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Kristine Leschper “The piece is called ‘six lies’, and it was made while I was working on my undergraduate thesis. My thesis was meant to explore social constructs of masculinity and group dynamics, specifically by researching and focusing on the culture of the boy scouts of america. At the time I was inspired by Kenneth Anger’s ‘Fireworks,’ a homoerotic and extremely violent short film. Anger says ‘This flick is all I have to say about being 17, the United States Navy, American Christmas and the fourth of July.’” -Kristine Leschper Name Kristine Leschper Age 25 What is your current location? Athens, GA Where are you from? Newnan, GA What is your current occupation? Musician

Pink books (The No Hellos Diet, Hurt Others, I Am Going to Clone Myself then Kill the Clone and Eat it, Person) What materials do you like to work with? I had a fancy for encaustic/resin/beeswax as soon as I started experimenting with it. It feels organic, almost human, as throughout the process it can be viscous, fleshy, semi-transparent. I find that the abrupt marks of copper plate etchings sit in the wax especially well, seemingly transcending the visceral layers. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? Nothing visual going on right now - currently writing/recording a lot and touring pretty much full time with my band. Is there any music you like to listen to while working?

My undergraduate degree was in studio art with a concentration in printmaking.

A lot of instrumental music “Guitar Solos” by Fred Frith “American Don” by Don Caballero “sBACH” by sBACH “The Devil Isn’t Red” by Hella scores of Peter Greenaway films (composer Michael Nyman)

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most?

Where do you like to work?

Peter Greenaway films (A Zed and Two Noughts, Drowning by Numbers, The Falls), Joe Meno novels (The Great Perhaps, Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir, Tender as Hellfire), Sam

On the floor mostly.

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?


What do you hope to accomplish with your work? It’s not so much about the completed work as it is about the process of making it. I generally get the most pleasure out of things that are process-driven. I only feel satisfied when working.

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Where To Find Them Websites: http://kristineleschper.tumblr.com/ Social Media: @kleschper (instagram)



Evangelos Androutsopoulos “Inspired by the theme Patience, I drew the image with pen, brush and ink. Drawing long comics usually requires a lot of patience, concentration and time spent alone. ” -Evangelos Androutsopoulos Name Evangelos Androutsopoulos

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?


I am currently working on a storyboard for a commercial work, as well as drawing a short comic for the finnish Anthology 8 put out by Asema. After these, I need to put together zines and publications for festivals coming in late summer.

What is your current location?

Is there any music you like to listen to while working?


Usually I draw in silence.

Where are you from?

Where do you like to work?


I work from my bedroom.

What is your current occupation?

What is one of your earliest memories of making art?

Comics artist, while also trying to make money on the side.

I’ve been drawing comics all my life, so the earliest memory is also copying Asterix albums and saying I made a comic.


Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I am mostly self taught in comics, but I studied Graphic Design and have done many short drawing courses.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work? Make good, interesting stories that readers will remember.

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? I’ve been looking at so many artists, I can’t tell with certainty where my inspirations are. A lot of old comics and films. What materials do you like to work with? Ink, color pencils, watercolour.


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Where To Find Them Websites: http://evangelosandroutsopoulos.com Contact: evanbagel@gmail.com Social Media: @evanandrou (Instagram)



Laurence Philomene “I shot this alone in my studio after spending a week mostly by myself. Self portraits are something I’ve shot rarely but consistently over the years - this one came out of both patience and impatience. I get frustrated with all the commercial work I’m doing, it feels pointless and I feel antsy and I need to do something else, I got this new blue jacket from a girl in one of my history classes (she gave it to me and I shot her engagement photos in exchange), I’m really into this pink see-through wrapping paper right now. It’s also about taking a minute to spend time with myself. Most of my work is just a constant re-creation of itself, this one echoes another self portrait I shot in 2014 wearing pink pants and no top, sitting on pink fluff.” -Laurence Philomene Name

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most?

Laurence Philomene



What materials do you like to work with?


Fake fur and paper. I work mostly with digital photography, I also love doing cmyk process screen printing.

What is your current location? Montreal, Canada Where are you from? Montreal, Canada What is your current occupation? Freelance photographer and curator. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I studied professional photography at Dawson College, but I think I’ve learned most from just doing things for myself, running an art collective, surrounding myself with other ~creatives and whatnot.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I’m working on a curatorial project for the summer in collaboration with Starchild Stela and Ambivalently yours, we are opening a pop up gallery, shop & workshop series for all of July in Montreal called Camp. That’s been taking up most of my time these days!! I’m also going to be producing a movie in the fall in collaboration with Hana Haley, Hobbes Ginberg, Chloe Feller, Wishcandy & more :) Is there any music you like to listen to while working? Selena Gomez Where do you like to work? In my bed


What is one of your earliest memories of making art?

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

Getting my first camera at age 5, it was a rugrats-themed plastic film camera.

A sense of calm

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Where To Find Them Websites: www.laurencephilomene.com Contact: laurencephilomenephoto@gmail.com Social Media: @laurencephilomene (Instagram)



Jazz Williams “When I drew Waiting in Blue, I wanted to draw an image that both represented myself and the city I’m from. This is a scene on Memphis, Tennessee’s famous Beale Street. I just wanted to pay homage to other starving artists, who are always on the strip, waiting for their art to be recognized. Choosing to color the image in shades of blue was my way of giving the illustration a cool tone and the sympathetic emotion of patience.” -Jazz Williams Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Jazz Williams

I draw a lot on my iPad since I started digital drawings a few years ago, but the classic pencil and paper will never get old to me.

Age 22 What is your current location?

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Seattle, WA

Right now, I’m currently working with DOPE Magazine to help enhance their social media platforms.

Where are you from?

Is there any music you like to listen to while working?

Memphis, TN What is your current occupation?

It’s almost impossible for me to work without tunes flowing through my ears. Rap/Hip Hop music is what most recently been listened to on my iPod. The Life of Pablo & Views.

Digital Graphics Designer

Where do you like to work?

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?

I like to work mostly in my office space. Everything is set up perfectly for me to be proactive and get work done without distractions.

I went to the University of Memphis and majored in Studio Arts. But a lot of what I do is self taught with a trial and error type of practicing. I’ve been drawing since before I can even remember. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Basquiat is a huge favorite of mine. I just love his style and how he makes a drawing his own; I admire that most about him. And I get a lot of inspiration just from listening to music. I draw artists I admire, or artists whose music I’m listening to at the moment.

What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I remember entering a drawing contest in the third grade. I created an illustration of the city of Townsville from the show, The Powerpuff Girls. Took me a week to finish the drawing, and I ended up winning 3rd place!


What do you hope to accomplish with your work? From my art, I just want it to provoke conversation and inspire other artists to do what they love as well.

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Where To Find Them Websites: https://www.behance.net/jazzsgraphics Contact: jwllms51@outlook.com Social Media: @williams.jazz (Instagram)



Sharmila Banerjee “I sit in front of a blank paper as usual and think about what to draw. I think about patience. An image of a smart phone with a dead battery appears. It reminds me ofthe fact that I have just lost my own smart phone for the second time, so I decidethat this motive will just upset me and let it go. I sit there and wait and think andthen i see a bonsai tree. It looks beautiful in all its details and while I start drawingit, Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid shows up. He smiles and catches a fly with his chopsticks. He leans over his Bonsai and trims it carefully. I think about Mr. Miyagi’shouse and asian rice paper walls. My thoughts wander on while I draw. The bonsaiturns into a box of mushrooms, Mr. Miyagi turns into a young guy, the rice paperwall turns into a window and a big moon rises as I think about Neil Diamond’salbum Harvest Moon.” -Sharmila Banerjee Name Sharmila Banerjee

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?


I do. I studied integrated design in Germany and did an MFA in illustration and graphic design in Sweden.


What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most?

What is your current location?

I grew up in the west of Germany, quite close to the border to Netherlands and Belgium. I also lived in Berlin for quite a few years.

I can like all sorts of things but often I’m more interested in the absurd, weird, and strange ones. I like to talk to people, sometimes random strangers. You can meet them anywhere. Be nice to people and they are nice to you as well – 90% of the time at least. A great chance to get an inside into other peoples live, exchanges ideas and get a new perspective on things. I like the books The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan, Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto, and Arséne Schrauwen by Olivier Schrauwen. I love the films Over The Edge, Badlands, Total Recall, Nausicaä, Adaptation, The Graduate, and The Lost Boys.

What is your current occupation?

What materials do you like to work with?

I’m working freelance as an illustrator, comic artist and designer. I do commissioned illustration and design jobs and some teaching here and there. Everything else I work on is personal drawings and comics which i publish in anthologies and sometimes in self published zines.

I like to change my drawing technique from time to time as I easily get bored, but I always get back to the very basics: Pencils, sharpener, paper, rubber and ruler. I prefer softer pencils – like B2–B5 – and use the same tool for clear and rough lines, shadings, smudging etc. It’s the most comfortable way of drawing for me, although it can be very time consuming. Ideally I work on a tilted drawing board.

I’m in Oslo at the moment, but also going back to Berlin soon. I like to travel and work. Where are you from?


What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I’ve been working on a longer story for a comic book lately, but it will take me a while to finish it as I’m quite a slow worker. As a freelancer I keep making textile patterns, am doing some record covers at the moment, designed a bunch of T-shirts, and I still publish my comic series Girlie in the feminist Missy Magazine. Otherwise I just met a befriended artist who asked me to collaborate on something and I’m quite exited about this opportunity as I really like his work. Not sure what we’ll make of it, so I don’t want to talk too much about it yet. Is there any music you like to listen to while working? Yes. Unless I’m writing I listen to music most of the time. Last 10 songs played were . Chris Cohen – As If Apart, Dråpe – Memories, Trisomie 21 – The Last Song, The Holydrug Couple – Light or Night, Future Punx – Plus Side, Devo – Big Mess (demo), Suburban Lawns – Janitor, The The – Giant, Alice Deejay – Better Off Alone, and 808 State – Pacific 202 Where do you like to work? At the moment I’m working from home again and it’s alright, but I’ll try to find an affordable studio where I can not only sit and draw but also paint and mess around with all sorts of materials. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? Painting, drawing and making all sorts of things is the stron-

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Where To Find Them Websites: bonejelly.tumblr.com Contact: heysharmila@gmail.com Social Media: @bonejelly (Instagram)


gest memories I have from my childhood, so it’s hard to point out once specific moment. My mom was very supportive and even signed me up for different art courses for kids. I actually can’t recall any longer period in my life where I stopped making things. What do you hope to accomplish with your work? I’ve been wondering myself so many times why the hell I’m still doing what I do and how often have I been told to get a so called “proper job.” It’s not easy, especially when there is this periods where I’m in a creative ditch and can’t manage to produce anything I’m satisfied with. Imagine sitting at a desk for days in a row without producing anything good. You are hungry but know that the fridge is empty. This can feel quite devastating. Then suddenly one day you can draw again. You make something you’re very satisfied with, you show it around, post it online, you get a new commission, some money rolls in a few weeks later, you fill up the fridge, go out for beers with your friends and you actually hear from people that they loved your drawing, and sometimes they say that it made them feel something, that they were touched, happy or sad when they looked at it. That’s the best compliment for me and I guess everyone who makes art hopes to communicate through it with others. I still find it fascinating how some people connect with my work and others don’t. It’s like a secret visual language. A friend told me the other day that he at first didn’t get my work but now he suddenly understands it. It’s quite magical in a way and this is probably what keeps me going.


Opal Pence “When I heard the theme was “patience”, I knew that I couldn’t help but make something about mental illness and endurance. The past year, I’ve been very patient with myself as days dragged on due to being sick. Now that I’m feeling better, I can objectively look at how I felt and respond with art. I sketched out a basic idea, filled out the details as I inked it, scanned and colored it digitally. ” -Opal Pence

Where are you from?

work - all the spreads in that book are incredible. I feel similarly about Hayao Miyazaki’s manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - both are beautiful, highly technical pen comics. The book I go back to when I’m looking for inspiration is Sir James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough. This book recounts ritualistic practices from around the world and is deeply steeped in myth, symbology and magic. It has no visual aides, allowing your imagination to expand on the text. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain is my favorite film that touches on similar subjects. I am always inspired by my two friends Kinoko Evans and Ivy Atoms - both artists who have shared so much of their work and kindness with me. They motivate me to work hard, be a thoughtful friend and do my own thing in this freaky life.

White Salmon, WA

What materials do you like to work with?

What is your current occupation?

Ink, acrylic gouache, silkscreening, nib pens, and a rapidograph zero.

Name Opal Pence Age 26 What is your current location? Portland, OR

I typeset and edit hentai for a local publisher, FAKKU. I also do art-related work when I can, whether it’s freelance illustration or tabling at festivals, showing work, etc.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?

Right now I’m working on inking Lily Ash Bullet, a teen werewolf dramady comic that my partner wrote and sketched.

Both! I’ve been dedicated to drawing since I was a kid and had the opportunity to get a degree in illustration from the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Is there any music you like to listen to while working?

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? Reading Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freakshow by Suehiro Maruo made me feel committed to my craft of black and white line-

I like a lot of different music but nothing gets me motivated to work like nightcore. Where do you like to work? I work at a big wooden art table that I share with all my house-


mates, but I also have my own desk

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

What is one of your earliest memories of making art?

I want more visibility for nonbinary and queer people in art. I want more visibility for sick people. I only recently decided to address these subjects more directly in my work and it’s a huge relief. It’s like I’ve been denying a part of myself that I can draw inspiration from. Before, I always wanted people to ask, why is Opal so mysterious? Now I want to be understood.

Designing original Pokémon as a kid. Ok, I lied, I actually remember drawing dicks on everything in my sketchbook when I was 5.

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Where To Find Them Websites: http://opalpence.com Contact: opalzpence@gmail.com Social Media: @opalpence (Instagram)



Akvile Magicdust “The comic is based on a nightmare that I had once. It is about this feeling of being frozen in a long process of doing something - it might happen in a relationship or work, it’s a sensation of loosing motivation. This terrifying feeling is much worse than going on or turning back.” -Akvile Magicdust Name Akvile Magicdust Age 28 What is your current location? Vilnius, Lithuania. After wandering and living in different countries I came back to my hometown Vilnius and stayed here for the last few years. Living here is cheap and knowing the language and cultural background I find a lot of possibilities, like financial support for art projects and commercial illustration work. Where are you from? Vilnius, Lithuania What is your current occupation? 24/7 illustrator and comic artist, sometimes I also give workshops and lectures. Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I graduated printmaking and illustration BA in the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Lithuania and MA degree in comics, Bruxelles Sint-Lukas. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? I think the strongest motivation to create comes from the real

life, I’m really happy with all the creative people that surround me in Vilnius and all the strange adventures and stories that happen to me. Recently I was getting a lot of inspiration from music videos and skateboarding movies also. I think that checking new comics and illustrations on instagram, facebook or tumblr surely affects my style and I subconsciously start to copy some stuff without really wanting it... I think I won’t start the list of comics makers I admire because it will be too long. It’s very cool to meet these creators in selfpublishing or comics festivals, these events to me are like motivation bombs! And about the books.. I was really hooked by Latino American writers like Julio Cortazar, Roberto Bolaño or Isabele Alliende magic world. What materials do you like to work with? Most of the illustration work I do with acrylics and almost all the comics I draw digitally with my wacom tablet. I like to edit comics, change dialogs or other parts and it’s much easier to make corrections like this. But I get less tired drawing on the paper with acrylics than looking to the screen all day. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I am making jump ropes collection with hand painted wooden handles. The story behind them is that I got one really beautiful jump rope from a friend in Barcelona and I started to jump as an fun exercise. I decided to make more of them and spread this easy happiness drug. They look very cute! I am working on some comics for local extreme rock’n’roll music festival, it’s all about adventures that happen in open air festivals. I’m also drawing a comic for VICE. I really enjoy doing it because I feel that I can really be myself and I don’t have to restrain or censor myself, like in some other projects that I’ve worked before. I am also doing a collaboration with a local clothing brand @


Beleberda of T-shirts and dresses with the pattern that I created. These drawings have the some mood of 90ies Sovietic surroundings that we grew up surrounded, - grey block houses, strange children playgrounds. We are looking for a location and planning a photoshoot now. This week I have to bind some new zines that I made because I am going to ELCAF festival in London. So more or less these things are on my mind now. Is there any music you like to listen to while working? Usually I am listening to rap and then to garage punk, rock and then again a lot of rap. I also listen to a lot of podcasts while working. Where do you like to work? Together with a few other creatives we are renting a studio in the city old town. The house was built in the beginning of 20th century and it has an elegant fireplace with two dragons - that’s why the studio it’s called “Dragon fist”. We use one room for painting with spray paint or varnishes and working with the wood. Others are supposed to be “clean zones” where we work with computers but usually it’s a bit chaotic everywhere, dogs run around everywhere... We have similar likes and interests - some of us do tattoos or paint murals and do illustration work, sometimes we do collaborations. I also really get inspired by my studio mates who make 3D objects, that I have no idea of doing. For example last

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Where To Find Them Websites: www.akvilemagicdust.com Contact: akvilemagicdust@gmail.com Social Media: @akvilemagicdust (Instagram)


week one studio mate was making giant realistic swordfish for a commercial. These guys also have great sense of humor and I think it’s really important in the working space and life in general! What is one of your earliest memories of making art? The first thing that came to my mind was not exactly about making art but escaping from making art into real life. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old and I remember very good the day when I run from after school art class with my best friend and we wandered through the city on our own and we burned straws and tried to smoke them. When my mom asked what we drew that day I couldn’t lie and i told that we chose a real life instead of making art that afternoon. What do you hope to accomplish with your work? With painted skateboard decks and jump ropes I would like to spread the simple happiness virus of moving your body and remembering how to play without thinking about some kind of material purpose. The clothing pattern is about being less serious and more wild. With comics I do for VICE I try to tell stories of unperfect lives that my characters have and I hope that readers would identify with them and feel more powerful, less alone because it already happened to someone. I feel that some topics preoccupy my mind and then I hope that someone also will find that interesting or relevant.


