeling to them, and they can be very personal.

As for the content, I had a few illustrations I'd made, and a few poems I'd written recently that I thought it would be fun to share. Since a lot of the stuff I make ends up being about the same kinds of subjects it was pretty easy to fit them all together. I chose the title "Four Corners" because I like the number four (seasons, directions, etc), and also because I had 4 poems that kind of related; it worked out well. In a way I'm also searching for my place in the art/design world. I could go on and on with metaphors about meaning but won't.

What about the written word, (& in your case, poetry) begs to be integrated into your art?

As for the writing process, I think a lot of the inspiration came from the people I've been around recently, and especially the people who also write/make music/do art. It makes me want to do the same. I was a comparative literature minor so I'm not a stranger to poetry, and tend to stick in that genre of writing because it can be as short as I want and still have meaning without much grammatical structure. I tend to write at night, as I've heard many people do, since during the day I get super distracted from life in general. I'm more honest with myself when I'm almost asleep.

What journals can be found at your bedside table (or wherehaveyou)?
The only thing next to my bed is my sketchbook, and lately an iPod. I get more out of the words from music than books sometimes. I usually read books about space or science, but mostly I enjoy digesting content from the day and interpreting it in a blank notebook (call it a rebellion against old reading assignments?).

What do you say to a world without physical media (i.e. bankrupt newspapers)? & how do you see smaller journals, creative publications filling in the gap for those who still desire tangible print
? (Sorry if I can't keep my opinions out of these questions.)
I don't think physical media will disappear, but it will definitely have to be more meaningful. We can get information almost anywhere. What we want are experiences. That's what's great about personally generated or artistic content, especially when having the "printed item" itself is part of the objective, having a tactile piece to open and turn pages and explore in. With zines, the homemade nature of the object itself is what you want to collect, not just for pretty pictures or a marketing message but a little piece of the truth from someone.

Is it true? Is Golden Hill losing Steph Walker to Brooklyn? Say it ain't so.
Yes, Brooklyn is on the agenda!! I'm going to be super sad to leave but have to do it while I can...

You, too, can get your own (free!) copy of Zine: Four Corners at

--Jordan Anne Karnes

Tags: Golden Hill, Yeller, Steph Walker, Homerwork Show


John Zane Zappas made this post on 4/14/2009 at 11:17 pm
Jordan is awesome
Steph Walker made this post on 4/15/2009 at 12:43 pm
Man gurrrl. This is great. I draw a lot right before I go to bed too, and sometimes fall asleep while doing it. Next homework show? Drawings we fall asleep to?
Lindsay made this post on 4/16/2009 at 8:53 am
i like that one. maybe that could also include all the brilliant ideas that arrive on the crest of sleep (which are sort of bust, naturally).
jordan made this post on 4/17/2009 at 10:03 am

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