This month we invite Lauren Hage author of Brazine! to talk about her creative process and work for Zinesters in LCF Special Collections.
Name and location…
Lauren Hage, Portland Oregon USA
How long have you been making zines for?
That’s kind of a hard question… I’ve been writing stories and poetry since I was a kid in the 90’s, but I didn’t seriously start to make zines until I moved to Portland in 2011 and found myself volunteering at a well-known zine publisher. I was, and still am, around so many talented zine makers, that you just can’t help but make them yourself.
What do you like to create zines about?
I’m all over the place regarding what I like to write about. I have zines on cooking, childhood events, an essay on genetics and PTSD, and fiction short stories. I’m currently working on collecting a decade’s worth of poetry into an art/poetry book.
What is your favourite zine/comic/book?
Oh, wow, there are too many to list. In general I gravitate more toward the visual, obscure, and abstract works. Usually the less words the better. Even if it’s stories told through stick figures, you can still convey deep emotions that can impact people’s lives.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process…
I tend to write for the therapy of it. I have PTSD and past traumatic events that I deal with by putting them into stories. If I have it written down, I don’t have to keep it in my head and obsess over it, and this makes me a happier and healthier individual.
What does it feel like to have your zine/s in the London College of Fashion Library’s Special Collections?
It feels amazing. I feel very lucky and appreciated. I’m glad that something I wrote can help others.
What influenced Brazine?
I had a very bad self-image coupled with the inability to find a bra that felt right. It wasn’t until I spent hours, maybe days, researching the internet that I finally found websites with information one needs to know to be able to fit themselves in a correctly fitting bra. I wanted to make this process easier and compiled all I learned into one easy-to-read short zine. Once I knew and felt a correctly fitting bra, my self-image got loads better.
What one piece of advice would you give UAL students about zine making?
I would say: write about, draw about, sound about, anything you want. That’s the beauty of zines, they can literally be about anything you want. It only matters if you like it and feel good about it. It’s a thing you can make that is totally yours and you can express feelings and teach even the smallest of things. I would say the only unwritten rule of zines is that you want your readers to leave your work with something they didn’t previously have before. Either that be a way to make split pea soup or dreaming of a faraway land with magical creatures.