Haejin Park “This piece is about my grandfather, who worked as a train driver with PTSD from the Korean War. ” -Haejin Park Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Haejin Park

Watercolor works best for me. Sometimes I use color pencil and markers to add some details. For my client works, I keep it neat and clean. On my sketchbook and zines, I try many different mediums including collage and digital. I want to explore more 3D work and photography. I guess I just like working with any medium :-0

Age 23 What is your current location? Brooklyn, NY Where are you from? South Korea What is your current occupation? Freelance Illustrator Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I studied Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in 2015. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? When I was studying in Providence, Rhode Island I went to local library that had great selection of old children’s books. In New York, I like going to Strand bookstore’s rare book room and spend hours in their children’s book and poetry section. To pick one favorite artist, I love Květa Pacovská. Her books and work is so inspiring.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? I mostly make work for editorial clients. I also regularly contribute to BuzzFeed Comics and visual essays. Recently I got invited to publishing zines and anthology projects. In the future, I want to be working as a children’s book illustrator. Is there any music you like to listen to while working? I don’t listen to music when I paint. I can only focus when everything is quiet around me. On a subway I listen to SALES. Frankie Cosmos, and Ariana Grande!!!!!. Where do you like to work? I go to cafe every morning to email art directors and send promos. I found a free coworking space in New York City, so I go there now. I come back and paint in my room. I like working in a small corner of my room. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? I drew a lot on a ground with my fingers. Earliest I can remember is drawing a fish at my grandmother’s house garden.


What do you hope to accomplish with your work? Just keep myself happy.

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Where To Find Them Websites: www.haejinart.com Contact: haejinart@gmail.com Social Media: @haejinduck (Instagram)



Mimi Chrzanowski “First I jotted down a lot of ideas before picking this one and rolling with it. A fresh, loose, messiness is important to me so I didn’t erase or clean up the under sketch too much. I pushed around pencil, india ink, watercolor, marker, and white out. Lastly I scanned it in and added a layer of digital screen tone. Unfortunately my scanner doesn’t pick up fluorescent colors, which is what I used in parts of this painting, so it’s always a battle color-correcting in Photoshop in the end stages.” -Mimi Chrzanowski Name

What materials do you like to work with?

Mimi Chrzanowski

Depending on the project I like to use different techniques from screen printing posters with glow-in-the-dark ink to drawing comics with plain old pens. I’m a sucker for flashy paint that is glittery, fluorescent, pearlescent, etc.

Age 27 What is your current location? Providence, Rhode Island Where are you from? I was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Tomah, Wisconsin. What is your current occupation? artist, after-school art teacher, etc Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught? I got a BFA from a public university near where I grew up in Wisconsin. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? My friends in Providence, at comics fests, and online are a huge inspiration because everyone is so creative, hard-working, and supportive! Nature, my growing pile of clear/faded memories, toys, anime, and manga have all clung to my headspace, too.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on? The next thing on my plate is doing an artist booth at AS220’s yearly summer festival in Providence. I’m working with my friend Tycho Horan on an “animated gif wall” that festival goers can participate in. Is there any music you like to listen to while working? Lately I’ve been browsing 8tracks.com to find playlists to suit my changing moods. Where do you like to work? If I am just sketching randomly I like to be around friends or out in public, but if I am getting down to business on a project I need to be at home in my room where I have two lil coffee tables set up - one with my digital mess and one with my analog mess. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? When I was three my family moved from Chicago to a farm in Wisconsin, but my dad continued to work most of the week in Chicago. To make myself feel better I would draw illustrated


cards every week on office supplies and give them to him when he was around. I also remember being obsessed with a coloring book my mom got me where all you did was throw water on it and it would change colors before your eyes. I was like WOW!

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Where To Find Them Websites: http://bbytown.tumblr.com/ Contact: michellechrzanowski@gmail.com Social Media: @bbytown (Instagram)


What do you hope to accomplish with your work? Especially with the comics, I hope a balance of fun strangeness mixed with honest emotions comes through and someone out there reading them will be able to relate to it in the moment.


Susannah Cutler “The piece I submitted is a play on tarot or a fake tarot card. It specifically references the strength card, which means a lot to me. The words patience & strength are strongly associated in my head. I have been interested in windows or picture frames as subject matter in visual art recently. I think it has a lot to do with the desire to have a strong inner framework before blossoming and the patience it takes to reflect/strength it takes to move forward, hence the inner and outer elements of the piece.” -Susannah Cutler Name Susannah Cutler Age 24 What is your current location? Brooklyn, NY Where are you from?

people I care deeply about. Adaptation is probably my favorite movie about the artistic process. The Winnie the Pooh books have some of my favorite illustrations and I find them very moving in their simplicity and pure magic. What materials do you like to work with? I love watercolor, dye, and ink. Basically, I love anything water based. I also love to sew and embroider. What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

What is your current occupation?

I am devoting this summer to sewing and recording! I want to get better at both. I just found all of these amazing vintage patterns at a thrift store while I was on tour, and I want to learn how to use them.


Is there any music you like to listen to while working?

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?

I listened to a lot of Blink 182 during finals week! Right now I almost exclusively listen to The Life of Pablo. I guess it’s always changing, but I tend to listen to one thing over and over again and then move on to something else.

New York, NY

I am formally trained in fine art, and I am currently studying textile design. What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most? I guess I’m mostly inspired by nature and music. Of course I have some musical heroes, and they inspire me to keep making art. In terms of visual art, I care deeply about the art of the

Where do you like to work? I like to work at my desk! I finally own a desk and it changed my life. A little late to the game!


What is one of your earliest memories of making art? My sesame street watercolor set! Or weaving at this day camp my mom took me to upstate. What do you hope to accomplish with your work? It’s hard to say, I guess visual art and music are very different

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Where To Find Them Websites: http://yoursaretheonlyears.tumblr.com/ Contact: susannahleecutler@gmail.com Social Media: @yoursaretheonlyears (Instagram)


for me at this point. I pour my heart into both, but I feel like I’ll eventually have to try and turn one of them into a job. I’m trying to start an Etsy shop right now. It’s called ORCAPAW ^_^ . I guess I want what every artist wants; to reach into the void and attempt to create some sort of connectivity or oneness!


Shirin Kavin “The photo you choose to publish is out of a 21piece series titled: Virginity Purity Innocence Youth. The series is a balancing act between truth and lie. The people depicted are taken from everyday life. Human beings who previously did not know each other. Strangers who share one thing - their humanity. By displaying their bodies they let us share their memories, their aspirations and their fears. So it seems.” -Shirin Kavin Name

form is trained.

Shirin Kavin

What people, books, films, (etc…) inspire you the most?


Inspiration can come from anywhere really. Watching an old man walking in the park; a child eating an apple; teenagers flirting; a grown up man getting angry; a woman wearing too much makeup; people talking to their dogs; and so on..anything that sort of scratches on the surface of reality - that leads to the direction of a parallel world, interests me.

31 What is your current location? Vienna (since 2014) Where are you from? I grew up in Zurich, Switzerland. I’ve got Iranian ancestors from my mothers side but i haven’t visited the country - yet.

Some of the artists I admire (mainly painters) are Jan van Eyck, Franz von Stuck, Arnold Böcklin, Käthe Kollwitz What materials do you like to work with?

What is your current occupation?

I like to work with the human body. Whether it is the shape, movement, anatomical structure, attitude, statement, consciousness or subconsciousness. I like to keep it plane and direct.

Since i moved to Vienna, I work full-time as an artist. I am also a full-time mother since 2014.

What pieces, projects, or collaborations are you currently working on?

Do you have any training or formal education in the field of art you work in, or are you self taught?

I am just starting a new series of photos under the title: BUT. My main aspiration is the development of (satirical) diptychs and triptychs. In the project description on my website I wrote: “The photographs indicate – with a lot of self-irony – to human nature, in all its aspects and with all its “weaknesses”. We are moving in the spaces between “ought” and “want”; deal with relationship structures in society, in the family, between the sexes as well as with oneself, in the role as a mortal human being.” I’ll work on this project for about one year…we’ll see what happens

I am a self taught photographer. I started photography in 2007. Since then I am constantly learning more about this art form. I used to paint before I started to photograph. I also worked as a makeup artist (in theater, fashion and film) and I used to work as a body piercer for a couple of years. Therefore I would say, that my esthetic eye is educated and my esthesia for the human


Is there any music you like to listen to while working?

Where do you like to work?

Since i am a mother, i enjoy the silence more than ever :) But before that, i really liked to listen to lots of music during work. The styles always depend on which creative phase i’m in. While making sketches i love to listen to e.g. Amon Tobin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Primus (music that takes you one step away from yourself - with a bit of chaos and a bit of drama). During the “executing phase” i prefer e.g. Erykah Badu, Billie Holiday, Claude Debussy, Frédéric Chopin (music that helps you to connect to yourself and to focus).

I love my studio. What is one of your earliest memories of making art? Probably the moment I decided to leave school (and not aiming for university) in order to follow my artistic career. From that moment on, I felt i was making art. What do you hope to accomplish with your work? Inner peace = outer peace

Previous Work

Where To Find Them Websites: http://8oinks.com Contact: shirin.kavin@gmail.com Social Media: @abigailswallow (Instagram)





Meredith Wilson’s illustrations defy any one technique, which makes it hard to articulate them

in any way other than visually. In a single piece Meredith gracefully balances between flatness and texture, realism and idealism, fragmentation and narrative. The visual style which she developed during her time at Pratt utilizes every aspect of her training from photography to communications. Although Meredith is a recent graduate she has a consistency in her work that few reach until long after college. This past year she left New York to move back to her home state, Missouri, to allow herself to develop through the kind of time and patience that New York no longer affords it’s artists. The artist that Meredith is now is an amazing achievement, but the artist that she will presumably become is an even more amazing prospect.

Where are you from and where do you live currently? I’m from Jefferson City, Missouri. Right now I live in St. Louis. Are you formally trained at all in art, or are you primarily self taught? I guess having a BFA in Illustration means I’m formally trained, but I can’t like paint a marble sculpture, or those blocks and spheres with oil or anything. I’m no good at life drawing. I would say I’m mostly self-taught as an illustrator and painter. Has painting always been your main medium to work within? No, painting hasn’t always been my main thing, actually it’s a pretty recent development. I started Pratt as a photo major which is still kind of bizarre to me. I heard Paul Simon recently say, in an interview where he was asked about his year of law school — “Yeah, but that was a total misunderstanding... um, by me.” I did photo stuff in high school and I really loved the process of it. I think I might’ve been a good photojournalist or portrait photographer, but by sophomore year I realized I really didn’t like it, and actually could not “express” myself through making pictures. They almost never turned out exactly how I wanted them to, and even when they did it wasn’t very satisfying. In critiques I heard people talk about their conceptual intentions with their photos and I panicked, because I knew I didn’t have any. I always drew, and I took some illustration classes when I was a photo major. I switched to Communications Design, which everyone there very mercifully took in stride and didn’t ridicule me for — I guess there’s weirder stuff going on at art school. I really dove in head first once I switched and loved it immediately.  That’s so interesting! Your illustrations clearly have a very photographic quality to them, as far as their composition. Do you take photos as reference before making a piece? Do you think your photography training has helping influence your current work? Yeah, I have started using photos as reference. I don’t usually try to get it exactly right, draw-


ing-wise, but I like having a photo to help me with getting light and colors right. Usually when I want to make a painting of something it’s because of a really specific quality it has - combination of colors, or the shadows being made, or whatever. So it’s helpful to have that thing captured. That being said, if I showed any of the pictures I’ve used and the resulting paintings, it might be confusing. In school it always seemed sort of sinful to draw or paint from a picture as opposed to drawing from real life, which is still baffling to me. Maybe it’s just the tradition of “en plein air” or whatever being protected, but I think iPhone cameras are the greatest gift to anyone making anything. Not advocating copying a picture directly or tracing or anything like that — not because it’s wrong, just because it’s boring — but being able to capture something you find beautiful right away, in the moment, is crazy and such a blessing. Says ME! What was your experience like at Pratt? I loved Pratt. I loved the last two years especially when I was focused up and committed to painting, but all four were weird and fun and hard and full. I loved the campus and the buildings, I loved having a schedule, I loved the critiques, I loved working late in the studios and seeing friends on the lawn at night. Getting bagels at 3 am and being on a deadline; the exhaustion and pride at 9 am when you’ve met the deadline. I think any experience with college, particularly art college, is solely based on what you put into it. There’s absolutely a way to get through it with close to zero effort, and you’ll end up with the same degree, which also guarantees you nothing.  Art is subjective and impossible to actually teach, so that’s another humongous inherent flaw. The teachers only care about your success as much as you care at best, and often a lot less. No one really pushes you to work harder, and I found that only my sense of competition motivated me once I was an Illustration major. With the exception of two really great teachers I had early on, my professors weren’t much help if any. My thesis advisors were cynical and discouraging from start to finish, which I don’t feel bad saying because I think they pride themselves on those traits. The whole system of a college is frustrating and the idea of art school is fishy on a base level, but I loved my time there. It’s still moving to me how much I learned and how much I grew. How did living in New York impact your work? I lived in New York through my most formative years I guess, and I definitely changed faster and more drastically as a person and artist during that time than any other. I might have lived somewhere else and changed just as much; late teens and early 20s are a time of evolving for everyone I think. But I’m sure being in New York accelerated that process. I met more people and just saw a broader range of stuff consistently. — not just art stuff; cultures, places, lifestyles, institutions, tastes, scenes, etc. There’s just a lot there, and once I surrendered to the fact that I didn’t know it all (actually literally nothing), I absorbed it quickly and I loved it. Just like anywhere, there’s a way to live insularly in New York. If you find some group or scene you feel comfortable in, you probably end up seeing a lot of the same stuff. I’m not saying I fully experienced every corner of the city, but I was genuinely fascinated by the sheer amount of contrast you see on every block, in people and ideas, and also visually.  By the time I was a senior at school, I really tried to put that kind of contrast in my work, in subject matter and style. How have you seen your work change over the past few years? I see my work change every time I make something, actually in a pretty extreme way. I’ve really only been painting for four-ish years, and at 10 or maybe 15 pieces a year, the body of work is not that big. But it’s big enough for me to notice an obvious trend in improvement. Not to say that I’m great now or I was terrible then, but it’s my favorite thing and the most reward-



ing thing about working; to be able to confidently assess that I’m getting better consistently. I started in school wanting to nail down a style that I thought was unique, but what I was coming up with wasn’t that unique, and a really calculated style right off the bat is limiting. I think my senior year I loosened up, and started experimenting with the technical stuff I’m still working on now. It’s by far the most exciting thing about working, mostly because it’s sort of the only point right now for me. I’m usually not making work for anyone but myself, for better or worse (OK probably for worse!). How did you start doing work with Rookie? I started working for Rookie after being introduced to Allyssa Yohana through my friend Greta Kline. She was nice enough to kind of set me up there. I’ve done a few things for them and it’s always fun to see it go up online.  How did you start doing gig posters? What are some of the favorites that you’ve done? I think the first poster I did was in school for some show, I can’t really remember. I’ve done a few for Frankie Cosmos and Porches, and some bands who have reached out to me on the email. I really love doing lettering so they’re always fun. It’s a chance to make something that can just exist as a nice design — it doesn’t have to necessarily carry a deeper meaning or concept. I really like the first one I did for Frankie Cosmos and Porches, with the “Welcome Back” cake.  Your work has this beautiful balance between realism and idealism, as well as a balance between flatness and textural. How long did it take you to develop that style of working? I really love and appreciate that description! I can’t say that whatever style I’ve developed is unconscious or even natural, really. I think it’s just a synthesis of all the stuff I like and what I’ve been influenced by. But it’s pretty calculated and I don’t think it’s at all where I want it yet. I love flat, decorative art, and I love good graphic design, but I also love classical painting and realistic, heightened depictions of people and places. I think contrast, in everything, is what I’m interested in. Contrast in flatness and depth, in materials used, in representation of the subject, in color, etc. I like paintings that look like they took a lot of effort and time, but aren’t just decorative. I want the right balance of style and content, like everybody in every artistic field I think. A lot of your work is portraiture, but so much of those pieces are more about the environment or tone of the situation. Often you’ll cover figure’s faces, have figures with their back facing the viewer, etc… Where do you think the urge to paint people like that comes from? That urge comes mostly from an inability to realistically paint people’s faces and my insecurity/unwillingness to try to get better. But recently I’ve been so drawn to portraiture that I want to give it a shot. I made a portrait of my boyfriend Eddy and took on the face, I think mostly because it’s my favorite face. I didn’t get it quite right but I really enjoyed painting it. There’s something so satisfying about depicting someone’s expression and trying to convey their personality and spirit. There’s a reason portraits are so compelling, and I really want to do more of them.  Also, though, if I’m trying to depict a larger scene or a specific place, sometimes concealing someone’s face is just a good way to make a picture more universal or vague. If there’s a face in a picture, that’s where your eye goes — that’s psychology, right? That might just be true for babies. But it’s where my eye goes when I see an illustration or painting.


What was the process like making the cover of Frankie Cosmos’s Next Thing? That was so fun. I started working with Greta in June last year, and we met up to talk about concepts for the album art. She had done a lot of drawings in the car on tour, and we talked about how touring had really dominated her year. So we decided on the image of a road sign with the album title, viewed from the passenger seat of a car on the highway. The rest just sort of came together. I had to start over a few times — I have never worked on something that would be reproduced and made permanent like a record. It was by far the longest and most exciting project I’ve ever done. I still can’t believe I got to do it!


