Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting to Z: How To Finish The Zine You Started

This is the title of my workshop for the Chicago Zine Fest, which is coming up on March 25-26, just a few weeks from now.  I had a different title before, but now I'm changing the workshop to focus on the rewrite process, at the request of the organizers.  So I didn't want to use the word rewrite in the title, or edit, or draft, because I know that often frightens people away.  I want to make it fun, not dreary.  So I've been retooling (rewriting, I could say) my talk, and I came up with this brilliant title.  I like it because it reminds me of "Getting To Yes," a classic book about negotiating, and I think of rewriting as a process of negotiating with yourself.  I also think I'm clever because of the double play on Z: as an alphabet letter, at the end of the alphabet, and as the first letter of the word zine.  Am I some kind of genius or what?  Thank you. 

Now I have to go back to working on the description.  This was my break.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Rats!" & Hooray, I'm For the Other Team!"

If you are familiar with Schoolhouse Rock from the 1970's, these phrases will sound familiar. Interjections!  Show excitement! Or emotion!

I grew up with Schoolhouse Rock and now my 3-yr-old daughter loves to watch them on DVD.  If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, well, Google it.  Basically, they were a series of wonderful songs about numbers, grammar, and other stuff, that were developed for TV as PSAs, I think.  I"m not Googling it.  I was there!  Anyway, dducational songs that were really catchy and had wonderful images to go along with them.  So.  My subject line is two examples from the song about Interjections, one of my favorites.  I could sing it for you,  but no, let's not do that...  what was my point?  Oh, all this to make my life seem more fun and exciting!

To file under "Rats!": my comm ed zine class got cancelled because no one signed up.  Bummer.  I'm going to look into teaching it in Minneapolis Comm Ed in the Fall, or maybe someplace like MCBA or the Loft.  I know it will be a great class, I just have to figure out how to find my audience.

Under "Hooray, I'm for the other team!" (this example in the Schl. Rock song was taking place during a football game, and when the away team scored, the home team fan said "Rats!"and the away team fan said "Hooray! I'm for the other team!"  Ok, I know, I'm being kind of mental, but I have a migraine and I'm on painkillers and I'm trying to feel productive): I get to teach a workshop at the Chicago Zine Fest!

My workshop will be on rewriting and things like how to focus your ideas into a zine, or into a whole.  I think my big idea is how to make sure you're getting across what you want to, how to connect back to that fire inside you felt that got you to sit down and try to do a zine in the first place.  I know sometimes ideas can get lost once you start writing, for a number of reasons.  You might have an inner editor that gets in your way and makes you correct your sentence structure and spelling before you are even done getting your ideas down.  Or maybe you went off on a tangent and forgot what you were really going for.  I'll talk about clustering, from the book Writing the Natural Way.  And I'll talk about writing specific instead of generalizing, that people like to hear about personal experience, not just opinion.  And stuff like that.  I still have a month to develop it. And it's only a 45 minute workshop, which I think will probably go really fast.  I'm thinking I'll do a handout, too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Year of the Rabbit ATC's

A couple of my favorites that I'm making with my bunny stamp that I carved and some candy wrappers that I've been saving for something fun.  The blue square stamp means longevity.  I really just like how it looks.  I didn't carve it.  I used a silver paint pen on the edges and I really like how that looks.


Have you heard of this? You sign up and get addresses from all over the world to send postcards to.  I mean, not just randomly, but to people who have signed up.  Once you send some and they get received, then your address goes into the mix and someone will send you a postcard!  Cool!  It's kind of a simplified version of penpals.  I like it because it gives me an excuse to draw/doodle/Zentangle on a little canvas.  Then I send it to someone and make them happy! 

Check it out, my first postcard, here it is:

The person I sent to was a teenage boy in Poland.  And he just received it and here's the comment he left about it:

"Dear Carrie. Your postcard is amazing. I love your drawing, your stamps, the way you write 'M' in my name and also this stamp with Marge. It's very unusual card. You are a great artist. It's the best looking card I've recieved. Thanks a lot. Best wishes. Mateusz"
I used a Simpsons stamp, so that's what he's talking about with "Marge."  Pretty nice, huh?  It's so gratifying when people like my art!

Anyway, check out Postcrossing, it's a pretty neato idea.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ATC Class Went Great!

Well, my class went just great.  I had fun and the women who took the class want to join our art group! One woman was saying at pretty much every step how much she loved it, and was so enthusiastic, she was superfun to teach.  Two more converts to ATC's!  I just wish I had brought my camera to class to take pics of the cards my students made.  I'll have to remember to do that next time.

It was pretty easy to teach them, and especially with a small group, and I felt very relaxed. I did great with how much time I allowed for making each card, and we had time to look at book and my binders of ATC collections. 

I'm offering the class again on April 20th.  Come on,  you know you want to take it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

ATC class tomorrow

And here's one of the cards we'll be making. I used metal tape and a stylus and then paint and alcohol inks.  It's very shiny, which you can't really see here.  I didn't have a lot of people sign up but I'm taking that as an opportunity to do an extra card, this one.  I'm just putting the final touches on my handouts tonight.  And I have a whopper of a headache.  Which I'm praying will be gone tomorrow.  Cross your fingers for me!