indie art & design blog

drawn to zine

Cover of MOTE zine and cover of Fly Away Bird zine

Zines MOTE by Cameron Baker and Fly Away Bird by Miss Helen

Self-published pages stapled or stitched together in the form of zines are fulfilling mediums to directly exhibit ideas, writings and artwork, without rules or external limitations. Usually of small stature, the tiny time-commitment required to read a zine is far outweighed by the pleasure found within the pages. Content is limitless, however drawings are a common element that lend themselves to the zine format. Recently I have spent some idle moments with a number of captivating zines, all filled with the illustrative talents of their inspiring creators.

Pages from MOTE zine

Pages from MOTE

A zine by Cameron Baker, MOTE partly contains traditional magazine content such as interviews, reviews and photo essays, but is accented with drawings by Cam himself and has an ingest and interact feel to it. Throughout MOTE the reader is challenged to tasks such as strategically placing an illustrated post-it note in the city, or sending in a point-of-view photograph. This interactive communication with readers is the most important element of Cam's continual creation of Mote as he wants people to feel like he is giving them something through the zine. Cam draws satisfaction from knowing that there are "people out there smiling" because of something he made, and aims to balance the endearing chaos of zines with information and thoughts that remain easy to read.

Cam is a regular reader of Lumpen by Pat Grant.

Pages from Fly Away Bird zine

Pages from Fly Away Bird

Fly Away Bird
Gentle illustrations fill the zine Fly Away Bird, along with personal words presented as non-linear thoughts. Fly Away Bird reads as if it is a privileged look into the inner workings of creator Miss Helen, as each page projects an emotional idea, with the tender drawings softening the blow of honest and sometimes darkened sentiment. Miss Helen has been creating zines for 13 years, and says she does so as an "unrestricted catharsis", free to control content, timing and distribution. Circulation of her zine is purposefully kept small, allowing each copy to remain as an edition of an artwork, rather than a repeatable product. In return for sharing her intimate outlook, Miss Helen gains joy from connecting with people, and the zine provides an ideal medium to do so in a "personal, yet safely distant way".

Miss Helen views all zines as art, and likes to read sincere zines such as those created by Vanessa Berry or Tiny Paper Hearts. She also looks forward to discovering zines that are yet to be created.

Pages from Telephone & Me zine

Pages from Telephone & Me

Telephone & Me
The talent of illustrator and visual artist Mel Stringer is immediately perceptible in her latest zine Telephone & Me. Set out within frames, each component of the zine is a reflective narrative on situations and people Mel has encountered. The basic facts of the stories are written out by hand, but the accompanying illustrations provide the insightful detail. Mel's zines are created as if they were her diary, she attempts to forget that ultimately she will have an audience and writes and draws as if it were only for herself. This serves an important purpose for her, as she loves "dealing with big, scary life by drawing about it".

Among Mel's favourite zines is BATS by a young group of Brisbane girls.

Pages from Beef Knuckles zine

Pages from Beef Knuckles

Beef Knuckles
Born from an admiration of comics and humorous stories, Beef Knuckles is a collaborative zine between 3 creative friends by the names of Bryn, Hon and Rob. Beef Knuckles stands out with a hand screen-printed cover and is packed with entertaining comics, discourses and artworks. As a zine, it contains a relatively huge amount of matter to get buried into, and although they are very open to what gets published, the Beef Knuckles team have discovered a framework of 70-80% comics and illustration with 20-30% text works best. The guys approach zine creation with the idea that "it's fun to make something", and this attitude is reflected in the lighthearted pages.

For a dose of jokes the Beef Knuckles boys enjoy the zine The Titled Page.

Beef Knuckles zine cover and Telephone zine cover

Zines Beef Knuckles, a collaborative effort, and Telephone & Me by Mel Stringer.

The world of zine and zinesters is a vast one, but the best places to start for information and distribution are the Sticky Institute in Melbourne and Bird in the Hand Zine Shop in Newcastle. Keep an eye also on the Australian Zines and Small Press group.

Zine Fairs happen frequently and the next large one will be at Canberra Contemporary Art Space on Saturday July 3rd from 11am to 4pm.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010.

winterland markets callout

Winterland Markets flyer

The girls from The Finders Keepers Markets have embarked on another new project & are curating the brand new Winterland Markets to be held at CarriageWorks as part of the Winterland Festival.

Not only will Winterland boast an ICE RINK, it will also feature a series of 18 live music events (40+ bands), a delicious alpine cuisine menu and, of course, the winter-themed design & art markets. The event is free to attend & family-friendly, with the ice-skating sessions themselves costing between $12.50 - $16.50.

Winterland Markets Stallholder Callout
The selection criteria is very different from other Finders Keepers events. The girls are looking for stallholders to sell high quality, well-presented Wintery-themed products: design & art products, or vintage, books, music, food, plants etc from both new & established businesses. If this sounds like you, visit to apply for your stall.

