Welcome to our 5th edition of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections, this month we feature Brianna Spencer, you can view her work Women Are Not Hairless Creatures in our zine collection. London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more.
Brianna Spencer, Carlsbad, CA
How long have you been making zines for?
I’ve been making zines for about two years now.
What do you like to create zines about?
I like to make zines about…everything. Making zines is like writing in a journal, it’s a form of expression for me. I make zines about skating burritos when I need a little more laughter in my life, about hair when I feel embarrassed about the people staring at my pits on the beach (and then I quickly realize…screw ‘em), about rude avocados when I just can’t stand seeing people live hateful lives, and about love after I realize that everyone has the capacity to feel something special for another, and sometimes I just make zines about dancing cactus, because I need a little prickly friend in my life.
What is your favourite zine/comic/book?
My favorite zine is by Nathaniel Russell, it’s called These Are the Ways in Which I’ve Tried to Tell You because it’s so simple, i t keeps me simple . My favorite comic is Flash, because it reminds me of my dad. My favorite book is George’s M arvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl, because…well that one I can’t explain, just read it and you’ll know.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process..
I draw whenever I can. I prefer to use a brush and ink, but if all i’ve got is a dirty, half-broken crayon, that’ll do. A lot of what I create is based on an emotion, or a need. I will sit down and draw women only speaking spanish because I miss my grandma. At the moment, I work in a very small corner of my bedroom which is incredibly unorganized, but the dream is to have my own studio (and magically inherit the organizational skills of an ant) however I do think that my unorganized
mess of a dresser/desk/dining room table helps maintain a little bit of grit in my life, which I wouldn’t want to live without.
What does it feel like to have your zine/s in the London College of Fashion Library’s Special Collections?
I feel so honored! I have never been in this kind of thing before, but it makes me feel very warm and fuzzy in a way I can’t really explain, but really like!
What influenced Women Are Not Hairless Creatures?
I grew up in a house where the women in my family could not leave the house without turning into naked mole-rats, I mean they had to be totally hairless, even that little fuzz on the tops of your toes was not allowed. I never wanted to be like that, but of course, when I reached that age I tried it all, shaving, waxing, lasering, pulling, you name it…I tried it. And then I started noticing all the negative rhetoric about hair. “Eww she has a huge muff”, and “God, does she even know what a bikini line is?” I realized that I was going to stop being controlled by hair, IT’S JUST HAIR! And many years later, after living a wonderful life keeping the hair I want when I want it, my sister turned twelve, and I wanted to make something that reminded her, hair does not control a woman! A woman controls her hair…if she wants to.
What’s one piece of advice would you give UAL students about zine making?
Just make zines about anything and everything! Nothing is too serious, or too simple to put in a few pages.