How do you think the internet has impacted your work, or how you see it existing in contemporary art? That’s a tough one, and I’m not sure! I think like anything, my opinion of the internet is mostly shaped by what I’m consuming from it. There is so much out there, so many platforms and “content” or whatever, and individual artists finding a niche so successfully. But I also notice that it takes a certain amount of simplicity, hipness, or some gimmick to be extremely popular. I don’t know how I see my art existing within that, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I’m not at a place where I can cultivate a big following online — I’m not sure I’d even want to. But I think it’s incredible and 100% positive how easy it is to put work out there, curate it, and define yourself. I just want to make paintings IRL, document them on Instagram, and that’s satisfying enough for me right now. What do you think keeps people from putting out their work? This is a hard question, and I think it depends on the person. It’s so easy to put work out into the world now that there’s really zero reason not to. In school I was conditioned to; it was required. So I really love to put something on Instagram now when I finish it, and of course the instant gratification that comes from seeing people like it is addicting. Maybe that’s unhealthy, but I don’t really think so, unless you’re making work that you’re not proud of, or that’s insincere. I think it’s a good little motivation to keep producing. I’m always interested in the question of what stops people from making work to begin with. I know a lot of people I went to school with aren’t working in their respective fields and aren’t producing art anymore. I have a

starting and a finishing problem too and it’s tough to stay motivated or to impose any kind of fake deadline on yourself. Honestly, I think it’s a question of what you want and how badly you want it — the world is not begging for another painter. It’s possible nothing will ever happen for my “art career,” and I’ll be a hobby painter, which a lot of people are. It doesn’t sound bad to me. Right now I know I enjoy making paintings, and most of all I enjoy getting better, and I’m going to see where that gets me. What was your experience like moving back to Missouri? I spent over a year in New York after I graduated, and I just decided it wasn’t worth it to be there for me. I still loved the city and love it now, but it’s a hard place to live, and I really wanted to focus on painting for a larger portion of my time than was possible there. It’s a hard balance to strike when you’re not making much money off of your art -- some people find a way to do it, and some don’t. I think I did pretty OK, especially last summer when I was working at a daycare in my neighborhood in Queens and painting pretty much all night, every night. That was one of the most fun and most productive times in my life, I think, but it was tiring. I was also tired of the art scene in New York — at least the Young Hot art scene that I had followed/been on the fringes of for 5+ years. Had I been more involved in it or had it been more interesting to me, that also might have made staying worthwhile. I think I decided I wanted to move the last time I was herded through the book fair at MoMA PS1. There’s so much great stuff to look at in New York that it’s not really worth complaining about, but it got to me a little, and I started to feel discouraged. I love Missouri, and I love how it looks and feels, so that was another incentive. I also decided I wanted to work at the City Museum in St. Louis, where I work now.  It’s hard to describe the museum but it’s always been one of my favorite places, one of the most unique I know of. I have a great apartment and great boyfriend; it’s all panned out so far. What are you currently working on, and what stuff do you hope to put out this year? I’ve been a little bleh the last few months, so I’ve made a few copies from old paintings. It’s just a fun exercise for me. I’d like to do more portraits though, maybe of people I see at the City Museum.  Are there any projects that would like to embark on, that you just don’t have the time or money for at the moment? YES. The job I moved here for is great, and the museum is so inspiring to me. But I work a lot, and it’s hard work, and my boyfriend and I are still getting set up in St. Louis. So it’s really difficult to find the time to paint right now. I feel like I am almost always working or recovering from work. I’m in the art center of the museum making stuff with kids, so that’s really fulfilling and fun. And it’s fun just to be in such a wacky place. But I’d like to continue making big paintings, mounted on wood, and keep experimenting with materials I really don’t have the money for right now. I can/will find a way around that. It’s obviously possible to make something good with any material and in a short amount of time, but it can be frustrating to feel limited. My scanner is wonky and my computer is about to give out, I’m almost out of a roll of watercolor paper, my brushes are all warped — it’s effing tough! But people find a way around tougher stuff all the time — I think staying dedicated is the only real requirement, and we’ll see how I measure up.





In a lot of ways Ric Leichtung’s reasons for moving to New York are not too dissimilar from my own. Ric left his home in

San Francisco in the mid-2000s in search of what most kids who move to New York for college are looking for; new experiences and like minded individuals. Despite not finding what he was looking for attending NYU, the pilgrimage was well worth it after discovering the DIY shows being organized by Todd Patrick. After going to just one show booked by Todd P, Ric was enlightened and sought out anyway to be involved in what would become a scene that shaped the rest of his life.

Ric has gone on to start a tape archive, write for Pitchfork’s defunct site Altered Zones, and most notably start the zine

and booking company AdHoc (along with Emilie Friedlander), in the years since he was doing door for shows. As one of the main decibels of DIY, carrying out many of the practices thought by Todd P, Ric has immensely impacted the New York music scene as a whole. Since curating the now legendary 285 Kent, Ric has tried his hardest to create an opportunity for both big and small bands to make something special on their own terms. Now as he navigates working with the corporate music industry at his full time job at Webster Hall, and working with the DIY community through the recently reopened Market Hotel, all Ric wants is to narrow the gap between the two, and throw shows everyone can feel good about.

Where are you from, and where do you live currently? I’m from San Francisco, and I now live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York. Do you have any musical training, or background in playing music? Yeah! My mother is an opera singer, and my father did a lot of musicals and light opera. My whole family was really musical. I eventually started playing music and really always loved it. Was your initial interest in music through playing it, or was it more from listening to it?

into this bar and see your show?” There was a lot of that. There was definitely all ages stuff around, but it was honestly pretty rare. The hyper local stuff was hard to come by — or it was at that point. Coming to New York was a total game changer. Similar to San Francisco, most of the things that happen are 21+, but here at least there are several all ages venues, and people who want to get teens drunk at raves and what not. New York is way better for that I guess, haha. What was your experience like at NYU? What were you studying while you were there?

Was there any sub-cultural scene that you were a part of when you were a teenager living in San Francisco?

I went to school for music technology. I wanted to be a studio engineer, produce my own music, and be someone who was behind the scenes making really interesting technical things. I thought that, going to NYU, I would find all of these people — these “New York people” who liked the things that I liked. But initially they weren’t there. I mean I didn’t have friends in high school really… at all. The whole time I was like, oh theres probably going to be so many cool people in New York that I’m going to be able to hang out with and talk really passionately about music with. They just weren’t at NYU! They were no where near there! For a year I was like “Where are all of these people? They’ve got to be around.”

Yeah, there was definitely a scene in San Francisco. I could never say that there wasn’t. However, it was very hard for me to participate in it as a kid. A lot of the things that were going on happened at bars, so I would have to be a total dweeb and hit up the band and be like “Oh, can I carry your stuff in and give you $20 so I can get

Eventually I learned about shows that Todd P (Todd Patrick) was doing. I didn’t drink and I didn’t have a fake I.D. so going to his shows were really the only option. I think the first show I went to of his was a Mount Eerie show. Afterwords I was like “Oh, I gotta get involved. I don’t even like school anyway. I should just be learning from

Yeah initially it was from playing it. My parents totally forced me to play an instrument; it was the trumpet… Yeah I hated it honestly, haha. I hated it so much, haha. But it was good for me. I eventually did start to like music, probably when I was eleven or twelve or something. Initially it was sort of the thing where my whole family was really into music, and I was kind of like “Oh I really like video games!” you know.


this guy.” Thats kind of how I started to get into this stuff. What was your first experience at a DIY show? My first DIY show — I think I had to have been 14. My brother was way cooler and more handsome than I was, and knew were all the fun things were, so he took me to this place in San Francisco called The Tender Loft, and we saw Xiu Xiu. I loved Xiu Xiu back then, and I was just like “Oh my god!” I had just never seen anything like it. “There’s no bouncer… That’s amazing! There’s no huge dude man handling my 14 year old body for whatever I could be smuggling in… This is great!” That was my first DIY show, and it was incredibly formative for me. In San Francisco, sadly, they were few and far between. I’d really only go to shows like once a month, where as now everyday I can go to multiple shows in a night, because New York is amazing. A lot of people try to pretend like it’s not when it’s actually legitimately an amazing place to be, regardless of how expensive it is. One of my more vivid memories of first working for Todd was this show that was in Brooklyn — which at the time for me was like “What is Brooklyn?” haha. The venue that the show was initially suppose to be at had cancelled the show the day before, and from there it had already moved. By the time the show was starting it was at the third venue it was suppose to be at. My job was to stand

outside completely alone in this sketchy warehouse district in Bushwick and just tell people to go somewhere else for hours. I hadn’t heard from anybody for so long and I was like “I want to go to the show but no ones responding to me. Fuck this.” So I went to where the actual show was and saw all of these police and the fire department and I was like “Well. I guess that’s that.” How would you characterize the New York DIY music scene to someone who doesn’t know what a DIY music scene is? That’s kind of hard. DIY is always changing. Living in New York now it’s constantly changing, as the city is becoming rapidly more expensive. There’s a need to make things sustainable, so people nowadays get liquor licenses, they have subwoofers in their venues — which is totally bizarre and unheard of, even five years ago. It’s weird that a place like Aviv would have subwoofers. Here we had like one monitor sometimes for a show and that was it. Or we would have an extra guitar amp and we would have an XLR to 1/4 inch converter, plug that shit in, and that was it! That was the PA, people could hear the vocals, we were set! How I think of it is; something that is ultimately community minded and driven. I don’t know… I think that’s it really, for me I guess.

“There’s no huge dude man handling my 14 year old body for whatever I could be smuggling in… This is great!”


“At the time (Todd P) was really the only person doing this kind of thing. It was really great in a way, because there was this centralized hub of all of the All Ages and DIY activities that were happening. You could just go to his website and figure it out.” What were the staple venues that existed when you first started going to shows? Honestly it was the kind of thing that changed every year — and it still does! But the memorable ones before 285 were… Death By Audio was a big one. Shea was a big one — is a big one today. Monster Island Basement was great and Todd booked there a lot. 3rd Ward would throw a lot of shows. There was this one place called The Syrup Room. There was another place called Tommy’s Tavern. There was another place called Paulie’s — Paulie’s was so dirty, oh my god!!! Have you heard of Paulie’s? Oh god. So Paulie’s was off the Grahm stop, and you had to walk through this multi block junkyard. Uncle Paulie’s was a failing restaurant, that was very likely a mob front, and it was jut bad. It was poorly operated, they had this weird septic tank issue so it smelled like feces, and it was just really gross honestly. But that place was a lot of fun because it totally felt like the middle of nowhere. Obviously the original Silent Barn before that was closed down. The Raven’s Den. Goodbye Blue Monday was a place were a lot of people started playing because they had a lot of open mic nights and they didn’t even care who was playing. They were just like “Oh yeah, come on over!” Too many venues to count honestly. So many!

What do you think made it so that all of these different venues could spring up and exist the way that they did? One of the main reasons why it works here is that honestly, for New York Cops, there’s like a hundred other things better that they could be doing. “A couple kids throwing a show? Who cares!” No body is getting hurt, it’s relatively safe, they look the other way on alcohol all of the time. There’s just better things to do. That’s why a lot of these things really don’t last in suburban communities. It’s truly an urban, metropolitan thing because they’ve got real crime, not just this petty crap. How did you meet Todd P? What role did he have in what you were doing before AdHoc? It probably would have been 2006 or 2007. At the time he was really the only person doing this kind of thing. It was really great in a way, because there was this centralized hub of all of the All Ages and DIY activities that were happening. You could just go to his website and figure it out. It was really really easy. Initially when I met him he lived in Long Island City. I went to his apartment where he held office hours. He asked me a few questions, mostly just quizzing me on bands. It felt


“I wasn’t really getting what I was looking for in school. School obviously brought me here to realize what my passion was. But I can safely say now, that I do not want to be a sound engineer.” like it wasn’t really important if I was smart or not. It was just about if I knew who people were or kind of understood what the scene was. That was really the most important requirement. The next time I saw him I was working that show. How possible was it to do all of this while you were still in school? I mean, I don’t know. It was pretty possible. I was really excited about school initially but honestly I wasn’t really getting what I was looking for in school. School obviously brought me here to realize what my passion was. But I can safely say now, that I do not want to be a sound engineer. I do not want to be running live sound. I was the worst — well not the worst, definitely not the worst — but I was not very good. I can not even tell you how many bands sound I just… I’m sorry. It was just bad. I would typically choose participating in the DIY community over attending school. I don’t know what that says about me, but yeah. How did AdHoc initially start? Were you doing the zine first, or were you booking shows first? For me, shows started first. Then from there I started writing because I was getting really into cassette culture and reissue culture. My favorite thing to do would be to go on BlogSpots and things like that and just download every bizarro, out of print LP around. I noticed “Oh, theres no cassettes kicking around. Why aren’t people digitizing their cassettes? Theres so much stuff here.” So I started collecting these cassettes from different places, and


started this blog international tapes. I put that online and then Ryan Schreiber at Pitchfork sort of noticed it — I was very lucky — and he asked me to go and partner up with Emilie (Friedlander) for their Altered Zones project. That was great. I had to put shows on hold because Market Hotel had shut down, and I didn’t have anywhere else to put things. Then the Pitchfork thing stopped and immediately the first thing I did once I left there was start booking shows again. They’ve always been connected I guess. A lot of people look at it in different ways, and look at music in different ways. People will think “Oh journalists and bloggers aren’t really around.” but they do actually have a really strong influence there. Those are the people who ultimately make a lot of change and difference for the community, even if they don’t make music. Such a huge huge impact honestly. Something that I was always frustrated with at Pitchfork was, people didn’t really go to shows back then. A lot of the writers didn’t. They were homebodies. They were incredibly smart, intellectual introverts. I always felt that there was some aspect of them just never getting it really. That’s one of the things I think AdHoc does a little bit differently. I feel like we’re more in the scene, we participate in it, we understand it online and off. How did 285 Kent start, and what made it different from other DIY venues at the time? This guy John Barclay found a warehouse. He operated

“I think 285 was the venue that sort of started this pilgrimage towards operating in a more sustainable way, because a thing like 285 wouldn’t exist without making a solid attempt at being safe, despite it being not very.” things in a way that was very different from Todd. Todd always kind of ran things really loosy-goosey. But John Barclay would just do these raves which — no hate on dance music at all — is logistically a more difficult event to run safely. It’s way harder than an indie rock show. So basically he did a few things there. Then he got raided and was like “Yo Todd! I really don’t think I can do anything with this space. Do you want it?” So they exchanged the lease and then Todd initially put Baby Castles in the space. I think the booking was also done by Kunal (Gupta) and Syed (Salahuddin). They were there for a little while, but he wanted to switch things up a little bit curatorialy, so he brought me in and that was October 2012… 2010… 2011??? I don’t know it was a while ago, haha. How was it different? So 285 was pretty big considering what it was. It was like 400 people (capacity) which was substantially larger than what a lot of people were doing. So things had to be run a little bit more above the board. Things like “Oh, we need to get exit signs.” Not a lot of people think about that. When you throw a show in your basement you’re not like “Maybe I should get exit signs or fire extinguishers.” I think 285 was the venue that sort of started this pilgrimage towards operating in a more sustainable way, because a thing like 285 wouldn’t exist with-


out making a solid attempt at being safe, despite it being not very. Thats really what differentiated it. We were also like the first place to have Subwoofers too. The geography of where things are happening has changed a lot in New York. Where a lot of DIY things still happening in Williamsburg at the time, or did it already seem like things were moving out of that neighborhood? Yeah, even at that point people weren’t living there anymore. I think even in 2007, or whenever I came around, Bedford was already getting gentrified. That had already been in motion. Most people were out living off of the Jefferson stop or Morgan or something like that. Myrtle Wycoff was pretty popular. I don’t know. I guess it was a little weird to be out there because I don’t think a lot of people did want to be there because it was gentrifying, and it no longer felt like it reflected the community I felt a part of. However, it was important from a booking standpoint because another thing that was super different about 285 was that we dealt with agents and industry people to get the things that we wanted. A lot of people will say “Oh, you’re not DIY if you booked something through a booking agent. What the shit is that?” and I see what they’re

“That location aspect of 285 being right there was so important! We would not have been able to do the things we could have done without being in that location.”

saying completely. But at the end of the day, as a curator or someone who’s just trying to do something cool and fun — artists hire middle men. They have managers, they’ve got publicists, they’ve got booking agents, and it’s a necessary part of growth on the artistic front. Dealing with agents and things like that was a major thing that set us aside. The location was close enough to Manhattan that we could just be like “Hey! It’s the first stop in Brookyln. It’s so close.” Where as now we try to make cool things happen here at Market Hotel at Myrtle Broadway but a lot of agents and industry people are just like “Oh, that shits too far. That’s really out there.” when we all know it’s really not. So that location aspect of 285 being right there was so important! We would not have been able to do the things we could have done without being in that location. That’s really interesting. I feel like that was also right around the time when the internet, and things like Bandcamp, were making it easier for a band to start out with nothing, but build up an audience on their own, and generate enough of a basis to have people actually come out to a show they were playing. I think in the past five to eight years, the gap between industry and grass roots has been rapidly shortening. Just thinking about the kinds of bands that would play at Silent

Barn then versus now. Back then you would have bands where not a word would be written about them on the internet, and now you’ll see a band that’s just had a pitchfork write up opening at Silent Barn. So the gap is definitely closing, and I think in some ways it’s for the better, because people hear more things and there’s exposure honestly. It’s becoming more and more easy to become a self publisher from a musicians stand point. Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Myspace always looked like shit. Bandcamp kind of doesn’t look so great, but you can customize it and you can put a full record on there and you can sell it yourself, and thats such a game changer I think. The same has been true from a publishing standpoint with blogs and stuff like that. Things have become more accessible over the years to people who are outside of the scene, and people within the scene can now access larger resources within industry and press. It’s really crazy! If you got a write up in Pitchfork eight years ago, you were a huge band. Now it’s like, who doesn’t get a write up on an okay website now, that is a band in New York? You probably have to be not very good, haha. I don’t want to sound mean about it. But it’s become very democratized for sure. Way more than it was.


