We Are Seasons
Your work always builds on itself, even when you can't see it.
I am a firm believer that there is no wasted creative output. Even if it never sees the light of day or ends up on the cutting room floor—every little thing you make helps fuel and inform the next thing—even when it doesn’t feel like it! Sometimes it’s not obvious, and it feels like running in place. Other times, seeing the progression of an idea grow and evolve presents itself in a more tangible way. I’m going to talk through such an instance today—an ultra mini zine that turned into a full fledged poem combined with a mindless sketchbook session that inspired an 11” x14” ink illustration.
Paid subscribers can download printable versions of the poem and art print at the end of today’s newsletter—so keep on scrolling! And if you haven’t already, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber today!
So it all started with this tiny zine I made the other day (as I do). But I’m not talking my usual tiny zines, I’m talking an extra tiny zine. I folded up a black and white photo I printed out and wrote a tiny poem inside. It turned out like this.
This ultra-tiny form factor forced me to be particularly economical with my words, which is part of the reason I enjoy making mini zines in the first place. The space limitations force you to prioritize. The result is usually a pretty focused idea that you can easily absorb one tiny page at a time. Often, I’ll stop there and move onto the next idea, but this concept lingered in my mind and felt unfinished. I ended up turning it into a longer poem:
While I edited this poem, I spent some time in my sketchbook, which is something I haven’t done in months. A branchy pattern emerged and I felt like it should be a window into or through something… ideally an organic thing. Given the space I had available on the page, I decided on a hand.
This drawing felt organically connected to the poem I was working on and new images were coming to mind. What else could I use this weird branchy pattern on? An animal? But which one? A cat? A rabbit? No, a jackalope! I got excited about drawing the big ears and antlers—and since it’s a mythical animal, the surreal treatment I had in mind felt right.
I scanned it in, edited the contrast, and now I have a nice clean version (with a solid, non-streaky black background) ready for printing!
I have some more schemes for what I want to do with this poem and illustration next, including ideas for a less tiny mini zine and maybe even a full-fledged book?! The ideas are still percolating and I’m not ready to share details yet, but hopefully soon!
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for being here! It truly means the world to me. In case you missed it, last week I shared a zine called Meow Meow as well as some dog drawings I created circa 1993. Check it out here.
As I mentioned earlier, paid subscribers get access to printable versions of the “We Are Seasons” poem and jackalope art print above!
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