Well, it’s been a week since L.A. Zine Fest and I’m still reeling from all the awesome people I met and interacted with and all the zine inspiration my eyes were bombarded with!
First of all, this was my first time even attending L.A. Zine Fest. I saw some photographs from last years event and heard many times over how loud it was. This time around, the fest was held in Helm’s Bakery, in Culver City, which, from what I could tell, seemed pretty artsy and hip. MT and I left San Diego at 5 a.m. (on the dot!) and arrived with an hour to spare before check-in. We knew it was going to be a good day when we encountered no traffic on the drive up there.
We checked in and made our way to our table, and ogled everyone else’s tables that were set up the night before. Our table mate, Ghost Ranch, had not arrived yet; in fact, we were probably the first zinesters to check in because we were there so early. It took all of 20-30 minutes or so for us to set up, but while MT and I were drawing up the sign for our table, I started to get butterflies! Maybe it was because I felt like such a newbie to this zine fest. I still feel like newbie to the zine world in general, as a matter of fact. Thankfully, the butterflies didn’t last very long and our table mate (her name is Nicole) showed up and turned out to be an awesomely nice person.
The L.A. Zine Fest crew seemed to have the whole event under control. LAZF was set up in two huge rooms with the hallway entrance turned into an art gallery and panel discussion space. Thankfully there was a row of port-a-potty’s around the corner (they said “organic” port-a-potty’s, but what makes it “organic“?), free coffee, a table with free zines at the entrance, a gaming area, tables for attendees to make their own zines and buttons and a zine library that included donations from tablers at LAZF 2014.
I’m not sure that I necessarily had a specific intention with tabling at L.A. Zine Fest. I knew it would be my chance to meet a handful of zinesters that I’d been in contact with via emails and whatnot, so that was really exciting. Of course I wanted to sell zines, but that was definitely not my focus. I think it all came together after I attended the panel discussion, “Black Hill Press Presents: Zine to Publishing”. Prominent zinesters turned artists, or vice versa, Yumi Sakugawa, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Tomas Moniz (Rad Dad) and Kevin Staniec talked about their entree into the zine world and where it has taken them in their lives. It seemed, to me, that the main idea was to use events like zine fests to meet other people with the same interests who can encourage you and share ideas with and to, most importantly, stay true to your art and share it with the world.
In retrospect, sure that bit of advice seems fairly obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded every once in a while just to keep on truckin’, keep the faith, keep the confidence, keep creating, keep sharing…
I left L.Z. Zine Fest feeling accomplished and invigorated- mission accomplished!
More photos here…