Get the Scoop on Milwaukee Zine Fest
Spoiler alert: it was awesome!
Last weekend I had the distinct joy of participating in Milwaukee Zine Fest for the first time! I have to admit… I was a little nervous! I’ve done a couple art fairs in the past, but this was my first zine-focused event and I had no idea what to expect. I thought there was a real possibility that no one would talk to me and I’d sell two things all day. This was not the case! The energy in the room was so good. The whole event felt like a celebration of creativity.
Here I am right after I got my table setup:
It was so fun to see what people were drawn to on my table! It truly amazes me anytime someone spends their hard-earned cash on my work.
I decided to sell some of my ultra-mini zines — which I have often highlighted in this newsletter — and they were a hit! I think people were drawn to how tiny they were. I was so delighted anytime someone took the time to page through any of the zines on my table. I wish I would have done a better job at taking photos and videos, but I’m glad that I was busy talking to people and selling things. It was amazing!
“You Are With Me Always” was my top-selling zine at the event! To celebrate, I’m sharing a print from the zine (shown below!) with paid subscribers, so please scroll to the end to download your print!
Each vendor got a half of a 6- or 8-foot table, so I was also kind of nervous about who I would sit next to! Fortunately, I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Jamie Kadas of Curvy Girl Comics. She was such a delight to talk to throughout the day, and I learned a lot from her zine selling expertise!
Jamie is a high school ceramics teacher by day, a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, and an incredibly talented zine maker and artist. Here is one of her zines:
It was awesome seeing how people were instantly drawn to the tiny fork! She also had tiny ceramic cake slices for sale, which were a big hit. At the end of the fest, I had the honor of trading zines with Jamie to get my very own copy! You can check out all her work at JamieKadas.com.
Toward the end of the fest, I had a chance to sneak away from my table and make a quick lap. There was so much cool work! Here are a few of my impulse buys:
From left to right:
Ronan and the Endless Sea of Stars — I had the pleasure of buying this book directly from the illustrator Lara Antal. She signed the book for me and was a delight to talk to about how she worked with the writer to bring this book to life. I was drawn the the cover and as soon as Lara told me it was a graphic memoir about grief and loss, I was sold. You can see more about the book and Lara’s work here.
Life As An Axolotl — Quinn Blackshere’s eye-catching illustration style sucked me in right away. I immediately picked up her business card because of the hilarious cat illustration. Her zine “Life as an Axolotl” is based on 10 years of actually having an axolotl as a pet! I also had to have her super cool Cats on Saturn sticker. You can check out more of Quinn’s work here.
Meet Me at the Milky Way — This zine was made by Jamie Messerman who was kind enough to approach my table and ask to trade mini zines. The zine is about waking up slowly before the sun is up in the winter months. Check out more of Jamie’s work here.
Chick Zine — This zine was made by Christopher Williams. I love the illustration of the chick so much and the message at the end is so uplifting. You can check out more of Christopher’s work here.
Huge thanks to the Milwaukee Zine Fest organizers and The Bindery for putting on such a cool and inclusive event. The whole experience was really affirming for me as a indie artist, and I’m honored that I got to be a part of it. Thank you!
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