Interested in tabling at your first zine fair? Illustrator, skateboarder and zinester Harriet Alana shares her knowledge, experience and love of making, selling and swapping zines.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been illustrating, skateboarding and zine making?
I’m originally from the Midlands and I now live on the South Coast, a breath of fresh air after residing in London for five years – the beach is just 10 minutes walk! I graduated from Camberwell in 2012 after studying illustration. Since then I have done various freelance jobs alongside skateboarding coaching and youth work.
I’ve been drawing all my life, skating for about six years and through meeting punk skaters at art school, I was first inspired to make zines. My first zines were tiny slit zines about how fascinated I was with skateboarding: ‘A little zine about how scary skateboarding sometimes is’ is about arriving at the skate park for the first time and being the only girl there, as well as all the usual stuff about falling off ya board. And then it progressed onto Brash.
Tell us about your zine Brash; do you still make it and what other kinds of zines do you like to make?
Brash is a skate/art zine about the scene that surrounded me at the time, which consists of contributions from loadsa artists, skaters, writers and photographers. Issue four was the whole she-bang; packed with skatey/arty goodness, photocopied and risograph printed pages with a screen printed cover. It is currently on a hiatus as I put my heart and soul into it for my final project and I still haven’t figured out where to go from there.
Currently, I am trying to get a travel zine done about my time in Europe last year. I did manage to pull together a zine in time for Sheffield Zine Fest earlier this year in the form of a humble photocopied publication. Conexiuni is simply a collection of various drawings; skateboarding pictures, Buddhist patterns/imagery, collaged mountains and drawings of the children I worked with whilst volunteering in Romania.
I often get fed up with my work because I feel there’s too much variation in style and content, and I can never settle on something. As I was putting the zine together, I began to realise that whatever I do – my illustration work, making zines, skate coaching or volunteering in Eastern Europe, that it is all connected and comes under the umbrella of what I do as an artist.