Course Outline: Zine Making and Printmaking as Creative Communication*
*this course has not yet been implemented
Zines are hand-made publications that are usually photocopied and distributed for cheap to free. Rooted in various sub- and counter- cultures, they have a long history of providing an outlet to those who would not otherwise have a means to express themselves in print. They can be simple or ornate, cut and paste or word-processed, hand drawn or collaged. On my shelf sit zines from all over the country ranging in topic from DIY bicycle repair to living as a queer artist with disability to personal reflections on settler colonialism. Even in this age of the Internet, they are a medium for artistry and intimate connection not replicated by blogs or by Tumblr.
Printmaking has an extremely long and rich history as a medium for socially charged creative expression. Stencils and linoleum block prints can compliment zine-making by being used to add color and beauty to covers and more. Prints and zines both have the quality of allowing their creator to create multiples while maintaining a personal touch to each one. Over the course of 12 sessions, students will create their own zines with hand printed covers, using the process as an opportunity to explore personal and political topics of their choosing. Engaging in this activity helps students develop the critical leadership abilities of clarifying and communicating to others their unique outlook on the world. Here is a brief outline of what the course will entail:
Session 1: Why Zines?
- Personal introduction from the instructor
- Overview of the course
- What are zines? Why zines? Personal expression and community-building. We look at some zines. Students pull out quotes to read to the class and explain why they find them interesting
- Why printmaking? We look at and discuss some prints
- Freewrite: My unique perspective on the world
* A small zine library will be set up for the duration of the course as a student reference.
Session 2: Generating Ideas for Content
- Group brainstorm about the personal experiences, ideas, and aesthetic possibilities we want to explore
- Personal time for writing and drawing
- Students start to think of possible names for their zines. We share what we come up with.
Session 3: Beginning to Develop Content
- Students are encouraged to bring in printed material (zines, books, notes, text printed from the internet) to feed the writing they are developing for their zines. We share our sources of inspiration.
- Students have more personal time for writing.
- Students group up with others who may be covering similar topics to discuss their ideas. They are encouraged to connect larger themes to personal experiences and vice versa.
Session 4: Further Developing Content
- Students will bring in visual examples of style references they want to use.
- Students give brief presentations to the class explaining the themes they are exploring in their zines and reading a brief passage as an example. They will also talk about the kinds of visual elements they are thinking of incorporating
- Students have personal time for writing and drawing
Session 5: Beginning to think About Visual Elements
- There will be a presentation on important information for zine makers to know. This includes page layout, typographic design, conceptual formatting, and more. Students are encouraged to take notes on this presentation in a way that demonstrates their grasp on the design principals discussed. This can include illustrative drawings and diagrams.
- Students will spend time designing the covers of their zines, utilizing the information given in the presentation.
Session 6: Incorporating Visual Elements
- Students begin sketching visual ideas for their zines. This can be as simple as notations for type layout and can also include making detailed drawings and collages.
- Students will give and receive feedback on their visual elements in small groups
Session 7: Workshopping Writing
- Students will give and receive feedback on their writing in small groups. They will have time to revise their writing based on this feedback.
Session 8: One-on-One Feedback
- Students will have time to work on their writing and artwork and will individually receive feedback on their work from the instructor
Session 9: Printmaking Presentation
- There will be a presentation on the basics of linoleum block carving and stencil cutting. Students will begin designing the artwork for their prints.
Session 10: Studio Time
- Students will have studio time to complete their prints and original artwork and lay out their zines using cut-and-paste or digital techniques. They can also work on finalizing their writing.
Session 11: Studio Time II
- Students will have studio time to complete their prints and original artwork and lay out their zines using cut-and-paste or digital techniques. Master copies must be completed by the end of this session.
Session 12: Celebration!
- Copies of the zines will be made and we will have a celebration where students share their work.