I aim to carry out the project in an empathetic and confrontational way. I aim to do this by finding out what preconceptions people already have and challenging these. My target will be people of teenagers and older, mainly people around my own age of 21, and people with and without mental health issues. I will target this age group as I have first-hand experience of people this age misunderstanding mental health and so want to help them to gain understanding and empathy.
I am going to create a zine as I feel that they are an effective way of getting information out to people of my age. They are small and compact and so people are likely to pick one up and take it with them but they provide a large enough platform to communicate a sufficient amount of information. I have read various books about zines to help me understand the ethos which surrounds them. They are a way to buck trends and challenge the norm, which is what I am hoping to do with my zine. I hope to create a discussion piece or even just make people think.
The first book I read as part of my research is one that I bought last year and have read numerous times. Fanzines by Teal Triggs is one of my favourite books and presents the conception, journey and development of zines in such an interesting and engaging way. The book is full of examples of some of the best and most iconic zines alongside some lesser known pieces that were even more underground than the typical zine. The visual examples are the best in this book, it gave me so much inspiration to see how I wanted to go about presenting my work to make it clear yet aesthetically pleasing stylistically.
Girl Zines by Alison Piepmeier was equally as interesting but did not provide me with as much inspiration. I think this was because the book exclusively discussing the movement of zines aimed at females and by females (obvious from the title!) and kind of left me no further forward with any research on my chosen topic of zine. However, there was a really interesting section which discussed the importance of zines and how much they mean to people. I love the thought that someone appreciates something so much more because they can sit and hold it in their hands and physically touch and see it. I agree wholeheartedly that I appreciate art, music, books, photographs and all sorts of things so much more when I have them in my hands as opposed to on a computer screen.
Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture was a really good read and gave me a vast knowledge of the background of zines but the lack of many visuals led to me being slightly confused and I had to go back and research a bit more on the internet and my own collection of zines and flyers.
My small collection has helped me a lot when working out how to put together a zine, especially this one called LGBWHAT? which is about LGBT awareness. I hope to follow a similar aim as to this project and create something that looks aesthetically pleasing but is also extremely informative. It goes through the ins and outs of what not to do and what to say about the topic of LGBT in a very casual yet matter of fact way. Not using overly technical language yet still keeping a serious tone. I think that the page about myths and misconceptions is really good and follows the ethos of what I hope my zine to have.
Hearing Voices, Seeing Things: Art & Mental Health by Bob and Roberta Smith and Jessica Voorsanger was a really interesting book and opened my eyes to the broad spectrum of mental health issues. This has caused me to want to include in the book a page with examples of different conditions and mental health issues which will help people to realise how everybody is different and suffers from different struggles.
I am still researching how I hope to format my book as I feel that this will be finalised once I have decided upon all of the content. The content is coming along nicely although I still have some written pages to do.