One of the things people both heralded 285 Kent for and criticized 285 Kent for was that there was a lot of really big shows with big headliners. How did it sort of become the smallest big venue and the biggest small venue? I mean, it was equal parts necessity and curation. Honestly, yeah I would love to have my favorite big band play at my venue! Of course! Why would I not want that? I liked pretty much every show there. I thought “Oh this is sick!” But yeah, part of it was run in a somewhat finically minded way because it was Williamsburg waterfront property. Even if it was a warehouse that wasn’t really zoned for anything legally, it was expensive. I don’t really even look down on any of the big stuff we really did. I’m trying to think of something I might not have liked, and I can’t think of anything though. It’s like “Why wouldn’t we want to have Lightning Bolt or Thee Oh Sees?” It was also a different time where people’s tastes where way more ridged. People weren’t listening to music in this way where they listen to everything, which is I think the way more people are listening now. I feel like back then there were people who were like “I only like dream pop. I only listen to Captured Tracks and My Bloody Valentine.” and then there were people who were like “I only like footwork.” and it’s just like “What? No! Everything is all in the same universe!” I feel like people just weren’t thinking about things in that way, so we would turn off the punk kids because we’d do a Crazy Spirit show and then we would have DJ Rashad after. The punks were like “Fuck this!” and all of the people who went to the dance party were like “These people aren’t very nice.” haha. It was really weird. But honestly it was really cool because some of it ended up cross pollinating which was the really exciting thing. I don’t have any misgivings about it at all. But yeah, we were definitely finically motivated to book big bands because we liked them, but we needed to pay rent too. 285 sort of had a different end from a lot of the venues in Williamsburg, because it was voluntary. But what was the atmosphere of that ending like, and how did you feel as it was happening? Basically there was a developer, developing the waterfront Two Trees. There was a massive spike in the worth of real estate where we were. We kept getting shut down, constantly. I mean actually, we did a really good job continuing to operate regardless. We were actually shut down a very low number of times, but police would just come all of the time. From the landlord’s perspective, he was bringing people in to see the space while I was doing office hours of AdHoc. He would just be like “Oh, this is the space. I could be available maybe.” and it was just like “Aw, Christ.” The writing was on the wall, 100%. Basically the landlord created a situation where he was like “Okay I’ve got this building that’s zoned for literally nothing but storage.” That’s what it was. It was not really zoned for

public commercial use, nor residential, which was why the rent was still somewhat affordable for us, despite the location. Landlords do this thing where they’re like “Okay! Let’s get a bunch of kids.” usually white kids. Then they’re like “Hey Kids! We’ve got this space for you. Whatever you do in there, that’s your thing. Have fun!” So then the kids are in there and they live in there, or they throw shows there, or they build studio spaces, or whatever. They do their thing, and meanwhile, what the landlord has done is he has set up an area where somebody is paying the rent until the cost of the property goes up in 10 or 15 years. That’s something we were apart of. Because the circumstances of these kids that live in these places, they can get kicked out when ever. I guarantee you it would take one call from the the landlord to get us out of there, especially with how visible we were. The whole block was one long building that was sort of segmented within, and he had done this to another space within the building that was zoned for commercial use, but was residential. Emily (Friedlander) actually use to live in it, and some time after she moved out, they were evicted. We didn’t want to do that. We wanted to end things on our own terms, and we only had a couple months left on our lease, and we were really convinced that they weren’t going to let us resign it, and we didn’t have the resources to legalize it. We didn’t want to sign the lease for another five years if we didn’t have the resources to legalize it, because then you’re just living in fear, for even longer, of being shut down. It felt like it was our only choice really, to avoid cancelled shows, and people getting really upset, and things like that. it was ultimately for the best, all be it sort of sad for a lot of people. When you had your closing shows, Pitchfork made a short documentary and filmed a bunch of videos at the venue. What was it like to have Brooklyn DIY illuminated to that scale during 285’s demise? The closing of 285 was very public. When you’re doing this stuff, people from the outside are like “Oh they got a New York Times write up once or twice. Oh, it’s a huge thing!” but when you’re working there it’s more like “Everyday I put my hand down a toilet.” A lot of people try to flush their cups down the toilet, so you take a bodega bag, put your hand down, and you try to pull it out. That’s what your life is. That and cleaning up vomit, and making sure kids don’t get too drunk who might be drinking illegally or whatever. That’s the zone that you’re in when you’re working really really hard in a bizarre, sort of empowering place. But it’s also a lot of tasks that are very demeaning and make you feel like you don’t have a lot of personal worth or value. Then you have somebody like Pitchfork, or The Fader, or Villiage Voice, or just all of the people who ended up talking to us being like “We think what you did was actually really cool. We want to talk to


“When you’re doing this stuff, people from the outside are like ‘Oh they got a New York Times write up once or twice. Oh, it’s a huge thing!’ but when you’re working there it’s more like ‘Everyday I put my hand down a toilet.’” you! We want to show people!” You’re kind of like “Oh yeah, I would love it if for all of those times that I stuck my hand down the toilet, I could look back and have something to show for it. That sounds pretty great actually. I am not against that what so ever!” But it did sort of create this thing that we hadn’t anticipated, which was this hype-beast where people were calling us The CBGB’s of whatever. I don’t know. That’s never what we wanted either. It was very different, and it was very anti what the DIY sentiment was at the time, where a lot of venues were even apprehensive to be like “This band that we have tonight was on Stereogum.” Even that would be seen like “Maybe I’m a tool for booking a band that’s been on Stereogum.” That was a very real thing. Thankfully, I think that is gone. Press is a good thing. I really think that. It’s very important. So that was really weird. But I guess I wouldn’t change it… Even though a lot of people said a bunch of mean things. Almost a year after that Death By Audio and Glasslands, which were in the same building as 285, closed and a lot of people started writing about it being the end of Brooklyn DIY. What did it feel like to watch that happen and see people eulogize a scene that was still happening elsewhere? It was devastating when those venues were closing. At


that time — I think it was 2013 or 2014 — there were at least 5 really good ones that all closed, and everyone was like “What the fuck is going on here…” People say the same thing about DIY as they do Rock music. People are like “Oh, Rock N’ Roll is dead!” or like “Rock N’ Roll will never die!” and it’s just like “Okay?” It was really scary at the time. Death By Audio definitely had the largest impact. They were really the last man standing of that breed. Shea (Stadium) is obviously still around, and they’re still doing excellent things, but Death By Audio was sort of a different beast, where they were open every single night, seven days a week. They didn’t really go about things in the way that I did where I was like “Oh I would like to have this band play. I’m going to get this band to play.” Death By Audio was a venue that serviced the community every night, specifically with touring bands. If you were from Olympia and you needed somewhere to play, Death By Audio was there for you. The way that they worked, is not really around anymore. How do you go about deciding where you want to do a show of have a venue, both logistically and ethically? Logistically and ethically, you want to find a place that doesn’t impact where you’re doing it. Logistically you’ll think “We’ll do it in a warehouse district so we’re not disturbing anybody. No one is going to sleep at four in the

morning, because we’re making noise.” On the other side of the coin, you obviously don’t want to displace any of the local community. Most people that are behind a lot of he DIY shows are ex-pats. I’m an ex-pat. I guess you just try and not over stay your welcome. When I think about it, I don’t really think 285 Kent had a role in gentrifying Williamsburg. It was already on it’s way. But to another extent, I’m also like “Okay, there are some people who believe that string of venues like us and Death By Audio and Glasslands really helped pave the way for gentrification, by doing a bunch of white people stuff.” and I can see that. I can see the long term damages of that. It’s hard honestly. For the person who puts together the show, you find everything is done by necessity, which means it’s got to go to a neighborhood where it’s not usually very nice. You ask a bar or a warehouse or something “Hey, I want to do this thing.” and it’s going to be in a place where there’s not a ton of money around, and they’ll be like “Oh yeah, we’ll do this sort of sketchy illegal thing that could negatively impact us.” There is a price for that, and the cost for that is lower when you go out to poorer neighborhoods, and things like that. I don’t know… It’s definitely an ethical cross roads. I don’t know if people really know how to deal with it. It’s probably just from a general lack of awareness, but if you had asked me the same question six or seven years ago I’d be like “We’re just throwing a party. No big deal.” or “We’re not trying to do anything to anybody” — and that’s true — but I think that’s how a lot of people feel. But there is a ripple affect to everything. I don’t really know what to do about it… You try to include the community in any way you can really — the pre-existing community and the one you bring — to be an over all positive influence. What were the DIY venues connection to the visual art world at the time? What was the significance of the incredible murals that were painted inside each venue, that gave them their individual character? One staple that was showing up at all of the DIY venues was Baby Castles’s installations. Baby Castles is a — There’s probably going to be so many Baby Castles kids making fun of me while I say this — but basically it’s like a DIY video game collective, which is a terrible way of explaining it. They would build stand alone installations at Shea Stadium, Death By Audio, Monster Island, Showpaper Gallery, 285 Kent, all of these places, which was good because it pushed people to think about art and things like that in a different way, everything being connected and multidisciplinary. That was a strong staple. They now have their own space, Baby Castles Gallery in Union Square. Also Showpaper boxes were at all of the key locations. Showpaper very much centralized all of the DIY activity, and was something that Todd ran and printed for several

years. So where ever there was a Showpaper box, you knew something was happening there, or really close. The building where 285 Kent, Glasslands, and Death By Audio were is now a location of the new VICE HQ. Is there any resentment around who took over the space after the closure of those venues? Or is that more of a marker of things changing in the direction in that neighborhood? Is there resentment? Yes, absolutely there is resentment. I don’t know… I really really hate to look at it as a symbol, but I can see how it’s quite apt. You’ve got the first wave of gentrifiers sort of making it cool. Then gentrification ends up eating itself, and then pushes out the first wave for this other wave, which VICE would be. Some people would say “Oh, it’s just a building.” but it’s pretty poignant that it happened to be that building. It just happened to be that one, haha. Ugh, yeah. As a gentrifier, I definitely feel like it is like eating humble pie… and it’s very sour. Why do you think having a DIY scene is important to so many people, and what role has having one played in your life? I guess for me, it really gave me a sense of purpose and independence. I really struggle with the idea of working for anybody but myself. That kind of mentality has taken me a really long way. A lot of the time when you’re thinking about your life and about your future and what your job is going to be, you think “Where am I going to work? Who would I work for? Would I work for this person? Could I get a job doing this service?” and it just doesn’t have to be like that. You can be your own person, you can be your own boss, you can do things how you see fit, and all under your moral and ethical standards. It sounds silly but I feel like, for me at least, there was a part in me which really was like “Who am I going to work for?” and now I work for myself. It’s amazing honestly, hahaha. That’s on a personal level for me. I can’t really even start with how other people benefit from DIY. It’s a safe haven for sure. A lot of people feel displaced in their former community and where they come from. Finally they have this sense of home and purpose and get to interact with like minds. It’s tremendously valuable! What keeps you excited about continuing to be a part of the community, and doing your job as a booker? Honestly, what keeps me excited is all of the new stuff. I think everybody is usually here because they just really like music. What’s really exciting is growing with people. Seeing a band like Parquet Courts for example — I started off doing tiny shows for them in their old bands like Fergus & Geronimo and Teenage Cool Kids. Then seeing them do this band and being able to grow with them as they grow. A lot of people think if it’s DIY then it’s small,


and I don’t think that that’s true because it’s a massive global movement and theres no reason that a DIY venue should only be able to fit 100 people or 200 people. You should be able to throw a DIY show where 1,500 could come! That’s what I really want to do. What keeps me interested is trying to build some kind of infrastructure where an artists who has ethical and moral standards, despite their popularity, could still make an ethical or moral choice about who they play their show with. The bigger you get, the fewer choices you have in actuality. If you draw several thousand people in New York, there’s really only a couple places you can go. Now it’s basically just Live Nation or Bowery Presents. Theres a huge monopoly to where, if you’re selling well, you have to sell out. And I think that’s bull shit! So that’s sort of what I look forward to trying to do. Figuring that out. I’m no where near close to it, but that would be really cool. How do you see DIY changing over the next few years? Are there any projects you would like to embark on, that you just don’t have the time or money for? Ugh, so many projects. I would love to start a label. That would be sooooo cool. I think about that all the time. I really wish I could do it really really well and devote time to it. As far as DIY in the future — honestly I have no idea. I never would have expected things would have turned out this way. The fact that the major DIY venues now like Silent Barn, Palisades, Trans Pecos, and Market Hotel — I’m sure there are others — but those four all actually have liquor licenses. I never would have seen that coming EVER. So honestly, I have no idea what it’s going to look like in 5 to 10 years. At least in New York, I don’t know.

I would hope that maybe over time, the major label and corporate infrastructure of the music industry would probably just deteriorate and die, or something. Everybody has been talking about it for years. But there will always be artists like Adele and Rihanna and stuff, so maybe it won’t die. I really don’t know. What do you hope to accomplish by running AdHoc? Is there anything in the past that you’ve done that you feel exemplifies that? Wooooow. I don’t know… Well, Emilie is not here to tell me, so I don’t know, haha. Honestly I just want to have everything that’s good go through it somehow. I just want to make some change and help people… I really wish I had a strong statement, but I really don’t. Doing these larger DIY shows is really important to me. We did this show at a 1,500 capacity car wash earlier last year. I’m just tremendously proud of that. To be able to throw something in a space that’s bizarre, and keeping it cheap at $10. The biggest band wasn’t really even that big — Perfect Pussy is a band that plays out and tours and is big, but my day job is at Webster Hall so when I think of a big band, I think of someone your mother would know. Most moms don’t know about Perfect Pussy, so in my mind that was like a big deal to be able to do something like that, to make something bigger than the sum of it’s parts ultimately. 1,500 people watching Sheer Mag is incredible to me. I think that is amazing. Something like that I guess. I’m tremendously proud of that event.

“What’s really exciting is growing with people. ”




After following the print and digital indie publisher, DDOOGG, for a year or so, it wasn’t until this year’s TCAF that I finally

met the two individuals behind it. Much to my delight, Cristian Hernandez and Juli Majer fully embody all of the work they have put out with DDOOGG. Juli’s overt glee and Cristian’s insightful soft power were infectious, and I was magnetized to them the whole weekend of the festival.

Since starting DDOOGG in college together, Cristian and Juli have made every effort to experiment with and challenge

what it means to be a publisher today. Their personalities are the yin and yang required for any successful partnership, and so far it has led to an array of books and objects where every quality is equally considered. DDOOGG has put out an astonishing amount of work through physical formats and through their website, ddoogg.ca, which parallel each other. The artists they’ve worked with, and their ability to take risks with how they present work, really exemplifies the youthful excitement both Juli and Cristian are brimming with. Whatever direction the two decide to take DDOOGG as it grows and matures, I’m completely certain more and more people will have a hard time escaping its pull.

Where are you from and where do you live currently?

How did you two first meet?

Cristian Hernandez: I was born in Montreal and lived there for most of my life. I live in Vancouver now and I have since grown an inch taller.

Cristian: I am a pretty shy and reserved person, so Juli’s energy really expedited our initial encounter. We met in the same class wherein DDOOGG was conceived. Within no time we were going on adventures to pick flowers.

Juli Majer: I was born in Vancouver/ Burnaby (which is an hour away from Vancouver) and have lived always. So I have stayed the same height for a while. Do either of you have any specific training in art? Cristian: After high school I took Fine Art and Design classes at a Cejep in Montreal, but I didn’t do very well. My attention and interest in courses and assignments would wane and spike drastically and I barely had any focus. I left for a minute then returned to do Illustration but quit that pretty quickly too. Then I transferred some credits to ECU and switched around from Film + Video to Media Arts then settled on Critical Theory and Cultural Studies which requires the least amount of studio credits than any major at the University.   Juli: I started with Film + Video at ECU too actually — I always forget that… Then I realized how stressful it was and how much I don’t like to work with too many people so I tried out illustration. I would always draw in my spare time and realized this is probably what I want to do, but realized quickly that it wasn’t worth it to study it at Emily Carr. It was a very closed off program that was very much catered to video game concept design or — creepy cute drawings. In the mean time i took a few sculpture and ceramic classes and realized that those were the classes that really pushed me and taught me technical skill. I settled in the ceramics studio and made clay sculptures, where I had found my happiest habitat.

Juli: We were sitting next to each other and I kept giving Cristian snacks until he would talk to me. I’m pretty shy too but if I am with someone who is shy as well and I think is interesting enough, I won’t leave them alone. Yeah! Cristian helped me find this white flower at night by sniffing them out, I don’t know what they are called but their smell is extremely strong and they bloom in the end of winter. DM me if you have a clue. What was your experience like at school? Cristian: I had totally switched gears once I was at ECU. In Cejep I was so indecisive and never finished anything and I kind of wanted to overcome that aspect of myself so I committed to pretty high standards once I was at ECU. That approach has given me a little more confidence about considering grad school. There were drawbacks to that as well, like sometimes I would just stubbornly aim for performance benchmarks, even if I didn’t enjoy the material. Although in most cases I developed a good sense of teasing out really interesting patterns from things I would otherwise overlook. My major has a greater ratio of academic/theory courses to studio courses which I really enjoyed since I had never written much before (creatively or academically) and wanted to foster some skills in that department. ECU was a great environment to do this since the program involved just enough formal discipline and creative liberty to grow in both directions. Also I met a few really special instructors who would stretch the boundaries of their pedagogi-


“I am a pretty shy and reserved person, so Juli’s energy really expedited our i nitial encounter. We met in the same class wherein DDOOGG was conceived.”

cal efforts while constantly supporting students work and encouraging them to push the envelope as well. Overall, I had a positive experience despite spending inordinate amounts of time studying and writing. Due to this I didn’t meet or socialize with a lot of people at first but that changed eventually.

Juli: Yeah we met! I can be pretty loud and bad at actual school work. I am happy now for the artist I am after my time in school, but I don’t really think the university is the one to thank for it. The different departments are very segregated, which really discourages experimentation and self driven projects. You can obviously see how this reflects on the students environment and even post graduates, might be part of the reason for Vancouver’s infamous cliques. But yeah, I did find my safe zone in the ceramics studio, and did find some really special instructors that helped me grow.


It seems like there are a few big cities in Canada that young people hop around from. How has Vancouver affected your ability to do what you do? Where does the Vancouver scene stand among scenes in other cities in Canada?

Cristian: Vancouver is an expensive city to live in, so we can’t afford to do big runs, we try to produce as much as we can in house, we spend more time working for a wage, etc... I’m hesitant to compare Vancouver’s scene to other cities since I’m not really familiar with most of Canada’s big metro centers. Juli: Yeah I am not sure too. Maybe just what I said earlier about how segregated the departments are in Emily Carr and it does seem to continue just in the art scene as well… Also almost everyone in the art scene all come from Emily Carr so it can feel a bit incestuous at times. But

there are obviously gems and pockets of amazing people everywhere. How did you two start DDOOGG? Juli: DDOOGG started from the class me and Cristian met in. It was a class on artists collectives taught by Justin Langlois. I think it was in the first class that we had to do this speed dating kind of thing; quickly meet others in the class and decide who we wanted to start an artist collective with for the rest of the class (lol). Our group was Tylor Macmillan, Cristian, Lucy Chen, Cole Bazin and myself. Our first task as a group was the pick a name. No one was really talking so I suggested dog, cause why the heck not. From that we started the website. Lucy does all the back end programming for the site and we are forever grateful

for her! She is a top dog if I ever met one. Then we slowly started to realize we all had an interest in publishing and zines, and transferred our focus to printed matter. Cristian: Tylor, Juli, and I specifically. Like, Tylor had been making zines and comics for a long time and he was also involved in an independent press named Late Cuts.   Did either of you have other art ventures before starting DDOOGG that informed what you did with DDOOGG? Cristian: Not in any substantial sense. In Montreal I would make a zine or design a local show poster here and there. And like I said earlier, in Vancouver my primary focus was writing and research, so DDOOGG was like the first con-

“we slowly started to realize we all had an interest in publishing and zines, and transferred our focus to printed matter.”


