Part 1 of 6: An Introduction and History Lesson
The rise of social media, especially as a marketing platform for brands and individuals alike, has not only given a voice and reach to individuals and artists, but has also dragged some of the more traditionally “underground” forms of artistic expression to the mainstream. For example, take the zine: short for magazine. For those unfamiliar, a zine is a self-published booklet that is usually a specialized and unique expression of the author’s interests. In its current form zines have been around for nearly one hundred years, and have proven to be a great source of insight into specific communities and movements throughout the decades.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ZINES:
Some would argue that the core concept behind zines can actually be traced back to 1517, when Martin Luther published his “Ninety-five Theses.”However, zines as we know them came into existence in the 1930s, where a long tradition of sci-fi related zines was started by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago with their zine called “The Comet.”Apart from the sci-fi community, in the 70’s and 80’s zines also became huge in the punk scene, and then experienced another resurgence in the 90’s with the riot grrrl scene.Today, thanks to the internet and social media, it has become much easier for zine authors to connect with people around the world, which has led to an even larger and more diverse zine presence than ever before. To read more about the history of zines, check out… the internet.
Origins aside (but never forgotten), zines have now become a staple for many artists and writers who want to distribute their work and thoughts to like-minded individuals. Up until this point, I have only been an admirer of the zine community from afar, but plan on changing that by creating and self-publishing my own zine in the near-ish future. Aside from actually creating the thing, I want to learn how modern day artists utilize social media and the internet to further their efforts and grow their audience.
HOW WILL I DO THIS?:
Thanks for asking. First, I will observe the methods used by individuals via Instagram to market their zines and other wares. Second, I will take note of any patterns I see or other channels being used. Lastly, I will reach out to said individuals in an effort to gain some insight into their processes. I’m hoping that at least a few of them will be happy to share what they have learned through the years of trial and error. However, until the results are in, I will continue to observe and report, while working to create my own zine baby.
To be continued.