I am proud to say the zine workshop was a success!! It was a really nice turnout and ended up being a therapeutic, intimate event. i'd like to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out!
Being that it was my first workshop ever, I wanted it to feel cozy and personal, so I got a little experimental with the setup. For example, instead of tables, I ended up laying blankets out on the floor and setting up "stations:" one for paper, one for scissors and tape, another for markers and art supplies.
I started things off with a brief introduction of what zines are, and a quick passing around of my own booklet and some sample zines made and given to me by one of my best friends.
The workshop was conducted mostly as a creative "free for all" with a primary focus on giving people tools to express themselves rather than encouraging a particular topic or direction. I had provided a handful of premade books, and throughout the night suggested a few artistic techniques like how to do cool effects with bleeding colored tissue paper, or the fun of cutting out magazine titles and rearranging the words into cryptic messages. The mantra of the night was, "There are no mistakes!" and I was very adamant about enforcing it.
By the end of the night, the stations ended up naturally moving to the middle, erupting into a chaotic blend of materials and snacks that had rotated around the room. The more people asked each other to pass scissors or tape or a pen, the more I was reminded a lot of how a family dinner plays out on tv, where the husband goes, "Pass the butter, Margaret," to his wife and no one ever seems to be near the thing they need. There was a lot of that, and the result was a good balance of interaction and passing around supplies and laughing, with music softly playing in the background amongst the chatter. I thought it was cute.
I do hope to introduce a bit more structure for next time!! It's a learning curve, as always.