“There are a few artists (friends and acquaintances) that I deeply admire and feel like do not get enough of a chance to show their stuff, so when we started DDOOGG I really wanted to focus on these gems.” certed effort I made to get an ‘art’ related project off the ground. Juli: uuuuummmm eee ya. I guess always, I focused on ceramics and sculpture while I was at school, but still made zines and drawings through out. I was always posting little moody drawings on tumblr, that has always been a hoot. Then I started to making moody comics and zines, and I guess have kept on going. Were there other publishers that you tried to model DDOOGG after? Cristian: Nieves was obviously a very special model for zine publishing. I was also fond of Anarchist zine publishers and distros like Semo, and leaflet series like Bartleby Review or the Funambulist Pamphlets. Juli introduced me to a lot of great publishers and anthologies too like Landfill Editions/Mould Map, Happiness, Breakdown Press, Space Face and Picture Box. These were all present to my mind while working on DDOOGG, so they no doubt informed what I brought to it, but I did my utmost to avoid merely aping the work of others. Juli: Yeah I think we did look at a couple anthologies

when we first started DDOOGG. I really love Happiness; I love how they have interviews, essays, comics and drawings all side by side one another. It all makes sense together and each aspect supports one another all in the same stream. . Did you have a specific goal when you started the press? Has that changed at all since starting it? Cristian: To me, there didn’t seem to be any particularly discrete or fixed objectives for DDOOGG, aside from just making books and collaborating with a relatively small community of artists. Personally, I had just taken a few print courses on Artists’ Books and Book Making at ECU so I saw DDOOGG as an opportunity to build on that experience as well. Juli: There are a few artists (friends and acquaintances) that I deeply admire and feel like do not get enough of a chance to show their stuff, so when we started DDOOGG I really wanted to focus on these gems. I also know a lot of amazing artists who don’t necessarily do comics/zines, so I was really excited to give them the opportunity to experiment with it.


Cristian: Actually yeah, that’s a good point. It has grown to be more or less comics focused and it has been really exciting to provide artists with the resources to publish their experimental forays into this medium. In fact, a friend of mine named Ronan Nanning-Watson made a comic for DOG2 that I (and others) found so lovely that we are now beginning to work on publishing his own book. Ronan is an accomplished film-maker, sculptor, writer, and painter, among other things, so I find it really fascinating to see how he navigates this new aesthetic and narrative terrain, and I love to facilitate that process as well. What were some of the first things you published? Juli: Our very first baby was DOG1. An anthology consisting of a book of 10 or so artists, 12 artist trading cards, two mini zines – one from Tylor and one from me – and a hand drawn sticker… all in a nice little zip lock bag! Tylor was really the one who put them all together, almost entirely by himself. He’s a sweet prince. I think we only have

one of those bad boys left, so if anyone out there owns of them you are a lucky ducky. Cristian: I felt like at that stage we were still sorting out the focus of our content so, in hindsight, there are a few early publications that appear anomalous compared to where we are now. For instance, I published an essay concerned with the construction of the Guggenheim museum on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, and its relationship to issues of contemporary art, international capital, and the exploitation and abuse of migrant labor in the region and abroad. During the same time I also published a 3-page, comb-bound, 11”x11” zine of an abridged work of philosophical writing by Francois Laruelle which was composed entirely in braille. Given where DDOOGG is right now, these earlier publications seem like exceptions..

“It has grown to be more or less comics focused and it has been really exciting to provide artists with the resources to publish their experimental forays into this medium.”


Were there any hurdles you felt you had to overcome starting a publisher while in school? Did you have to deal with people not taking you seriously initially? Juli: I don’t feel like there were very many hurdles for me. I only had the one class at the time and was just finishing my BFA, so it was actually really great to have this new focus. I am surprised actually that we rarely experience people not taking us seriously… I mean were called “dog” for goodness sake. There was that one time someone was like “oh your part of that dog group with one too many O’s” or something like that, and they went

straight to my hit list. Cristian: I can’t think of many hurdles either. I was taking four courses when we tabled at the 2016 LAABF so I struggled a bit with deadlines and a brimming workload. On the other side of that coin is the opportunity to fulfill class projects by making more books or zines. Every now and then I meet someone who doesn’t think much of DDOOGG, but that’s okay. Much of the motivation and pleasure I get from working with DDOOGG does not hinge on perpetual reverence or approval from others. But we nonetheless appreciate those who

“Juli has a wider network than I do, so she speaks to more folks about collaborating with us or publishing their work.”


“Cristian puts so much love and care into every fine detail of our books, I am very grateful for it!”

dig our spicy maneuvers.

How do you go about finding artists to work with?

How are responsibilities split in your partnership?

Cristian: The internet!

Cristian: Juli has a wider network than I do, so she speaks to more folks about collaborating with us or publishing their work. I have an insatiable fetish for technicality, so I love the production process and experimenting with small details of each book or zine, like paper texture and weight, staple colours, proportions, binding techniques, etc…

Juli: At first I think the majority of artists we worked with were from Vancouver, or friends of ours. We’ve met a few artists at some book fairs too, a lot of cool hard working pups. And some new friends from the sweet instagram. We still try and keep a mix of local artists and international ones too

Juli: Yeah! Cristian puts so much love and care into every fine detail of our books, I am very grateful for it!

How does the website function differently than your printed content? Cristian: In some ways I think they overlap. Like the DOG2


anthology was very similar to the website in that it provides the exposure of many artists through one medium or locus. I mean, that may sound like a superficial similarity but I think it reflected how we thought about DDOOGG, both the website and the press, as simply a platform for other artists to work upon. Their differences are more blatant: the website is flexible, requires minimal labour and is very cheap (on our end) whereas the medium-specificity of the press is more constrained, involves a lot more time, sweat and consideration, and costs a lot more. That said, we are looking forward to working with Lucy on developing additional resources through the website to tie it into the press, such as a PDF library, different archiving configurations, and hopefully pursuing the potential space of digital zine publishing through gifs, video, audio, or whatever else. How much of your printing do you do entirely yourself? How has keeping your printing in house affected your over head, and how much you sell your books for? Cristian: I’d say we do about 3/4 of the printing in house. We have a busted Risograph and an Inkjet printer. We do all the binding in house as well, using a coil binder, comb binder, thermal perfect-binder and staplers. On occasion we use external resources like Publication Studio Vancouver’s stack cutter. We get our digital prints done through a print-shop our friend Marissa works at. We’re still relatively new to the whole process of operating as both a press and publisher, and since we have only ever made books this way we don’t really know what our overhead would be like if we outsourced more of our work. Our operating costs at the moment are kind of sustainable but not really profitable. We usually price our books enough to make back what we spent on material costs as well as an extra dollar or so to fund whatever project we will embark upon next. It is tricky because we don’t factor in any labour costs on our behalf so we rarely see anything monetary for the time it takes to crease, cut, print, collate, and bind. Is this typical for presses? There is clearly so much love behind DDOOGG and you can see it present in the artist’s work, the effort you put into making the object, and just how excited you are to include different new people into what you’re doing! That’s something that really makes DDOOGG so unique! Do you think it would be harder to put the same love into everything if DDOOGG was a larger operation or if you had other expectations for the products? Juli: We actually had to think about this a lot recently after TCAF this year… We usually do runs of 50 at a time for our publications, but once we ran out of Freaker UNLTD 2, I realized “Wow we need to pump out more!” Me and Cristian have had conversations back and fourth about how we will be able to manage larger runs while still main-

taining the same attention and quality of our books. For example with Freaker UNLTD 2 and even DOG2, we use many different kinds of coloured and/or textured papers, and 3 different kinds of printing. Cristian would also test different ink colour combinations with different kinds and colours of paper, to suit each artists contribution the best. We do not want to sacrifice this kind of attention to detail!! And also this kind of care that we want to give ALL of the artists we work with. Cristian: I think our approach is great! Small runs, ephemeral zines, and rare carefully crafted scraps. Although, we might benefit from large runs in terms of seeking out stockists or something, I don’t know. Like Juli said, we’re still learning to navigate but in terms of the latter approach we’re hoping to work the artist-grant angle soon, as well as seeking co-op students from ECU, who might work with us in exchange for cheaper tuition and school credits. What do you have coming out this year? Juli: We’re getting ready for Vancouver Art Book Fair! They asked us to give a presentation this year and gave us a little money for it too, so with that time and money we are going produce two publications from Chandra Melting Tallow and Aaron Charles Read, both of which will be accompanied by a performance that will take place at VABF. I’m also working on doing a book with Tom Whalen, a fictional History of Punk with illustrations by A.Degen. I think were also making a new Freakers UNLTD… and if I have time I’ll do a new little book ;-) Cristian: Tylor might be scheming a zine as well but who’s to say? Peel your peepers, that mate is shady. Are there any projects you would like to embark on, that you just don’t have the time or money for at the moment? Juli: Yes! Always! Me and Cristian have been wanting to do a comic together for a while, but other projects or responsibilities seem to always get in the way Cristian: We would eventually love to run a bookstore as well, with local and international comics and zines, new and used books, art objects, tapes, what have you. Also, like Juli mentioned, we collaborate, overlap, and influence each other in subtle ways but we have been wanting to work exclusively on our own book together for a while now. Juli: I feel like it is normally the personal projects that get pushed aside ~




Katie Garcia is so naturally adept at what she does, that it’s funny to think that she ever planned to dedicate her life to

something else. Through her constant efforts propelling great music into the world she has had a huge impact on me, long before I ever met her. Yet her entry into the music industry came almost by chance. After studying film in Boston, and moving up to New York in her early 20s, Katie found herself interning at a tiny Brooklyn record label called Captured Tracks. From that point on Katie worked tirelessly alongside the label’s owner, Mike Sniper, to turn it into one of the most culturally significant labels from the past ten years. Together they cultivated the family of artists and a slew of amazing releases. After leaving her position as Label manager of Captured Tracks years later, Katie had plans to start from scratch, embarking on a new label with her husband Dustin Payseur.

I first met Katie a few weeks after her and Dustin announced that label. I spotted her at a show at the Knitting Factory and

worked up the courage to tell her how much her work meant to me and how excited I was about her new label, Bayonet Records. A year after initially meeting Katie, she and Dustin were kind enough to invite me to join Bayonet in it’s early adolescence. Through the process of watching Katie craft a new record label from the beginning again, I’m less and less perplexed by the success that has surrounded every label she has worked for in the past. Katie is permanently involved with what’s incredible that’s happening in music right now, becasue she is what’s incredible that’s happening in music right now, and I’m sure the road ahead for Bayonet looks pretty familiar to her.

Where are you from and where do you live currently? I’m from Miami, Florida and I currently live in Brooklyn, New York. Do you have any formal training in music? I actually do. I took piano lessons when I was a kid. That’s actually kind of how my mom and my stepdad met. I was taking piano lessons, and my parents were separated, so my mom wanted to take up a new hobby. She started taking guitar lessons, and then my stepdad was her guitar teacher. Isn’t that crazy?! So I took piano lessons. Unfortunately it didn’t stick with me — I didn’t do it for long enough I guess. Then my stepdad taught me how to play some guitar. And Dustin (Payseur) taught me how to play some bass. Was there any sort music scene where you were growing up in Miami? The music scene in Miami was sort of weird. There kind of was a scene. There were a handful of bands. People in high school would be like “Hey, come check out my band.” There were always places to go see shows. There’s this venue that’s still around called Churchill’s that’s like a legendary Miami bar and venue. But more than going to shows, I feel like when I was younger I went to a lot of indie pop DJ nights. That was like the cool thing to do. You would go and dance to The Knife, haha. It was

fun! I would go to a lot of those things. I think I actually had my birthday party one year at one of those nights. It was weird because it was at a club, but we happened to know the guy that ran the club and we were chaperoned. The checked our IDs and put Xs on our hands, but I always thought that was really cool, haha. What was your experience like studying film at college in Boston? It was great! I still really love film. Anybody who knows me knows I’m a cinephile. I love watching films, and I think that’s ultimately why I decided to study film. Film school was great though. I had a good time and I learned a lot about the film making process. Eventually, once I moved to New York and was attempting to do film and do set design and production, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. But I’m still a fan of film, I just don’t want to work in it. Going to school in Boston was really cool becasue, for me going to Boston kind of informed what I ended up doing with the rest of my life becasue there was such a good music scene there. There were local bands, and every touring band played Boston. It was such a relief for me at the time. Growing up in Miami, bands didn’t tour very often, so to be living in a place where there were a lot of bands playing all of the time was really cool. I liked that a lot about Boston. I also had a really good network of friends. I feel like my college friends are so awesome and are some of my favorite people. They probably know


“Boston kind of informed what I ended up doing with the rest of my life becasue there was such a good music scene there.” me better than a lot of other people.

I had a very fruitful college experience. College itself was fine, like “I got an education.” I feel like I could have gotten an education at any school. But I think everything else surrounding it, the circumstances, the people I met, the shows I went to, where I lived, and where I hung out — that was what made it a special place. What led to you moving to New York after school? I decided to move to New York because it was a bigger city, it was close to Boston so it was relatively easy to move all of my stuff, and they have a good film community here. Getting into set production stuff was pretty tricky, but I basically just reached out to people. Some how, through sleuthing on the internet, I found the emails to a few set designers and production designers that lived in New York or were working on films in New York. One of them wrote back to me, and I met with him. He was working on that film Remember Me, I think, which has Robert Pattinson. I remember he recommended this guy who I ended up working for. So I got in touch with that guy

and he was like “Yeah, we’re always looking for freelance people who want to help out and do a bunch of stuff.” so I started working for him. It was kind of infrequent. Some times we’d be really busy and I’d be there all day. I was learning how to do a lot of things because it involved carpentry, painting — I mean I knew how to paint, but I had never built anything out of wood before, haha. Definitely the carpentry aspect of it was new for me, haha. It was an interesting learning experience becasue you really see everything that goes into a set.

It was fun, but eventually it kind of fizzled out. That was also kind of when I was like “Well maybe this might be for the best.” becasue I wasn’t sure if it was necessarily what I wanted to do. So that’s when I took a step back and was like “What is it that I’m really passionate about?” I had always been really passionate about music so that’s kind of what led me to where I am now, I guess. Right after that you started interning at Captured Tracks, right? How did you end up working for them? So after I decided that I didn’t want to do set design or set


production, I started emailing all of these different labels asking them if they needed an internship. My roommate at the time, Connor (Riley), actually had talked to Captured Tracks becasue their offices were down the street and when he left they gave him a stack of records. I was looking through the records and I was like “Oh!” because I knew some of them. At the time I guess I really didn’t pay attention that much to labels, so I was kind of unaware. But I was like “Oh, Blank Dogs! I really like that band.” haha. Then I was like “Oh, well maybe I’ll hit up that label that Connor talked to.” So I just wrote an email that was like “Hey if you guys need help with anything, I’m more than happy to help out.” I interviewed with Autumn Wetli and started working the same day. I started interning with Autumn and I just dove right in. Then a couple months later, Autumn decided to move back to Detroit, Michigan where she’s from, and that’s when Mike (Sniper) was like “Do you want to be the label manager?” and I was like “Yeahhhh!”

cord Captured put out was a Dum Dum Girls EP. A couple records later CT10 — I weirdly still know all of the catalog numbers, haha — was The Beets, which was a bigger release at the time. The Beets were pretty popular and they were playing all of the time all over New York. I think maybe there were a few Blank Dogs reissues or represses of things that had maybe come out on other labels. I know we definitely did a cassette series of a bunch of different things that Mike had done with Blank Dogs. The Wet Dog record was out. Dignan Porch was the record that had just come out when I started. Then a couple months after that the Wild Nothing and the Beach Fossils records came out on the same day, and that’s when the label really changed. We were really busy and we were like “We need more help!!!” But it was cool. It was exciting to see it happen all at once. How did you first meet Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils?

What was happening at the label when you came in?

I met Dustin becasue he was coming to pick up artists copies of the Daydream 7” which had just come out. I guess that was another thing that had just come out when

I started early 2010, in February I think. The very first re-

“That show was our first date, and it was really fun. We just stayed up all night talking. That’s how it happened!”


“Mike and I hadn’t run a label of that scale. He would release Blank Dogs stuff on his own, but it’s not like he had a barcode or would submit it to soundscan and stuff like that before. So that was a new process for us.” I started working there. But it was his very first thing. I even remember Mike saying “That Beach Fossils record is going to do really well. They’re going to be big.” At the time, I hadn’t even listened to them yet. I had just moved to New York, so I was out of the loop of what was going on in the music scene. I had only been in New York for four or five months at that point. So yeah, then I met him. I don’t know, there was just something about him that I thought was really cool. A couple days after he added me on facebook. Then I posted something about buying a bunch of records. I got like, a Replacements record, a Smiths record, a This Mortal Coil record, and I got them at Record Grouch. It was a good deal, and I was just saying “Oh my god, I got all of these records that I really love for good prices!” I think I was just really excited about being in New York and being able to do things like that, haha. So I posted about it, and he commented “That’s so cool.” or whatever. I was like “Oh yeah. That guy that I met the other day.” so I was like “What are you doing later? We should hang out.” Then he was like “I’m going to a show at Monster Island.” — R.I.P. haha. So that show was our first date, and it was really fun. We just stayed up all night talking. That’s how it happened!

