Interview with Great Folks #12: artnoose from Ker-bloom!
December 4, 2012 § 1 Comment
Artnoose is coming up on ISSUE 100!!!!! of her zine! She’s starting to plan a multi-city extravaganza for the release early next year.
Hi! Tell us who you are!
My name is Artnoose. I’m a letterpress printer from California who publishes the letterpress zine Ker-bloom! and lives at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse writers’ collective on the North Side of Pittsburgh PA.
When did you start writing zines? Why did you start writing zines?
I started Ker-bloom in 1996 and have been printing it every other month ever since, without fail or delay. I bought my first zine in 1994 for pocket change in a BART station in San Francisco and later that year began submitting articles to it. I also started letterpress printing at around that time, and eventually I thought, well hey, why not put the two together and letterpress print a zine? At the time, letterpress felt more physically accessible to me that photocopying. I thought that I had something to say, even enough to say something every other month. Can you believe that at first I thought I’d do it only every other month until I got the hang of it, and then that I’d bump it up to every month? It is such a ridiculous amount of work— I could never do it every month. Also in the beginning I imagined I’d do a different cover layout until I got one that I liked and then I’d stick with it forever. By issue #3 I knew that making the cover was the most fun part, and that I’d always do a different one.
What do you write about?
The short answer is that I write about my life. Sometimes it’s about the things that I do, and sometimes it’s about the things I think about. Actually, usually it’s both. There’s often a tangible story and then a bigger picture. Like the issue I wrote about my sailing trip— it’s about sailing, but really it’s about living an authentic life. In the past I have gone through some troubled times and written about them every step of the way. These were generally my most popular zines and the ones I ran out of soonest— I print a limited run and once they’re gone, they’re gone! I’ve often exposed intimate details of my life to a somewhat anonymous readership and although it gives me a peculiar notion on personal privacy, it is what has allowed me to bond so closely with my readers. When a dad told me his daughter read my bullying issue before going to school in the morning, and when a stranger told me some of my zines were so crucial to her recovery that she was ordering extra copies for her friend, I realized that that’s really why I do this.
Why are zines important to you?
In the age of the internet, I think we take for granted that everything we write gets immediately seen by an unknown public. However, for a real, in-the-flesh zine to make its way to cities and even countries we’ve never been to seems like a true feat. I like hearing about people discovering my zine in bookstores in cities I’ve never visited or a bathroom reading rack at a punk house or in a stack of curbside belongings during a move-out. For me personally, zines have allowed me to communicate with the world and invite them to return the favor. Also, I have been able to do a lot of traveling and reading tours because I have been publishing such a long-running zine. I sometimes feel that most of my zines aren’t monumental in and of themselves, but when you think of the whole story that spans well over a decade, it seems like it’s my life story written in installments.
Tell us anything you feel moved to!
Since starting my zine I have always wanted to live a life worth writing about.
Thank you, artnoose!