Doin‘ It Themselves

By Lynn Lieu

Posted May 25, 2012 in Arts & Culture

As you may have noticed we are revamping our site here at the Weekly. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get off your computer chairs and get your butts to the nearest coffee shop or record store and pick up the latest copy of IE Weekly. Let’s face it, we started in print and God help us we will die in print! Er, well, hopefully we won’t die. To celebrate our favorite medium we caught up with the organizers of the Riverside DIY Print Fest via email (sorry snail mail, you’re one print tool we don’t rely on) to talk about everything, well, print. Here’s what Angela Asbell, Elliot Fong and Annie Knight had to say:

What is this event all about?
TheRiversideDIY Print Fest is about tangible art, especially in the print medium. Our focus is not only independent publishing and zines, but also screen printing and other print art. Since this event is a non-commercial project, we didn’t want any for-profit companies in the mix. Therefore, “DIY” was included in the name of the fest to emphasize do-it-yourself ethics and to keep it art-centered.

Where did the idea come from?
Angela Chaos is the original mastermind of the print fest. She began organizing zine workshops during the Saturation Arts & Music Fest, and three years ago she began having full-fledged print fests. We all hope to encourage more people to get involved with self-publishing and zine-making.

What can our readers expect to see at this event?
A bunch of zines, comics and other stuff from self publishers and artists from all aroundSouthern California. Authors will be reading their works. There will also be some original zines by Raymond Pettibon on display. KUCR 88.3FM will be spinning music, and screen printing on the spot for free (just bring your own t-shirt or anything). RE:Press will also be doing live screen printing of some of their amazing designs. Make zines all day (free!) with Zineworks’ zine workshop!

How did you get involved?
Elliot Fong: I helped out with the Zineworks zine workshop the first year. It’s great to help organize an event that acts as a nexus for independent and self publishers, artists and other like-minded people, especially in theInlandValley.

Annie Knight: I have helped with the organizing side of the Print Fest last year as well as this year. I am also a zinester and member of Zineworks and will be involved with the zine workshopping occurring at the festival.

Angela helped organize the Print Fest for the last three years with the help of many cool artists in our community (she really could not have done it without all of the awesome volunteer like the ever-famous Lee Tusman!). Our first year we were at theRiversideArt Museumlast year was at theRiversideMetropolitanMuseumthis year at the Blood Orange Infoshop.

Are you an artist, writer, graphic designer, etc.? If so, which one are you and what about print intrigues you?
Fong: I’m a co-publisher with my friend Victor in Double Fur Press. We write and make art. Since we’re an independent publishing project, it also means we do our own zine layouts, make stickers and buttons, coordinate with other artists and xerox/print our releases. I’m not a graphic designer, but we do manage our own website. People often say, “why not put your zines online, wouldn’t you get a larger audience?” Well, maybe. But when I hand a physical zine to someone, it’s more personal, and it’s art. Clicking a posted link online is much less exciting than turning pages. You don’t need electricity to access a zine.

Knight: I used to publish Digress, a free publication highlighting art, culture and related politics that were often ignored by the mainstream press. I continue to publish my own zines that include short stories, rants, collage and queer issues, such as my latest series of mini zines titled Polycats. I’m also getting back into creating wire sculptures.

Angela Chaos is the publisher of many zines, including Bitch King, Raptor Fancy and many collaborative and one-shot zines. She is a writer, a teacher and a DIYer for life. Non-commercial, independent press is vital for a culture of resistance to flourish in society where corporate influence and state surveillance shape public discourse. Zines are a place for artists to create and disseminate their work without the censorship and financial restraints of corporate media. Plus, zines are really fun!

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

Blood Orange Infoshop, Basement of the Historic Arts Building. 3485 University Ave, Riverside; Free, 12pm-4pm.

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