Thicket Zine

Thicket booklet set outside in between small tree branches.

Thicket zine is a collection of illustrations done over the course of 2020. What I initially thought would take a few weeks ended up consuming the better part of a year as I continued to add to this series and refine the illustrations.

When I started this project back in February, I had just left my full time job and was looking forward to attending all sorts of arts events in the coming year, meeting people and sharing and selling my work. Of course the world had different plans.

As the name Thicket implies, these drawings are dense, tangled landscapes. They attempt to embody the disorienting nature of a forest or jungle. Mysterious, chaotic, easy to get lost in. Some of the drawings also incorporate writing in the form of short, cryptic words and messages.

I have always been more interested in setting a mood than telling a specific story through my art. So while my work is not intentionally ‘about’ the state of the world today, a general feeling of confusion, disorientation, malaise, but also hope are prevalent throughout.

The prototype for this zine, also called Thicket, was created back in 2019 for a group art show I put on with my friends Jeneane Dunlap and Mary Sundermeier. That zine of improvised ink drawings of dense landscapes and writhing plant life took a few weeks to make and I handled every aspect of the printing and book-making myself.

For this version I wanted something more refined. Instead of tiny, improvised drawings that I could complete in an hour, each illustration in this book went through a process of sketching, refined pencil drawing, inking, and digital touch up. Multiply that by more than 30 drawings and it makes sense why this project has taken more than half a year to complete.

Spread from book showing illustration of hand holding a flower.

In addition to more time spent on drawing, I wanted the printing to be better this time around as well. I had heard about Clatter Press in Columbus which does risograph printing, and wanted an excuse to use them. I love the look of risograph printing, and felt it could add some rich texture and color to this project.

My goal was to make something that could serve as a neat encapsulation of my work, and send it out into the world. I’m very pleased with how the book turned out, and I hope it gets into the hands of people who will appreciate it.

Thicket is available to purchase in my online store.

My First Zine

Animated gif of a zine opening and closing.

I have been a fan of zines, comics, and printed media in general for forever, and at long last I got around to making one for myself.

Thicket is 20 pages of improvised drawings of dense, abstract landscapes done in the week or two leading up to an art show I put on with two of my best friends.

Everything was done at home. Of course I had to go out and get new ink cartridges for my printer (there goes $75), and a pack of 25,000 staples since that was the only amount available at Target (of which I probably used less than 100.) I was also very lucky to borrow a paper cutter from my friend, which I hadn’t planned on but the moment I used it realized that the entire project would have been maddening if not impossible without it.

So with supplies ready, I got into the rhythm to printing, cutting, folding, and stapling, eventually producing about 30 zines, plus a couple of early test copies. I’m pretty happy with the little guys, they’re a cute 3″ x 5″ and made a great giveaway item at our art show. I also got to mail out a handful to friends living out of town.

I’ve loved and collected zines for years, so it was incredibly satisfying to finally make one of my own. Zines are a cornerstone of DIY culture, and now I can say that I’ve, you know, done it myself!