That’s so precious! Do you remember who played at the show at Monster Island Basement that night? Yeah! Golden Triangle, who doesn’t exist anymore. It was Golden Triangle’s record release show. It was really fun. It was totally packed and everybody was moshing. It was cold, because this was in March or something… Yeah it was in March becasue it was right before he left to go to SXSW. It was cold, so people were wearing hoodies and stuff, and we were just going around to people and flipping their hoodies up, then they would turn look around. We just thought it was hilarious, hahahaha! At the time, were Captured Track and their bands really connected to the DIY scene developing in Brooklyn? How was that scene impacting the label and vice versa? Yeah I would say Captured was pretty involved, especially at the time. The Beets were playing a lot. Then Beach Fossils. Beach Fossils were a big part of the DIY community. They played Market Hotel and Monster Island all of the time — and then eventually 285 (Kent), Glasslands, and Death By Audio. I remember there was this awesome


show — it was like a surprise show — that was Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing at Death By Audio, and it was really fun. Blank Dogs would even play shows at those spaces. Mike has always been aware of that scene and has had good relationships with all of the people that run DIY venues. It was very symbiotic, I guess you could say. How did your role at the label change once you became label manager? I mean, it changed in that I had a lot more responsibility. Mike and I hadn’t run a label of that scale. He would release Blank Dogs stuff on his own, but it’s not like he had a barcode or would submit it to soundscan and stuff like that before. So that was a new process for us. Doing that, expanding our distribution, getting better distribution overseas, and working with new publicists that were really passionate about specific artists. It was just a learning process, I would say, for both of us. I think it was good becasue, in kind of having to figure it out on our own — I can only speak for myself — but I feel like I learned a lot from it. I learned how to handle stress really well as a result of not really knowing what to do and figuring it out on the fly, haha. So my role changed drastically when I became label manager. Also I was more involved on the A & R front, which was really cool, and I was able to sign a few bands. I was pretty proud and happy about that. How did you two figure out how to run your label, while it was simultaneously growing? It was part trial and error, and it was part asking other people for advice. At the time we were sharing an office with Mexican Summer, and they had a much more streamlined set up than we did in certain ways. I remember when we first started adding UPCs to our LPs I would just ask somebody at Mexican Summer “Oh, how do I make a UPC? Do I just pick a bunch of numbers?” Then they explained to me how it worked, and how you have to sign up for this thing that spits out a prompt code or whatever other stuff. I was like “Okay…” It was interesting. But it was definitely a little bit of both. A little bit of trial and error, a little bit of asking for help. That’s really important in starting any business. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I think people that are really stubborn or — I don’t know how to say it in english but “cabeza dura” — like strong headed? I totally can be, but you also have to recognize when you don’t know how to do something, to ask for help from someone who does. How did you go about finding artists back then? Well… These were different times Matthew, haha. It was part word of mouth — just asking people “What do you think of this band?” But also Myspace was so crucial. You could just look at another band’s top eight and they would have some new band that you might not have heard of


and maybe they played a show with them and they really liked them. I think that’s how I found Widowspeak. Just on Myspace. So it’s cool to have that as a resource. I’m sure a lot of bands were signed that way. I think Mike stumbled upon Wild Nothing on Myspace. It was definitely pretty common at that time. Another way was just going to shows and seeing bands. What were some of the most memorable releases while you were working at the label? Well obviously the first Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing’s Gemini were really big records. They came out on the same day and they both got glowing reviews from nearly every single website. It was cool to have two records out at the same time on the same day that were getting a lot of attention, because ultimately it brought a lot of attention to this label. People were like “Oh, who’s this new label that put out these two awesome records?” So that was pretty neat. That was a big turning point I would say. After that I feel like… Mac DeMarco was also another big turning point, in the sense that it proved that the label could reach that next level and be considered a big indie label and sell a formidable amount of records. Technically I signed DIIV. I was really just like playing it at the office and was like “Yeah this is Cole from Beach Fossils’ side project. It’s pretty good. Maybe we should sign it.” Mike was like “Yeah, this is really good. We should sign that and Heavenly Beat.” because I was also playing Heavenly Beat at the time, haha. Actually I’m going to go ahead and say Heavenly Beat is the proudest thing that I’ve ever signed, hahah. Definitely. Shout out to John Pena. I think one of the things that’s really significant about Captured Tracks is just the connectivity and relationships between so many of the bands. It really seems like a big family of people making stuff. Do you think that’s just from the way the label operated, or is that more reflective of the people working at the label and in the bands? I think it’s a combination of both for sure. I think with most of the bands that we had signed were music lovers in their own right, and had really great music tastes and listened to a lot of different music. I think as a result, everybody got along really well. Not to take too much credit, but I feel like I personally tried to harbor a good sense of community. I always made it a point to introduce the bands to each other, and I just wanted everybody to be friends becasue I thought that would be cool. I think it’s nice when you feel like you’re part of a community, and that’s definitely what it felt like. It was really nice to have that feeling of community, regardless of what the bands sounded like. I always thought that was really cool.

“It was kind of like a very real culmination of everything we’d worked toward up until that point.”

CT5 was a fifth anniversary festival that you played a big role in putting together for the label. What was it like seeing an embodiment of the years you had worked at the label?

It was fun! I mean, it was a lot of work. We had planned it for a really long time, and it was nice to have most of our artists in the same place. It was kind of like a very real culmination of everything we’d worked toward up until that point. I’m glad that I was able to be a part of that. It was definitely a pretty special weekend.


When did you start talking to Dustin about starting a label together? What made you decide to leave Captured Tracks at the point that you did? Dustin had been wanting to start his own label forever. Since he was a kid he wanted his own record label. He’d brought it up to Mike a long time ago, but it never really came to fruition. Then there were all of these things happening where it just lined up. It was just good timing. He was like “Yeah we should just do this now. Let’s start our own label.” I would talk to Mike more seriously about it, and he knew it was happening. Then that’s when we decided that I was going to leave.

I think it was right after we had gotten married. We told people at our wedding “Just give us money. We just want money.” and basically we just used all of the money we got for our wedding, and invested it all into the label. What was it like really starting from scratch with a new label, after you had worked really hard to get Captured Tracks to where it was? It was obviously scary and very stressful at first. But this time around I was lucky enough to have a lot of friends in the music industry, and I just turned to all of them for help and advice. It’s overwhelming — I can’t even put it into words — how kind people were to us at that time. It was really awesome, the amount of people that believed in us when we just had a little tiny nugget of an idea. I don’t know, I’m getting emotional talking about it, hahaha. Did you have any goals with the label when you started talking about it? Were there any specific labels you two looked to model Bayonet after? One goal that we always had was that we wanted to make sure that what we put out was as diverse as possible. We’re still working towards that. We still want to push ourselves. I feel like we can sign things that are so different from anything we’ve signed so far, and we want to be constantly doing that. So that was a goal that

we set for ourselves. As far as other labels, theres not really one in particular. We wanted to be independent and artist friendly. We wanted to have really good transparency with our artists, and have a line of communication — have them feel comfortable if they have an issue or if they have something they want to talk about with us. We just want to let them know we’re always there to talk about everything and anything Why do you think it is important to have a relationship with the people who’s art or music you are promoting or curating? I think it’s really important to have a good relationship with people who’s art you’re putting out into the world for several reasons. One being that; you’re always going to work harder when you know how awesome they are as a human being. On a very personal level, you’re going to work hard for your friends and for people that you believe in. They believed enough in Dustin and I and our small label that was none existent a year ago. So the fact that they put that amount of faith and trust in us is amazing. You want to work hard for those people that believe in you. I think ultimately they will be happier with the result and you will be happier with the result as a label if you have a good relationship with your artists.

“I think it was right after we had gotten married. We told people at our wedding ‘Just give us money. We just want money.’ and basically we just used all of the money we got for our wedding, and invested it all into the label.”


“I’m still really glad I’ve got the opportunity to work with Greta on Frankie Cosmos, becasue it’s such an awesome project. Her music really inspires me.” Who were some of the first few bands that you talked to? Well the very first band we talked to was Beach Fossils, haha! True story, haha. A huge part of starting the label was that Dustin could self-release. Then, beyond that, one of the first artists we talked to was Frankie Cosmos. I reached out to her early on after my former intern at Captured Tracks showed me her music becasue he played shows with her. Then I looked it up and I really loved it. He was like “It’s so good! You gotta check it out!” It reminded me of so many things I really loved. Then I remember emailing her and we just got talking. I had known her brother because he use to work in the records store


attached to our office. She was like “Oh yeah.” becasue she had kind of known about me and vice versa. Then we just met up and had dinner. I laid all of the cards out on the table. I’m still really glad I’ve got the opportunity to work with Greta on Frankie Cosmos, becasue it’s such an awesome project. Her music really inspires me. Her lyrics are better than almost everybody’s. She’s the best lyricist in the world, hahaha!!!! She really is one of my favorite lyricists though. She’s so clever. So she was one of the first artists we talked to. Also Warehouse. We kind of were talking to everybody almost simultaneously. It was like “We’re starting this label! Please sign with us!!”

What was the initial roster when you first announced the label in November 2014? At that time it was Warehouse, Beach Fossils, Frankie Cosmos, Red Sea, we put out a tape by Dustin and our friend Rene called Fluoride and it was just like a recording project of industrial music they did for fun, Laced, and Jerry Paper. Then it wasn’t until a few months after that that we signed Lionlimb. You’ve simultaneously been working at Secretly Group too, right? Yeah I’ve been working part time at Secretly Group the same amount of time I’ve had Bayonet. It’s been great. It’s been such an incredible learning process. I’ve learned so much about how bigger independent labels operate — just what things they do differently — and it’s helped a lot as far as how I run Bayonet. They’re great and my coworkers over there are awesome. I can always turn to them any time I need any help or advice when it comes to Bayonet

stuff. They were definitely some of the first people that I reached out to when I needed advice about starting the label. I feel very lucky to be able to work for them as well as having Bayonet? What’s your role at the label group, and what projects have you been able to work on for them? I do A & R there for all three labels, which are Secretly Canadian, Dead Oceans, and Jagjaguar. I so far signed two artists — that I can talk about. One is Marlon Williams and the other is Japanese Breakfast. Both are very different artists, but both are equally as amazing. So it’s been really cool to work on those. I also helped do A & R stuff on the last Small Black release, which was awesome because they’re good friends of mine. I have a good relationship with them so it was really fun to get to work on a project like that.

“You want to try and meet in the middle. It’s always the goal for the artist and the label to walk away happy and feel proud of what they’re putting out into the world.”


“Yeah I’ve been working part time at Secretly Group the same amount of time I’ve had Bayonet. It’s been great. It’s been such an incredible learning process.” As a label it’s primarily your job to help someone who’s work you believe in, turn it into something that they can make a career out of and a living off of. How do you navigate making decisions that will help make the music sell, but won’t compromise the artist’s integrity? It’s hard. You never really know, when you put out a record, if it’s going to do well or not. Most cases it won’t and that’s the sad truth. But I think one way to be cautious and smart about what you put into a record is just getting creative and finding other ways to make a release feel special — not only to customers and fans but to the artist as well. Whether it’s just like doing it on color vinyl, or adding an extra poster, just small things here and there that inexpensive and cost affective, but still add something special to a release. I also feel like inventive ways of announcing a record are always really cool. Doing something different and setting yourself apart in some way. That’s always an interesting — and affective most of the time — tactic. What do you do in cases where there needs to be a negotiation between the label and the artist? You want to try and meet in the middle. It’s always the goal for the artist and the label to walk away happy and feel proud of what they’re putting out into the world. Ultimately the goal is for the artist and the label to walk away


with a little bit of profit. And it’s hard! But that’s one thing to keep in mind. I just like try my best to make it work for artists and have everything meet in the middle.

What has it been like working as a woman in the music industry? Have you noticed things change at all over the past few years? It’s an interesting time to be a woman in the music industry. I definitely think that things are changing for the better, and I think there are a lot of really awesome support groups for women in a general sense, and we really support each other. Up until recently, it really was a boys club. Even now it definitely still is. But it’s nice to see things definitely changing for the better. I would like to see more Women who are owners or label managers. I feel like that isn’t as common. I feel like people don’t take me as seriously because I’m a woman, which is weird to think about. But it’s true! There will be instances where people will just like talk to Dustin because he’s the man. His experience doesn’t lie where my experience does. Since I have a bit more experience when it comes to running a label, I know how the inner workings of a label works. So I always find that really interesting and frustrating to be honest. But I’d like to think that things are changing for the better, definitely. .

It’s interesting. I feel like the hardest part about noticing people treating your differently in an environment, is just that you only notice it after the fact. You don’t see your self as different from other people, so you don’t take it into consideration until you realize something was weird about how someone else acted, after it’s already happened.

of busy work, it’s a lot of filling out forms and plugging in numbers and following up on production and stuff like that. It’s not a sexy job. People think it’s fun, and you get to go to shows a lot — which is very true — but for the most part theres this whole other side which is not that exciting. So I would say, don’t do it unless you’re passionate about it.

It’s always after the fact! I’ll be like “Huh, that was a little… weird.” Or you’ll be like at a bar with a bunch of dudes in the industry and just get inevitably boxed out some how, and you’re just like “what..?” It’s really weird. But like I said, it’s changing.

The other piece of advice is; ask other people for advice when starting a label. I myself have been hit up by several kids, just on email, asking me for advice. Or sometimes I’ll do a little conference call, haha. They’re just looking for advice, and I’m happy to give whatever advice I can and answer any questions. I think there are also a lot of different kinds of labels. Some people want to do it super legit, report to sound scan, and have UPCs. But you could also just have a cassette label and just dub the cassettes on one of those machines, run it out of your house, and make the labels by hand. It’s still a lot of work. It’s a lot of work either way, but you don’t need a ton of money to do it.

How do you see the music industry changing as a whole over the next few years? The music industry is changing a lot, and it’s kind of being pulled in many directions. Obviously streaming has changed the music industry immensely. Some people embrace it, some people reject it. my mentality has always been “adapt or die.” I truly think that people that don’t adapt to it are going to flounder. I don’t know, maybe not flounder… I could have 45 minute conversation about streaming, hahaha. It’s a hot topic! But I think it’s important to embrace it and to always be looking forward. Also at the same time, wanting to making sure that things are fair, becasue I definitely don’t think that a lot of streaming is fair to independent labels. They all have side deals with major labels, the rates are different — we don’t even know what the rates are for major labels, so it’s very shadowy in that sense. But I think ultimately streaming is the way that most people will consume music from here on out. If you’re not a part of that, then a lot of people are not ever going to listen to your bands. I guess some people would say “Well, Fuck ’em! We don’t need those people anyway!” But I think the goal of any label is to have the most people as possible listen to an artist that you really care about. I feel like it’s kind of counter intuitive to not embrace that. At the same time I think vinyl has had a bit of a resurgence. First it started with the indies, and now the major labels are pressing all or most of their new releases on vinyl as well, which is pretty crazy. But it’s also typical of them since major labels are always copying what independent labels do, ugh. Hahaha you know they know who the real trendsetters are. So those are kind of the two directions. On one hand vinyl has come back in a really big way, and on the other hand streaming has also grown in a lot of ways, and you’ve just got to embrace it. What advice would you give to someone who’s just now wanting to start a label? It’s a lot of hard work. You almost have to be possessed to run a label, hahaha! It’s a lot of paperwork, it’s a lot

Lastly — this is something I always tell bands — always work with people who are passionate about your project. Let’s say you have two different booking agencies that want to sign you. One, maybe the roster is a little be better and bigger, but the other one, the person is just as skilled and has been in the business for just as long but has more passion. There’s nothing that’s ever going to replace that passion. I always think that people who are passionate about certain projects are always going to work harder for you, no matter what. Are you ever scared that something you’re putting out is not going to do well? How do you deal with that fear when you’re investing money into it? It’s aways scary. You never know if you’re going to recoup or not, until you’re looking a couple months later and see “Huh, we sold this much… That’s not so great.” or “Cool we sold this much. That’s awesome!” You never really know. It’s aways a gamble, and signing a band is always a gable. But I think in the end as a label, you want to put out stuff that you are proud of, and the artist wants to work with a label that believes in them. I think that’s kind of where Bayonet comes in. Are there any projects you’d like to embark on that you just don’t have the time or money for? Yes. I do. There are a few things. On the Bayonet side Dustin and I have always talked about wanting to put out books, so we definitely definitely want to do that. Then in a more general sense, everybody knows I have a dream of opening up a karaoke bar, haha. So you know, if the whole Bayonet thing doesn’t work out, I have a “back-up plan.” My other business venture would be karaoke, as it’s my other passion in life. That or becoming a sports writer. Those are my two back-ups.




In a lot of ways Nick Gazin’s life has mirrored his art careering, changing and adapting as it needs too. From the terrify-

ing leap out of school into the real world, to now working as the art editor at VICE, Nick has been forced to grow with his craft and as a person to survive in New York on his own terms. Despite the stark realization that nothing is guaranteed or deserved, Nick like many artist, has still been able to find the most success putting energy into what he actually cares about.

Nick’s brutal honesty around the work he cares about has understandably come off as polarizing. But beneath the

harshly critical exterior of Nick, is someone who genuinely wants to see artists making their best art. Through curating underground shows in New York to now curating the comics on VICE, Nick has been motivated by taking what opportunities he has and using them to create more opportunities for other artists. Nick has championed artists making work that is important to him, and has invigorating several careers and friendships in the process. Today Nick is at a clear turing point in his life, having found reason to be alive, after a year of depression that made him question if he ever had any. His new found hope and appreciation for what is present in art and life, rather than a distain for what isn’t, is refreshingly new for Nick. As his life escapes a level of darkness, I’m confident his career will follow

Where are you from and where do you live currently? I’m from Connecticut. I currently live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. You sort of come from a lineage of artists in your family. Who in your family is an artist, and what do they do? Well my mother is a painter, and she’s really good. She does large oil paintings, often of my sister, girls and pools, and nature, thinking about death and youth. She went to Yale, and her name is Tani Conrad. My dad is a former street performing Psychic, and now a Lawyer. His sister is a photographer. My mother’s brother is a writer and painter, and her other brother is a photographer, I think. Then my grandfather, who died, was a bull fighter, a painter, a writer, and a pianist. My mother’s mother was an architect. My sister, Penelope Gazin, is an artist. My brother, Charlie Gazin, is very funny, but I don’t know where he is and I miss him. What was your introduction into making art? Where you encouraged to make art because of the family you were surrounded by? My mother would give me art supplies, and I would paint and draw. My mother would be painting all of the time. I don’t think, I think on some level there was an aspect of it where I was imitating the adults around me. That’s undeniable, and very much like both of my parents. But at the same time I think I had an OCD fixation with it, where it naturally felt good, so I just kept wanting to draw and

color and paint, where as other people might have gotten bored. Was there any sort of countercultural community or scene where you were growing up in Connecticut? If there was a countercultural scene where I was growing up, I wasn’t really aware of it — outside of my house. The counterculture for me was my family. It was us versus them. Not to blame the other people, but it was a boring place, kind of like New Jersey or Long Island or any of the other surrounding suburbs of New York, where people go and then come to New York where there is a business center and an art center. These places that orbit the hub. So my family were the weirder people. My dad naturally wants to fuck everything up, and my mom was an artist. Everyone else we knew or saw around there were mostly in money or sports. My parents had nothing to do with money or sports really. When I was in my 5th grade play —it was about the western expansion — I played a mountain man. I had this one line where I was suppose to say “We’re just a couple of lonely and hungry gentlemen.” while eyeing the female pioneers we came across. My dad said he would give me $20 if I replaced that line with “We’re just a couple of lonely and horny gentlemen,” and I didn’t do it, but I really wanted the money. I was like “I don’t know Glenn. I think the vice principal of the school will get mad at me.” and he said “All you have to do it is say ‘No Miss. Fraser, I didn’t say horny. I said hungry. You must have been hearing things.’” I said “I don’t know if that’ll work Glenn. I’m really scared of this person.” So that was my dad. He use to sign our Christmas presents “From Satan.”


