New Zines! & Finding Creative Momentum Again

 I've finally been busy with creative endeavors again. 2020 was brutal. I lost myself. I thought I would be fine (introvert homebody), but the lack of creative connection & collaboration with others completely sapped me. I had no drive to do anything. I had no motivation. It was (& still is) difficult to start projects without having the initiative already there. Creativity is dependent on momentum in my experience. The more momentum I have already, the more motivation I have to create even more. Creative output begets creative output. I am basically coming back from a complete standstill (& some of the deepest depression of my adult life).

How did I start generating some momentum when I had been virtually motionless in my creativity? Low expectation art creation. Specifically, making zines. Initially, I was making one-page, folded mini zines (like the kind I made in the tutorial for last year's virtual Write Women Book Fest). I felt free to explore & make mistakes & I was just making things for me; working on challenging my art style, trying to create narrative in photography, working through my political views, etc. Zines are amazingly versatile & creating them is therapeutic.

 Finally fully vaccinated & ready to see some also fully vaccinated friends again...

I was able to start enjoying collaborative work with my friend Erica of Raven Heights Photography (& Press). Erica had already set wheels in motion for her first submission zine, & I had made several submissions (to ensure she had lots of material if she happened to need any filler). She ended up coming by to brainstorm layout & we wound up printing, painting, & illustrating every page of her initial InDesign layout, which we then pressed, scanned, reformatted in a new InDesign file, imposed pages for booklet printing, collated, & printed draft copies of the finished zine. We're still wrapping up the last few things for the zine that we have in mind, but Erica is a super woman & has already found some places to carry & sell the zine! I am still working a bit on making a digital version as well, & the zine will be available at this year's Write Women Book Fest, too. From the Wreckage (Vol 1) is available in August 2021! Here's a little TikTok commercial for it (scroll to bottom of the page to see the embedded YouTube version of the video). If you wish to support the initial costs of printing we pay out of pocket, please feel free to donate here. Anyone who donates will get access to

 In addition to this zine, I have been working on a little illustrated story zine, which is like a comic with a panel on each page, entitled "Sweet Silence" (link to TikTok sneak peek). A faery gets her revenge on the humans who have fouled her forest. It's dark, it addresses our impact on the environment, & it pushed me to work on illustrating a character over & over with some level of continuity. It was also a challenge to articulate a whole story in only 8 pages, with minimal words (you may have noticed that I am rather verbose).

Another zine I created is a political opinion piece called "Free Dumb: Our Rights, Freedoms, & Social Responsibilities (from a politically leftist perspective)"(link to TikTok sneak peek).  In it, I examined some of the recent "hot button" political topics, my stance on them, & how I can best illustrate each point. This one makes me nervous, because I believe in everything within it so strongly, & I am very aware that there are people out there who will vehemently disagree... but I feel it is super important to discuss these issues, & art is a wonderful medium for that discussion.

Obviously, I am also over on TikTok now (sadly, their embed links were not working in this post, thanks for following the links instead!), so if you liked any of what you saw, feel free to follow @thefolkhaus on TikTok! I also highlight independent artists & creators whose creations I have purchased, & toss in the odd micro vlog of family life. 

I actually have even MORE exciting creative collaboration going on these days, but I am not at a point where I can really expound on those opportunities yet. Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to learning new things, creating with awesome people, & feeling like I am contributing to a greater vision again. 

And a final reminder that while the vaccine is making it possible to get out a bit more & resume some modicum of a social life, this calm in the pandemic storm is still fragile. Please wear your masks indoors, get vaccinated if you are not, & be responsible. We're not fully out of the woods by any means, & our vigilance makes an absolute difference between life & death for many. ❤



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