Market days & times are: Thursday & Friday evening 6pm – 10:30pm & Saturday 11am –10:30pm from 8th to 31st July. The cost per stall is $400 for a weekend, including a 2.5m x 2m space, trestle table & chairs & access to power if required.

Weekends now booking:
Weekend 1 – 8th, 9th, 10th July
Weekend 2 – 15th, 16th, 17th July
Weekend 3 – 22nd, 23rd, 24th July
Weekend 4 – 29th, 30th, 31st July

Get your skates on!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010.

glimpses from ladies first

Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery

If you haven't yet seen the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery, today is your last chance... (The gallery is open until 10pm.) The opening night was packed, and the gallery decorated with columns of pink & black balloons, tying in with the play between naughty & nice. Guests could also choose between fluffy marshmallows or black licorice! The title wall above features work by Courtney Brims and Emma Leonard.

4 artworks by Monika Viktoria on show at the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery

Artworks by Monika Viktoria

Curator Tessa Yee was overwhelmed by the positive responses she received, both on opening night and throughout the show. She has also been impressed with the widespread interest in affordable, delicate drawings & illustrations, with many visitors eager to purchase artworks.

Sculptures by Marie Larkin on show at the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery

In addition to framed pictures, there are also some 3D works including the sculptures by Marie Larkin (pictured above) and selected pieces by Helani Laisk & Josephine Bradley Scott.

Artworks by Megan Dell on show at the Ladies First exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery

Artworks by Megan Dell

For artist profiles, see our earlier posts, "ladies first at bsg" and "more from ladies first".

The Ladies First exhibition concludes today, 3rd June 2010 at:
Brunswick Street Gallery
322 Brunswick Street,
Fitzroy, 3065.
The gallery is open 7 days from 10am - 10pm.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010.

handmade market winter

Gypsy Tutu and Poppy Letterpress - stallholders at Canberra's Handmade Market Winter 2010

Gypsy Tutu and Poppy Letterpress - stallholders at Canberra's Handmade Market Winter 2010

Mix an assortment of handmade wares with fresh flowers for your sweetie, foodies to ease your appetite and serenades on a frosty day and you have something that looks a bit like the Winter Warmer Handmade Market in Canberra.

Posie Patchwork and Village Woodworks - stallholders at Canberra's Handmade Market Winter 2010

Posie Patchwork and Village Woodworks - stallholders at Canberra's Handmade Market Winter 2010

The market is run by the same lovely ladies who recently opened the Shop Handmade store (which featured on the indie art & design blog a couple of weeks ago).

Six in a Row and Honi and Lemon - stallholders at Canberra's Handmade Market Winter 2010

Six in a Row and Honi and Lemon - stallholders at Canberra's Handmade Market Winter 2010

Handmade Market is on this Saturday the 5th of June from 10am until 4pm at the grounds of the Kamberra Wine Company in Lyneham. Entry is free, however there will not be an ATM available at the market.

Visit for further details!

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010.

matt huynh : asperatus : one night only!

Invitation to Matt Huynh's Asperatus exhibition

We're really excited about next Tuesday night's Asperatus exhibition. Not only is it Matt Huynh's first solo exhibition in three years - it's also being held at the Australian Museum... in the Skeleton Gallery!

The location is perfect for Matt's return to a subconscious and primitive approach to image making, with his never-before-seen illustration series, "Asperatus". The starkly desaturated illustrations in ink, charcoal, paint and gesso portray visual narratives with a reliance upon instinct, intuition, waking dreams and chance. Matt's imagery is haunting. With an uneasy tension between individual characters and elements, his unnatural environments possess both a stillness and a sense of creeping change - as if each illustration is morphing while nobody's looking.

Levitation - artwork from Matt Huynh's Asperatus exhibition

"Levitation" from the Asperatus series of illustrations by Matt Huynh

"Asperatus" roughly translates to 'agitated' or 'roughened' in Latin. It's also the name of the first new cloud formation to be discovered in over half a century - clouds that look heavy and dark, and pulse down towards the Earth like ripples viewed from below the skin of water. Despite their threatening appearance, they disperse without casting a storm. The name seems a good fit for the brooding, atmospheric works of the "Asperatus" series, which are also full of uncertainty. For Huynh, it captures "the turbulence of present times... effects or consequences abstracted from the causes of modern challenges..."

Conquer - artwork from Matt Huynh's Asperatus exhibition

"Conquer" from the Asperatus series of illustrations by Matt Huynh

Asperatus is being held this Tuesday evening, 1st June 2010 at:
The Skeleton Gallery, Australian Museum
Corner of College Street and William Street, central Sydney.
Time: 6.30pm - 10.30pm (ONE NIGHT ONLY)
RSVP essential:

We've already sent in our RSVPs, so we'll see you there!

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Friday, May 28, 2010.