There were a lot of skulls and satanic imagery around my house. When I first saw the movie the Addams Family I thought “That’s us!” How did you get into zines and punk culture? I got into zines and punk through going to punk shows. If you were a teenager and you had no musical ability, and especially if you’re still living at home, the idea of having a band was unlikely. I didn’t have any musical ability, and I was trying to force my friends to be in a band with me, but it wasn’t working and I was just wasting all of their time and my time. So… zines! The other thing you could do if you were young and stupid and liked punk. I made four issues of Squid Vicious, a zine about punk stuff. What was your experience like going to SVA in the early 2000s? I took some good classes and I took some bad classes. I met some good people and some bad people and some neutral people. I had a really nice — wait no, what’s the word I’m looking for — I had a really mean teacher named Joo Chung who taught me a lot by just letting me know that nothing was guaranteed and I should probably be working harder. I had some other good teachers like Gary Panter, Keith Mayerson, a guy who I forget who has an Italian name that was a really good drawing teacher…

John something… So I had a lot of good teachers there. I hosted an outdoor dance party every wednesday from 9 to 9:30 called “Nick and Liz’s Super Fun Rock N’ Roll Dance Party” and we danced to Ska and Punk on the coldest days of the winter and the warmest days of the summer. I remember we’d have this communal water bottle that was a giant bottle of orange juice at one point, but we would refill it with water. One time in the middle of february I dumped it over my head, and it froze in my hair instantly as I danced shirtless in the freezing cold outside our dorms. So I did that, and I made zines. I learned to draw better. I joined a lot of clubs, I did some internships. At school did it feel as though you were around people who were eventually going to be your contemporaries?  It was hard to say. At SVA it seemed like there was a hierarchy of seriousness. The people who were the most serious were often the people who were the tallest and had the best equipment. You would go to their rooms and there wouldn’t be a lot of clutter — they’d be really clean. They would have a laptop, some apple speakers, some books about what they were doing, an ipod, nice bedding, and nothing else. Those people I think were better adjusted and had a good head on their shoulders. They knew what’s most important is nice bedding and

“Zines! The other thing you could do if you were young and stupid and liked punk.”


“I’m not an example or a role model. I feel like I’ve done everything wrong despite having so many opportunities and privileges... If I had only been nicer to the right people or nicer to anybody, I’d be farther along in my career than I am now.” not clutter. Then you would go into my room and it was all garbage. I had a shopping cart that I used for the dance party. I had a lot of records and books and just shit everywhere. I guess I still kind of have an apartment that looks like that… I don’t know why I live like this. The graphic design kids and the film kids were the top of the heap as far as having it together and being adults. Beneath them was the photo kids. They were also pretty together. You would see them out and it would look like they had nice things and had nice clothes. The fine art kids kind of had it together some times. I don’t remember that many of them. And then the bottom rung was the cartooning and illustration people who were the most emotionally immature, ugliest, badly dressed, untalented, unprepared for the world, unprepared for college, and least interested in art, kids there. Most of the people I was with in illustration were people I don’t think were interested in making art. They just wanted to major in fantasizing about stuff. I remember I was in a comic class that I was auditing, and at one point the teacher said “Um, how many of you would rather play a video game than read a comic?” and almost everyone in the class raised their hands.   There were some people who were clearly going places. I went to school with Dash Shaw, and I met him the second day at SVA, I think. Dash has a bunch of books out on Fantagraphics. Koren Shadmi, he was an illustrator from Isreal. He was a pro-show who showed up a professional too. He already was doing professional work while

we were there. It wasn’t really clear why he was at art school. He didn’t really need it, he was already getting work. My friend Mickey Duzyj, who was a really good illustrator. Who else was there… I don’t know, school was a long time ago. I saw a lot of people come out of school after four years with the same amount of ability that they went in with, and $100,000 less and four years behind. At the time, were you focused on making a lot of stuff for school, or were you mostly focused on making stuff outside of school? It depended on the thing. I’m certainly not a fan of school in general. I think I got a lot out of my time at SVA. But I can’t say for certain if I couldn’t have gotten a lot out of my time if I had just gone to some figure drawing secession on my own, or if I were with a good mentor. I don’t remember what I was like back then that much, but also, I don’t know how clear my head was at the time. I still don’t know why I’m doing anything now. It’s hard to say. I wish I had the money back. I’m not an example or a role model. I feel like I’ve done everything wrong despite having so many opportunities and privileges.  If I had made a single right choice my life would be so much more amazing right now. Despite lots of luck, opportunities, through the patience on the part of my parents, and forgiving friends, I’ve some how managed to survive, which makes me think that if I had only been nicer to the right people or nicer to anybody, I’d be


farther along in my career than I am now. But you know. It’s better than being dead I guess. How did you start interning at VICE while you were in school? Well I emailed VICE, and Eddy Moretti who’s still there told me where to go, which was North 4th and Berry, where their offices were back in 2002. Then I showed up, and I would go their once a week as an 18 year old. I’d pick up the trash, I’d go pick up the mail, I’d rearrange the clothing shelves, and I’d rearrange the storage closet. I didn’t do any creative work while I was there. It wasn’t a very positive internship, but I worshiped VICE and it was really cool to be in the same room as all of the editors and Trevor Slimser, who at the time didn’t work for VICE but does now. I would think “Wow, these are adults. What a cool life making a magazine! This is the best! We’re in the dream factory where dreams get made!” So it was cool. I did garbage work at the dream factory. What were you doing immediately after school? Well after I left school I panicked. Then I would go to sleep, and then I would panic again. That motivated me a lot. Theres nothing like trauma, fear, and lack of guarantees of anything to make you really want to get to work. I really don’t believe that most illustrators or artists I see making good work that could be considered professional on any level until a year or two years after art school. There are a few people who I know who are great going into art school. There are a couple who became legends while they were in art school, and they dropped out usually. Very few people who go through all four years are pro by the end of art school. Art school can help maybe, but it’s the period after school where people actually hone their craft. I mean, I still see this with the people that send me illustration work now. In art school, people learn how to draw, maybe they learn color sense to some extent, and then even if they have some basic ability, it takes them until a year or two after school to figure out composition and texture and things like that, usually. Nobody I’ve seen, except for Mickey Duzyj, some of the Meathaus people — especially James Jean — leave art school professionals. You leave it sometimes with a good sense of what to expect, and sometimes not. In art school, there’s stuff to push up against. There are teachers and other students, and when you go around the room and have the critique and measure yourself against these other kids. Maybe you’re even rebelling and being a snot nosed jerk and trying to fuck with the teacher by doing the assignment wrong on purpose in a funny way — I certainly wasted a lot of time and money doing dumb stuff rebelling against things I was paying to do. The thing is, once you’re out of school, there’s no one to push up against. You’re just alone, and no one gives a shit about you or what you do. No one cares if you draw

or don’t, if you bring in your assignment or don’t. That real fear can motivate certain people better. It sure worked for me as far as motivation. Fear of starvation, fear of complete failure — not even caring about what other people think about, just wanting to be able to eat and stay in New York. Not having to resort to violent crime, or getting a real job. I don’t think I could ever do that. The time after school is one of terror, hard work, and also compromise. When I was in art school I didn’t compromise on a lot of things. On my final day of art school, five years in, I was still not able to graduate because I didn’t have enough credits becasue I was a fuck up. I was having a meeting with Tom Woodruff and Gary Panter. Tom, being the head of the illustration department at SVA, and Gary, being my portfolio teacher and hero. Tom was disappointed I hadn’t gotten my shit together and figured out how to graduate. Gary was sympathetic and kind of saw that I was trying my best with the pitiful amount of adulthood and maturity I had inside me at that point. That same day earlier I had been hired to start a magazine called Trashed for a company that booked rock shows around the periphery of Manhattan called Lo-Fi, run by Lo-Fi Lee. So I spent the next year after art school, not completely panicking becasue I was getting paid very little to make this magazine called Trashed about trash rock. It took a while, and it wasn’t really well run — the guy who was running the company was mostly well meaning I’d say in some ways. He gave me a job and that was cool! But he didn’t know what he was doing and neither did I at all and I was just trying my best running my magazine with one person. How did you start doing art for t-shirts and clothing? I did Trashed, and after it was done, and the whole company kind of imploded. I got real scared, and that’s when I learned about photoshop and taught myself to do the thing I didn’t want to learn when I was at art school in order to get work. I would put a shirt design up on this website called Threadless, where you submit t-shirt designs, and then people vote on them. The ones that get really high marks get made into a thing, and then you get money. I made all of these Threadless designs, and none of them got picked. But I had a portfolio of 30 t-shirts, and I sent them to every skateboard company, t-shirt company, and street wear brand. I sent around a hundred cold emails. If you’re doing that and you’re a young person, try to keep your emails to stranger less than a paragraph. The less you say, the more likely they’ll actually read it and get back to you. If you tell them your life story, they just won’t read it. Five sentences or less! So I sent out a hundred emails, and the only people who got back to me were Mishka. Mishka is the greatest streetwear brand of all time, in my mind. It’s run by Greg (Rivera) and Mikhail (Bortnik). They gave me my


first real break I think. Mishka has given me so many things. Mishka has taken me to Japan, they’ve given me art shows, they’ve given my sister art shows, they’ve given my friends art shows, they made a jacket with my name on it “The Gazin Bomber.” My art has appeared on different t-shirts that I’ve designed, sticker, keychains, three dimensional rubber things, and toy packaging all through Greg and Mikhail and the various people who have worked there. They even made me their copy-writer for a while — I had so many different jobs at Mishka. I had a web series called The Creepy Touch for ten episodes. The whole series ended with me getting beaten to death by my friends in Cerebral Ballzy in a remake of that scene from Kids where they all beat up that guy in Union Square Park until he dies. If you want to see me getting beaten to death by the members of Cerebral Ballzy, that’s online. Mishka is an amazing family. If you haven’t bought something from Mishka lately, go buy something from Mishka why don’t you. It’s a fine company and they deserve your damn money more than you do. Then I got a Threadless shirt at some point!

You mentioned a while ago that LiveJournal was something a lot of artists were using at the time to share their work and develop a community? What role did LiveJournal play in your life at the time? LiveJournal was amazing… Not really, but it was good enough. Oddly it was better than Tumblr, I think, by a longshot. Everyone just jumped to Tumblr, and left behind LiveJournal. I guess they also jumped to Blogspot too. LiveJournal was more comfy to use. It was more natural. I didn’t like not having one and people stopping using it. Ines Estrada was on it, Lala Albert, Michael DeForge, some other artist I think posting their stuff on there. It was an exciting time to be on the internet, haha. I also learned how to write better because my other friends, who were as mean and judge mental as I if not more so, would razz me for bad writing or for having too many typos and errors. It helped me tighten up a little bit, becasue I was consciously writing for an audience who would get annoyed with me if I spouted bull shit ideas or wrote boringly. It’s certainly how I learned how to write more than school at all. The criticism of my peers helped a lot. I would write about whatever. Sometimes I would put up

“I made all of these Threadless designs, and none of them got picked. But I had a portfolio of 30 t-shirts, and I sent them to every skateboard company, t-shirt company, and street wear brand.”


art, and sometime I would write about things I would go to. At some points in my life it felt like I was writing about every time I left the house, like “On thursday I did this. On friday I did this.” Sometimes they’d be longer, like how I found religious feelings at Disneyland, which I think is a great place. Or going to a frat party in New Jersey, and how weird that was having not gone to a normal college. Stuff like that. Has art criticism always been a bit part of the stuff you’ve done? Well, I think I’m just naturally full of opinions. Although I don’t know if they’re alway right. To quote Kurt Cobain’s diaries that were published “If you can read, you’ll judge.” There are a lot of people who are wandering around mad at the idea of opinions. They’re like “How can you judge?” but it’s like “How can you not?” You see a think and you’re like “That’s pleasant to my eyes.” or “That’s unpleasant.” Maybe later you’re like “That unpleasant thing was actually important for me to see becasue the unpleasantness made me think in a different way.” and it’s sort of like an education. Sometime that pleasant thing is just like candy where it’s sweet, but not maybe positive for you. It’s maybe even actively detrimental to your mental growth.

There are people who like every movie they see, or like every comic book they read. But for me I’m constantly aware that time is all I have and every moment we’re hurtling towards the grave, so if you’re going to give your time to a work of art or a video game or a meal or people, you have to think “How does this make me feel? Does it make me think life is amazing and full of magic and possibilities? Or does it make me think of a ticking clock counting down on the moments you have left alive on this planet?” Good art should make you feel alive or at least think. Bad art will reassure you probably. Sometimes it’s okay to be reassured. I think the main reason why art is successful is becasue it makes you feel less alone in the world. Sometimes art is challenging and upsetting and offensive, and that’s also valuable. My friends and I were hyper judge mental of each other and ourselves, so it just made sense to be judging art as well. You can’t grow if you’re not challenging yourself. How did you come back to VICE? When did you start doing art editorial for them? I interned at VICE in 2002, and I didn’t really do much or get much done while I was there. I mean I did, but it wasn’t

“Mishka is an amazing family. If you haven’t bought something from Mishka lately, go buy something from Mishka why don’t you.”


“I wanted to employ people I thought were good, and put comics in front of people who hadn’t been shown what I considered good comics. Relatable and interesting, not just what they had been shown before. ” really valuable necessarily. I didn’t do anything creative while I was there. My friend Thomas (Morton) became an editor there, and he involved me in the comics issue that came out in… 2005, 2006, 2008? I don’t know. So he had me do some stuff. Then eventually I got to do more stuff. I was doing all of this work for Mishka, so he was like “Hey why don’t you give us some of that goodness that you’re giving Mishka” and through writing for Mishka I got to start writing more for VICE! I got more involved with VICE and became the comics expert and chooser at a certain point. That was cool. I’ve been curating the comics that are on the website since 2008. From there it’s expanded to me having an on staff title as art editor, which is my title now. Every time I get introduced to someone at VICE, people use a different title. I’ve been art director, comics editor, comics expert —very rarely am I introduced as art editor. which is the title I have Were there any specific goals you had when you started that position? Were there artists or things you wanted to include from the beginning? Initially, when I first started, I was just psyched to be able to do anything related to comics and VICE, because I liked VICE and I liked comics. But I did have a goal in mind


where I wanted to champion the medium. I was aware that VICE always had comic since 1994. That’s one of the neat things about VICE; that they pretty much always had comics involved in the magazine or on the website, some way or another, and I really dug that. I wanted to use it to champion the artists I liked, and also the medium I liked, to people who otherwise might not read comics or think they liked comics. One thing Dash Shaw once said was “The way comics is super dominated by superheroes and funny animals is kind of like if movies were just 90% gladiator movies.” It would be like “I really like cinema!” “Oh do you really like gladiators?” “I guess… Sometimes? Maybe… That’s not what I meant.” I wanted to show that comics could be relatable stories or weird nonsensical abstract experience, but with the sense of time passing. So I wanted to employ people I thought were good, and put comics in front of people who hadn’t been shown what I considered good comics. Relatable and interesting, not just what they had been shown before. I feel like we’ve accomplished that with comics that appeal to the non-comics-interested staff members at VICE, such as The Artist by Anna Haifisch and most notably Simon Hanselmann’s Megg Mogg & Owl.

Who were some of the artists you were really excited to get on the site?

How did you start working with so many musicians to do album art, gig posters, t-shirts, etc..?

I really loved that we published Gilbert Hernandez. There are still some more comics of his that we have to run. I really love publishing Peter Bagge of course. Both are legends. Anna Haifisch, Simon Hanselmann, who else are the greats? Michael DeForge early on, Lisa Hanawalt early on, the Wowee Zonk kids — Patrick Kyle, Ginnette Lapalme, and Chris Kuzma — all of the people who did Blobby Boys when it started. Go to vice.com/comics if you want to read some gooooood comics.

When I was out of school I started throwing these rock n’ roll parties where bands would play and I would DJ music, in the basement of Cake Shop, which is still around. Later I moved them to Don Pedro’s and I also did one at Union Pool. I would be hosting and MCing these things, then I would also be DJing during them, and I would make the flyers for them. This really helped me a lot, becasue I was putting my art in a place where — if I was just hanging out with other people who had just gone to art school, I’d be one of many. But by hanging out in the rock n’ roll scene and doing art, I was just one of two, and the other guy can’t draw so good.

For a period of time I thought it would be really cool to run all female identifying cartoonists and see if anyone noticed or if people just accepted it as normal. I wanted to see if people would pay attention to what seems like a progressive act, if it’s not being pointed out — if it’s not me trying to be like “Hey everybody! Come line up and pat me on the back for how cool I am.” I was just really curious if anyone was going to notice. In the end, I don’t know if anyone noticed anything I did. It’s hard to say really, if anyone reads the comics.

