The Creative Process of Mettazine

Making a zine is a lot of fun, and it includes many steps even after all the text is written, edited, layouted and printed…

Making a zine
Decorating the covers of the first batch with scrapbook leftover papers, sewing on papers like it was fabric patches.

Making a zine
Stapling together papers with a stapler that does not open wide enough.

Making a zine
Cutting out backside blurb to glue onto the wallpaper cover.

Making a zine
Then printing and cutting out the title label for the front of the zine…

Indeed, there are a lot of steps when making each zine. I noticed this again while making a second batch of zines for my Etsy Shop once batch #1 was sold out. And I noticed that I enjoyed each step. The machine sewing, the cutting up wallpapers, the paint splattering and colouring. I think it was calming to me, knowing the steps. Thinking about it mindfully and as a labor of love. I was so mindful the second time when making it because I know how to assemble everything already.

I know what to do, and still altered the process slightly because I could. And yes even the address label writing and envelope folding and taping was enjoyable, because by then I knew that the zine had been sold. I knew each zine would be sent out into the world and read (!) by someone who is interested in the same thing that I am interested in: Art journaling. And that is knowledge is extremely nice and a powerful feeling.

Making a zine

As previously promised, and for those of you interested in zine making, I have written a bit about the creative process of making a first zine. It’s not a tutorial because there are plenty of those around. I’m a beginner, no expert. A happy beginner mind you. So read on for some more thoughts from yours truly.

Mulling it over

I have been thinking about making a personal zine for several years now. A few years ago I bought Teesha’s zine Play, and since then I’ve gotten a zine here and a zine there in swaps, giveaways and blog contests. All of them unique and interesting. The idea of my own publication have been percolating in my mind, simmering around…

I recently finished writing an article about The Creative Process. In the research for it I learned more about the importance of mulling over creative ideas for a while. It is a big and important part of the process that we need to allow time for. Without time the idea might not be ripe enough or we ourselves not ready to birth the project. The mulling over sometimes takes part in our subconscious and maybe even in our dreams. I’ve called my slow approach to some ideas procrastination and even fear, but maybe it is just how it should be… I have recently learned that I am too hard on myself and don’t give myself enough credit for the things that I do. That will have to change! The zine swap really helped to push me into action with a firm deadline!

What’s in a name…

I named my zine Mettazine after much consideration. Names are important to me. You should put a little effort into names because they could be around for a long time. I like short one or two word names that are descriptive and thought provoking, maybe even already letting the reader know what this is all about… Mettazine is kind of vague, but says that it is a zine, not a professionally printed glossy magazine, not a bound book and not a download.

Description according to wikipedia;

    A zine (an abbreviation of the word fanzine, or magazine; pronounced /ˈziːn/ “zeen”) is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier on a variety of colored paper stock.

Can you figure the name out… Mettazine? It?s not a meta zine (a zine about zines), instead it is a zine made with love and filled with, I hope, kindness. I don’t know what future issues will be about so I didn’t want to make the name into a description of the content. Instead I added the subtitle Art Journaling Love. Mettā is a pali word from yoga that is translated to loving-kindness. I have always loved this word/idea.

In the Metta Meditation traditionally you begin with the meditator cultivating loving kindness towards themselves, then continue sending out love to their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. When you send metta to all you get lots of metta back. Just like when you sit down to do Art Journaling you start with yourself and go inwards. It?s a gift first to you, then to the rest of the world by making you happy inside. The goodness spreads from you, outwards. Google “metta meditation” and try a video or mp3 file to do this meditation, I think you will enjoy it.

Getting Positive Feedback

Positive Feedback is really a huge reward within itself. It is so important to be affirmed and appreciated for what we create, and I have been in great need of that this year. Knowing people want to read my words – and pay for it too – has been huge for me. I’m sending out a big huge thank you to lovely friends who has given me Positive Feedback, some on their own blogs! I’m saving parts of what they say here so that I can re-read it many times…

  • Sister Diane wrote a whole lovely Zine review of Mettazine that is like the sweetest thing ever! Ever! Among other things she said:

    Mettazine is totally charming and educational. I?ve watched the whole art-journal thing from afar, but never really understood it until I read Hanna?s zine. She writes from the heart about what she?s gained from her journal process, and how her journals serve as a living document of who she is and how she changes over time. Wpw!

  • Chris wrote on her blog:

    Have you been to Hanna’s site? This place is Chock Full of Good Stuff! You must go there if you wish to get the most out of life. That’s just how it is. She’s got pretty imagery, but she’s also got practical information, inspirational stories, and tutorials. […] Imagine my delight when I received a copy of Hanna’s very own zine, filled with so much of the inspiration and creativity I visit her blog to see, but all new, all original, and accompanied by collage papers! Right in the zine! She was so generous to share this with me. What a fabulous person. Zip over to Hanna’s Etsy shop to get your own copy, as well as some beautiful soft and texturey things to fill your home with cheer. Yay!

  • At Alma’s swap and zine blog I heart zines you can check out her reviews of last years swap. The posts has lots of visual inspiration for zine making; Visual review I (my Mettazine is there) and part two! Alma, thank you again for arranging the annual zine swap!

Also a big huge thank you to everyone who bought a copy so far in iHanna’s Etsy, you don’t know how much that means to me. I would appreciate if you visit Etsy when you have the time and click on Feedback to write something Positive about the zine/me as a seller… Thanks! :-)

To be continued…

8 Responses

  1. It is interesting, until I read about your zine I did not know anything about these… I only knew that there are e-zines that are fully digital and you can get it through the e-mail. So, I am very thankful to you to learn so much more about zines. And it truly seems to be fun to make it (especially if you know what you want to express with it). Thank you!

  2. Brava to you for all the hard work and love you put in all you create, Hanna, including this zine. You inspire in so very many ways.
    Cheers, Talented One !

  3. I always love reading about your creative process. I really enjoy reading your zine and looking through it over and over. I’m still thinking about what my zine will be about, when I finally make one. Too many ideas!

  4. I ordered my copy and soooo looking forward to it. There’s something special about zines and yours is definitely a labor of love…so many details and handmade parts with it…not just a bunch of papers folded in half and stapled. So excited and thanks for writing a bit about making a zine…it’s something I’ve thought about it, but it’s so easy to talk myself out of it – haha!

  5. what a cool thing to make! it sounds beautiful and I love the name.. congratulations, it must be a labour of love!
    hey, had an idea, you could sew the pages together instead of stapling? like those old fashioned books where the sections are sewn.. might work, just a thought
    and thanks for taking part in my draw, your comments are much appreciated! x clio

  6. One of my favorite things about your zine is the title. It has so many layers! I loved your description of coming up with the title and the new doors it opened in my creative mind. Beautiful.

    I bought a stapler with a super long neck. One of the best purchases ever.

  7. Thanks, I appreciate you understanding the greatness of the name, hehe, I don’t think everyone does but I love it personally. :-)

    Also,, I think I will buy a better stapler for my next issue, it will be quicker than sewing.

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