Welcome to our 13th edition of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections, we’ve presented over a years worth of great interviews with the talented zinesters in our collection. This month is no exception as we feature Nyxia Grey, whose work Did That Hurt resides in our Special Collections.
Name and location..
Nyxia Grey, Salem, Massachusetts, USA
How long have you been making zines for?
I started making zines when I was in high school, which was back in 1990.
What do you like to create zines about?
My focus has changed over the decades but right now I am writing a lot about grief and overcoming depression and the stigma associated with suicide. Previously I’ve written by body politics, eating disorders and recovery, feminism, sexual assault, and self-care.
What is your favourite zine/comic/book?
My favorite book of all time in ‘Henry and June’ by Anais Nin. Some of my favorite zines are “Ladyteeth” by Taryn Hipp, “Chipped Teeth’ by Nicole Harring, “Fixer Eraser’ by Jonas, and “Telegram’ by Miranda Elizabeth.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process..
It really depends on the subject matter. Sometimes I look through vintage women’s magazines for photographs or images to collage with. Other times I do all the writing first and then select all my images. Regardless of how it starts, almost all of my zines have collaged pages so that happens before any text gets laid down. I do all of my zines, old school, with cut-and-paste. Usually listening to music and hanging out with my feminist dog, Stevie Nicks.
What does it feel like to have your zine in the London College of Fashion Library’s Special Collections?
I am really honored and humbled. When I create zines I never know who will read them or where they will end up. I write in the hopes that what I have to say resonates with someone else, helps someone know that they are not alone. I love when folks reach out and write me a letter. I promise to always write back.
What influenced Did That Hurt?
My partner is a tattoo artist and we owned a tattoo shop for almost 20 years. I have many, many, many tattoos and one day we were talking about advocacy and how some folks are still terrified to ask questions of the tattoo artist. So we decided to do the zine together. I did all the writing and collage. He looked over the content and supplied the photographs of his tattoo work. The end goal was to be something that folks could read and know how to ask questions, how to assess a tattoo shop and what to look for in terms of taking care of yourself and your new tattoo.
What one piece of advice would you give UAL students about zine making?
So often when I teach zine workshops I hear the following statements, 1) I am not creative in that way (or I am not creative at all) or 2) I have nothing to say that others would want to hear or know about. I call bullshit on both these statements. We are all creative in our own ways and we all have a voice, a story, experiences, and knowledge. Folks do want to hear what you have to say. It is all about just having the courage to break down your silence. Then put your zine out into the world and let the audience find you. Zinesters are the raddest folks I know and will support you!