Suddenly I was the guy who draws in the rock n’ roll scene in New York. They would be like “Well… Do you want to draw us a shirt? Cause you’re the only guy we know.” where as if everyone is an art student, they’re all like “We’ll draw our own shirts for everything we do. If we find opportunities we won’t tell you. We’ll take them!” Don’t only hang out with people who are trying to do the same job as you. It’ll be a lot easier to get more work that way. When I did these things, it wasn’t as much of a career strategy as I realized until later. It wasn’t that calculated. I wanted to DJ and I wanted to book rock n’ roll shows

“Don’t only hang out with people who are trying to do the same job as you. It’ll be a lot easier to get more work that way. When I did these things, it wasn’t as much of a career strategy as I realized until later.”


and I wanted to make flyers I guess. It all kind of came together into doing what I did. But it helped me more than people I knew from art school. Those connections didn’t really pay off. Except for Koren, who taught me how to use photoshop. I got a lot off of hosting rock shows. There was a direct line how things happened there. I started doing flyers, then I booked a Nobunny show and did the flyer for that. I was doing a lot of them in watercolor, although people don’t usually associate that with punk. They think of high contrast, black and white, screen printed images that are kind of blotchy. Watercolor is usually thought of as wimpy or etherial or feminine — less definite and you associate it less with silk screens and things that punks do. So anyways, Jay Retard saw the flyer, and messaged me on Myspace when he was still alive, and asked me to do some stuff with him. I did some cool Jay Retard stuff before he died, and I did some more after he died. Jay Retard’s band mates — he fired them I think after the point where he went crazy from cocaine, and they got picked up and became Wavves’ band mates. Through Steven Pope I got hooked up with Wavves because he suggested me. Steven Pope is still a very nice man today. He’s a really important dude. He’s the chubby man with the long hair in Wavves. He’s just a sweet dude who had a hard life and is not a dick. He made me quesadillas one time in Austin while telling me about his horrible childhood. I’ve done work for other great people like Sky Ferreira. I met Sky Ferreira through DIIV I believe. I met DIIV through I don’t know. I think just going out to bars. I met Run The Jewels through Fools Gold, who have also given me a lot of work. A-Trak is a really cool guy. Even though I’ve only met A-Trak a handful of times, and he’s a label head, and he headlines big shows, he emailed me once out of the blue to invite me and put me on the list for a show he was DJing at Terminal 5, which is a humongous place. From A-Trak down to the interns, everyone who works at Fools Gold is cools gold. How did the Run The Jewels album cover come together in particular? Nick Catchdubs, the DJ and really good person, was like “Hey, do you want to do the art for Run The Jewels? It’s this new thing with EL-P and Killer Mike.” I was like “Okay. What is ‘Run The Jewels?’” and no one answered me that. I still don’t know what a “Run The Jewel” is. I think maybe it means murder/rob people. I don’t know what Run The Jewels means, but Killer Mike is awesome, EL-P is very talented, and so I did some stuff for them. You seems to have a genuine desire to want to bring different people together, or involve people making stuff you’re exciting about in things you’re doing. Where do you think that urge comes from? Being a lonely child when I was growing up, not having


many friends and hating the friends I had, I naturally want to make connections for other people. I want to connect good people. I feel like we’re in a constant battle between beauty and mediocrity, where I, Nick Gazin, and you, FORGE. Art Magazine — don’t matter that much, but the idea that we’re championing art and beauty together to connect people with similar visions of perfection is real. You could call me a maven. That what I think it is when you try to connect people and make the world more neat by introducing good people to other good people. Then they form together like a Voltron or goodness and beauty and try to stomp out ugliness and boredom. How did your most recent gallery show, Hello Badmind, come together? I was thinking about all of the people I was going to kill — or all of the myselves I was going to kill, and I was channeling it into positive places. So I’d think about how much I wanted to kill someone, and then instead of killing them, I would draw a picture of their rotting corpse, or my rotting self, with beautiful candy colors. It’s like serial killer art. That’s the theme of the show; art that I did when I felt like I was at the edge of sanity, looking over the edge. I think I actually did go crazy there for a while, if I’m not still crazy now. The pain and sorrow of 2015 certainly did something that was unpleasant and scary for me. I felt like I didn’t know what was going to happen and I was terrified of myself. But physical violence is wrong, and I am aware of that. I understood that on a base level it would hurt my mother. But more than that, it would invalidate everything I ever said or did. If you commit violent acts, then all of your ideas mean nothing. So these are things to think about if you are a young person, probably a man, with violent fantasies. It’s natural to want to blow up the entire planet, and it’s important to think about that and be aware that everyone has violent urges in them, to confront that, and to deal with it honestly and positively instead of pretending that it’s unnatural. Violence rarely produces a happy outcome. The point of art is to hopefully elevate yourself beyond an animal or a caveman. We are animals on some level, but hopefully we can rise above that. Art elevates us to potentially being more than just animals and violence lowers us to being less than animals. What do you think is the role of curation in art today? On one hand we’ve got Tumblr and Instagram breaking down a lot of the gates that were previously in place. When I was in art school, if you wanted to have a fine art career, you went to art school and then you went you graduate school. Then when you were in graduate school the critics would come and check out your studio or whatever, and praise your work or not. You try to suck

their dicks hopefully, and if they let you suck it, you could maybe have a career, and they might introduce you to collectors of gallerists. I assume that there are still people that go that route; start off at one school, and then you go to Yale for graduate school or something like that. That’s not how you have to do things to be seen by people now. Instagram and Tumblr have negated a lot of the cultural gatekeepers; the idea that there’s someone out there that you have to impress, a single individual that’s going to open doors for you. You can get art shows off of instagram. It’s kind of like how comedians once had to build up a stand up career, now they can just get jobs on TV from Youtube videos. Things have changed. You still have to be good usually, but you don’t have to appeal to the same people. It’s good and bad. The thing that’s neat is that it’s more proletariat, it’s more fair, and the people decide instead of the critics. The bad thing is that when there aren’t gate keepers, suddenly all of the art is just butts, boobs, pornography, and references to easy shit. Shout out to all of the non-talents who are drawing The Simpsons animated characters. There’s been a SuicideGirls-ification of culture where it just corny and porny. So as far as curation goes, it’s not required anymore, but it’s still necessary in terms of leading people away from the shit. What We’re getting a lot of on Instagram is art that congratulates people for getting easy references. “Hey, remember shit from the 90s? Of course you do! Here’s a button.” What’s happening on Instagram is cute, but ultimately it’s bad. Because of a lack of curation, people are making art that works for Instagram and Tumblr. When people are making art that is meant to be appreciated as people scroll past it they make shittier art; art that takes less thought to make and less thought to view and appreciate. You’re just scrolling past like “Ha, I know what that is! Ha, I know what that is! What the hell is that? I hate it!” There’s less risk taking — not to say that everyone was always taking risks and making good art. Most people are making shit all of the time. If you just repeat a familiar image, people like that, and that’s not great. Where have you seen good curation in light of all of that? The person I think is doing really great work right now is Katherine Mulherin from Canada. She’s got a gallery out there, and she’s gallery out in New York. She curates some really great artists. It doesn’t feel dated at all. The stuff that she’s showing could have been from 10 years ago, or 20, or 30, and it would still be good. Check out Katherine Mulherin, I believe in her. There are some other good galleries I’m sure. (David) Zwirner is awesome. Marlborogh is awesome.


Are there any projects you would like to embark on, that you just don’t have the time or money for at the moment? Yeah, what I really want to do is do large oil painting of portraits of people that I put time into. That would be my ideal thing. Stretch some 6ft by 6ft canvases, and then buy some expensive oil paints, find a space where I can have people pose for a while, and really explore the canvas. I want to do shit of lasting value. I mean, I love doing design work, and I put up with doing illustration I guess, and I love to draw my psychedelic “angry boy” drawings. But ideally, I’d like to be doing large things and moving on the the next stage of stuff. Either that, or I’d like to make a TV show. Ideally I’d either go into fine art or television. . What do you hope to accomplish with your work? I’d like to survive. I don’t know… I hate myself, and I don’t see myself as a good person… I have a very bad view of humanity in general. I like individual people, but as a whole, I think humanity deserves to die. If i could wipe out the entire human race in one motion I probably would. I don’t believe in me, or people but I believe in beauty. With the art thing, what I’m trying to do is find goodness in the world. But I don’t know if I believe it’s real. I’m mostly just trying to survive. I want to keep drawing because I have to draw and paint. It’s a compulsive act for me and I feel so bored it’s like being itchy if I don’t. It’s hard to focus without drawing. I find it calming and stimulating, and it makes me feel better. I’m trying to prove to myself that I have value. My goals are to survive. I want to be able to keep living in New York and paying rent. I would like to not die drugs or a car accident or an angry person shooting me before I’m like 70 or 80 ideally. I really wanted to die in 2015… But I don’t want to die anymore, I think. That’s an exciting realization for me. At some point, a month or two into 2016, I woke up and thought “Hey, I don’t want to die anymore.” I’ve got a lot of conflicting feelings I suppose, but you know… I contain multitudes.

Photography by Matthew James-Wilson

Aidan Koch @ MoCCA

Ryan Sands & Hannah K Lee @ MoCCA

Tyler Boss G.W.&Duncanson Courtney Menard @ @ Paper @ MoCCA Jam 5

John Malta @ MoCCA

Nick Gazin & Tyler Boss @ TCAF

2D Cloud @ MoCCA

Kendra Yee @ MoCCA

Juli Majer & Sab Meynert @ TCAF

Simon Hanselmann, Brie Moreno, & HTML Flowers @ TCAF

Patrick Kyle & Ginette Lapalme @ TCAF

Kelly Kwang @ TCAF

Raighne Hogan @ TCAF

Tallulah Fontaine & Sarah Machan @ TCAF


Jane Sands & Ryan Sands @ TCAF

Becca Tobin @ TCAF

Jane Mai @ TCAF

HTML Flowers & Graham Sigurdson @ TCAF

Kevin Czap @ TCAF

Adam De Souza & Lily Snowden-Fine @ TCAF

Brian Chippendale, Mickey Zacchilli & Micheal Comeau @ TCAF

Ed Kanerva @ TCAF

Brie Moreno & Kendra Yee @ Paper Jam 5

Adriana Kupych, Eli Howey & Sab Meynert @ TCAF

Matthew James-Wilson @ TCAF

Frankie Cosmos @ Shea Stadium

Eskimeaux @ Shea Stadium

Frankie Cosmos @ Shea Stadium

Frankie Cosmos @ Shea Stadium

Katie Garcia, Greta Kline, & Dustin Payseur @ Shea Stadium

Your Friend @ Bowery Ballroom

Porches @ Bowery Ballroom

Your Friend @ Bowery Ballroom

Porches @ Bowery Ballroom

Alex G @ Bowery Ballroom

Alex G @ Bowery Ballroom

Current Joys @ Rooftop Films

Vundabar @ Baby’s All Right

Palm @ Baby’s All Right

Mothers @ Baby’s All Right

Cleo Tucker @ Palisades

Emily Yacina @ Palisades

Fraternal Twin @ Palisades

Fraternal Twin @ Palisades

Macula Dog @ Palisades

Macula Dog @ Palisades

Current Joys @ Baby’s All Right

Surf Curse @ Baby’s All Right

Surf Curse @ Baby’s All Right

Surf Curse @ Baby’s All Right

Slow Ref @ 603^

Nice Try @ 603^

Wall @ Market Hotel

Pill @ Market Hotel

Downtown Boys @ Market Hotel

Sean Nicholas Savage @ Secret Project Robot

Dougie Poole @ Secret Project Robot

Jerry Paper @ Secret Project Robot

Jerry Paper @ Secret Project Robot

Dustin Payseur & Lucas Nathan @ Secret Project Robot

Best Shows By Matthew James-Wilson

April 1st @ Shea Stadium

Frankie Cosmos (Release Show)/Eskimeaux/ Anna Mcclellan April 15th @ Bowery Ballroom

Alex G/Porches/Your Friend i went to this show with one of my best friends, and former roommates, kenny. we lived together for our first year in college and sort of developed as people in a bedroom we shared for around 9 months. listening to porches and alex g together was a really big part of that. we hadn’t hung out in a really long time, so i decided to surprise him with a ticket to the show the week it happened. all three sets were spectacular, even after seeing two of the bands play a dozen times before. the night ended with an encore that first started with alex playing the penultimate song on the album trick, change. then as the song started to build towards the end, members of alex g, porches, and your friend all came on stage, grabbed instruments, and finished the song with an wall of sound. once the song ended, aaron whispered something into alex’s ear and started playing the riff from smoke on the water. then everyone else followed. the show concluded with everyone on stage locking arms and taking a bow. it was really beautiful. a year earlier kenny and i went to see angel olsen play a show together that was also at the bowery ballroom. the night of that show on our way home we ran back to our dorm in the rain singing and talking. on our way home from this show we reminisced about that night and talked about how much the time in between the two shows had changed us.

April 28th @ Baby’s All Right

Mothers/Palm/Vundabar i was invited to this show by hector silva, who does press for mothers. he sent me a really kind email trying to connect me and kristine from the band to do something for the magazine. he sent me a download of their album and invited me to this show. from the moment i unzipped the files and pressed play, i was totally into the band. kristine’s writing and the bands overall tightness blew me away, and i started listening to the record constantly. once the night of the show came around, i made my way to baby’s all right and met hector and kristine irl. vundabar, palm and mothers were all amazing, and meeting them both actually even led to kristine’s submission in the beginning of the issue!

May 14th @ The Central

Black Pus/Dungeon Broads/Creep Highway this show happened on the night of the first day of tcaf. seeing so many friends and artists i admire greatly in one weekend was already so overwhelming, so this show was icing on the cake. i’ve wanted to see creep highway play soooooooo badly since meeting michael for the first time, and i finally had my chance. once the black pus set ended, it was clear this was one of the noise shows i’d probably ever get a chance to see. but even more than the performances, the part that warmed my heart the most was just seeing all of these artists i looked up to just in a crowd watching a show together. it was really humanizing and reminded me that they were all still just kids excited to see people make stuff, just like me.

May 22nd @ Roof Top Films

Current Joys

May 27th @ Baby’s All Right

Surf Curse/Surf Rock Is Dead/Beachwood/ Current Joys i’ve wanted to see surf curse play since i was probably 17, and the wait was well worth it. spending that weekend with nick and jacob was really really special too. :)

June 6th @ Palisades

Fraternal Twin/Emily Yacina/Cleo Tucker/ Crosslegged June 7th @ Secret Project Robot

Jerry Paper & Easy Feelings Unlimited (Release Show)/Sean Nicholas Savage/ Dougie Poole March 25th @ Market Hotel

Tomboi/Aye Nako/Kat Cunning/New Myths/ Sandunes/Pretty Sick/Harsh Crowd/Skating Polly/Badmouth/Don’t Drown this show was a northside showcase that mindy from tom tom magazine put together. it was all bands with female identifying drummers, and in the middle there was a panel discussion about accessibility in music. i first met mindy during the issuu generators camp in san francisco, and she was kind enough to ask me to talk on the panel. mindy and her magazine tom tom are so inspiring, and it was such a pleasure to talk on a planel of so many incredible people working in music.

June 22nd @ 603^

Nice Try/Slow Ref/Treatment June 24th @ Market Hotel

Downtown Boys/Pill/Wall/Ratas En Zelo two songs into downtown boys set, victora from the band pulled me on stage a long with a bunch of other kids in the crowed. i’ve never danced and freaked out so much at a single show.

Shows I Wish I Had Gone To May 6th @ Baby’s All Right

Chris Cohen w/ Special Guests May 7th @ Silent Barn

Ought/Priests/Florist/Juicy II Jun 21st @ Baby’s All Right

LVL UP/Charly Bliss/Forth Wanderers June 22 @ Market Hotel

Deerhoof/Ava Luna/C. Spencer Yeh



You Should Check Out... By Matthew James-Wilson


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

i initially found kaitlyn aurelia smith through dan snaith of caribou’s personal bandcamp fan account. if you’re ever looking for new foreign or esoteric music, his account is a great place to start. i know very little about kaitlyn aurelia smith, and i feel like investgating into her more might destroy the mythical version of her in my mind. what i can say for certain though, is that listening to her most recent album, ears, this spring felt like listening to music for the first time all over again. many of the progressions within kaitlyn aurelia smith’s music are soothingly simple, and so much of the complexity of her songwriting comes out in her harmonies and sound production. ears is like an living organism that is constantly swelling and contracting. a track like arthropoda really encompasses every component the whole album has to offer. it’s subdued, yet it creates the feeling of both spinning and ascending simply through the orchestration. the whole record is like one long holy moment that can be relived over and over again. i’m so thrill with what i have found with this release and i can’t wait to see what ends up spilling out of her oscillators next.

Trace Mountains

i’ve loved pretty much everything dave benton has been involved with, and his solo recordings as trace mountains are among his best. few things have actually been released under the moniker, but this spring dave surprised everyone with a deluxe re-issue of his brief album buttery sprouts. the reissue, entitled buttery sprouts & other songs, nearly doubles the number of tracks from the original release with arguably some of the best dave’s most endearing work. for a collection of tracks that are almost treated as throwaways after being released for free on bandcamp, dave is really on the top of his game with his songwriting. as a whole the songs range from ethereal to anecdotal and embody dave’s quiet confidence. the album concludes with a found recording of dave’s grandmother playing piano, that serves as a hauntingly romantic finale. this album is as salty/ sweet as the title of the 4th track suggests, and i’m curious to see what will come next for trace mountains and the mysterious “figure 2” label he put it out on.

Free Downloads

Label Love Compilations

i stumbled upon the label love compilation series pretty spontaneously, but i was really pleased with what i found. spanning across six volumes (so far), label love’s compilations implement a wide range of sounds from small labels all around the world. each compilation seems to be carefully put together swinging like a pendulum between genre and region. beyond the diversity, everything is really fucking good! these compilations are definitely worth looking into if you’re ever trying to find something new. plus they’re all totally free to download, so there is really no reason not too.



like pretty much everything emilie friendlander and ric leichtung do, the new adhoc zine was designed around a love for the community of people it was made for. the adhoc zine has gone through several different physical and digital iterations over the past few years. the most recent design is definitely the most successful at implementing everything adhoc does best, from essays by musicians to diy show promotion, all in their most accessible format yet. emilie and ric plan to put out a new newsprint issue ever month, and issues will be available at local venues and most shows booked by adhoc. they are definitely filling the void that the defunct showpaper left behind, but with a deeper look at who’s making diy possible. hopefully they’ll be able to find a way to stick around longer than their predecessors.

Tom Tom Magazine mindy abovitz, who runs tom tom magazine, is a force of nature and i’m so lucky to have met her through issuu this past year. tom tom magazine is the first ever publication devoted to female identifying drummers and it’s published and printed on a quarterly basis. each issue explores a different topic pertaining to women in the music industry and everything that should be discussed and celebrated about women who are drummers. through it’s very narrow focus, mindy has actually created a publication that’s really meant to be inviting to everyone. whether you’re a woman, or a drummer, or neither, you should pick up an issue of tom tom!



Profile for FORGE. Art Magazine

FORGE. Issue 12: Patience  

FORGE. is a quarterly submission based art magazine, with the sole purpose of showcasing the work of different artists on the internet and a...

FORGE. Issue 12: Patience  

FORGE. is a quarterly submission based art magazine, with the sole purpose of showcasing the work of different artists on the internet and a...