__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

ISSUE 3


Mazing magazine is vision put into practice. It’s a talented group of writers, artists, and idea-makers who want to inspire our generation to pursue creativity in spite of every obstacle, so that’s exactly what we’re doing. Through late-night brainstorm sessions and draft after draft, Mazing is the embodiment of its mission: celebrating young adulthood in all its unsteadiness. Finding inspiration amidst the chaos. Within these pages, we hope you find the motivation you’re looking for, to reach, to create, to hang, to roam, and maybe even survive. And we hope what you find here makes your life outside the page so much more.

HERE’S TO THE TRULY MAZING CONTRIBUTORS

www.mazingmag.com | @mazingmag


MIKEY DIGGS | WRITER + PHOTOGRAPHER

FRANCESCO GUERRA| WRITER + PHOTOGRAPHER

OZIOMA ENWOROM | WRITER

MICHELLE PARK | PHOTOGRAPHER

RACHEL GILWIT | WRITER

KATIE SWALM | WRITER


SARAH TATE | ILLUSTRATOR + PHOTOGRAPHER

RYAN SHOPE | WRITER

MARGARET BOYD | WRITER

ALEJANDRO SANTANA-VALLARTA | WRITER

MILLS BROWN | ARTIST

ELLIE KEMPTON | WRITER

KATHERINE KWONG | WRITER + CARTOONIST


MOLLY WILCOX | WRITER

WESLEY DUCKET | WRITER

CAROL ELIYA | ILLUSTRATOR

PETE FREEMAN | PHOTOGRAPHER + DESIGNER

TIFFANY LAMBERT | WRITER + PHOTOGRAPHER

KARIS SYKES | WRITER


JESSICA KOZACHUK | WRITER

ALEXA GOGLANIAN | ILLUSTRATOR

CORI DUNTON | PHOTOGRAPHER & WRITER

HADD IE SMITH | WRITER

DAVIS JONES | WRITER

FAIT H HANNA | WRITER

JEFF HAN | WRITER


Sending a publication to print is a risk. Freeing a writer to choose his or her own words is a risk. Writing one’s own words is a risk. Heck, even pre-ordering a magazine you haven’t seen is a risk. We are all taking part in one, big, collaborative gamble—entrusting ourselves to one another and hoping that these macrame cords we’ve laced together are firm enough to catch us.

KATHRYN SCHUYLER | EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Issue 3 is a graceful interweaving of narratives and painstaking creations from the midst of the experience. It’s the lesson within the lesson. The phone call in the middle of the traffic jam. The sunset accentuated by storm clouds. The call to rest from the restless. The

Dear Reader,

grasping at hope and the promise of hope.

Occasionally you compose words without realizing how much

We aspire that within these pages you come in contact with something

significance they’ll pick up along the way. This has become especially

so viscerally human, and more than that, so uncannily yours. Take this

true of one phrase in our mission statement that Betsy and I put

as your invitation—let us be your trenchmates. Let us take turns using

together (somewhat haphazardly) more than a year ago - Mazing is

one another’s binoculars, and read each other snippets of our journals,

vision put into practice.

and admit to things that seem beyond admission. With practice comes grittiness, but with grittiness comes authenticity.

And that’s where the going gets tough. I knew it in partiality at the time, but with each iteration, with each hard-pressed lesson, it gets

Sincerely yours,

grittier. So many times throughout the creation of our firstborn

Kathryn

print-baby Issue 3, I wished I could be at the other side of my young adult years, calling fearlessly back to our youthful readership saying “It will all be fine!” I wished I could write from the other side of my risk-taking, from the part where theories are tried and tested instead of in phase 2 experimentation with infinite variables. But as counterintuitive as it sounds, sermonizing from safety just isn’t who Mazing is.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking part in the flight of an idea. I’ve desperately wanted someone to tell me it was going to be ok, that it was going to be easy, and that guaranteed success awaited. While that would still be lovely, the journey of taking Mazing 3 to print has been a lesson in the adventure of risk-taking. Thank you for making it all worth it. BETSY FREEMAN | CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Mazing is a magazine for people working hard to live epic stories; people who make mistakes, but get back up and shake off the words of those haters and return to where they left off. There’s nothing easy about trying new things, working hard for what you love, and continuing on amidst endless unknowns. There’s also no way this can

Thank you Mazing people for displaying relentless authenticity and

be done alone.

reminding me that we all are pretty darn similar—all just scampering through the same challenges while trying to appear as confident as our

For me, these last couple of months have been loaded with mistakes.

opulent taste in beverages. Good job team, you’re killin’ it out there.

So far so good, I can never do anything right the first time. But I

Cheers to Mazing Issue 3 where I hope you find some words, lines, or

guess that’s consistent with both real learning and life. They are only

images that in one way or another inspire you to go after your story

for the brave. Mazing has made the painful process of firing the

with all you’ve got.

guilting perfectionist inside me suddenly not so isolating. There’s been a lot of late night Mazing laughing until it hurts (my face turns

Best,

really red and my eyes water- so embarressing, feel sorry for me). So

Betsy

yes, as I glance over the last year and the nearly 100 pages of this side hustle (Mazing, “the maze-ball”, “baby maze”...), I have to say living up this risk has been a good ride and maybe one of the best.

9 ----


TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

IMPACT

CRAFT

HANG

REACH

SURVIVE

ROAM

A Suit That Suits You Why Women Should Wear Suits Katherine Kwong

• • • 75

The Woman Writer Molly Wilcox

• • • 83

Comparing Clocks Comparing Me To Me Wesley Duckett

• • • 23

XOXO, Your Long Lost Friend, Rest. Jessica Kozachuk

• • • 40

In Regards To Minimalism Betsy Freeman

• • • 26

Let There Be Food Crafting Sourdough Boule Alejandro Santana-Vallarta

• • • 46

Alternative Art Forms Comics Katherine Kwong

• • • 30

Learning Is Like Dancing Jeff Han

• • • 89

Home Collage Artwork Mills Brown

• • • 11

Poetry FTW Various

• • • 92

Unexpected Consequences Of Marriage Karis Sykes

• • • 78

Finding A New Tribe Ozioma Enworom

• • • 64

On Being Human Margaret Boyd

• • • 43

Surviving Long Distance Friendships Haddie Smith

• • • 68

Making Mistakes At Work Davis Jones

• • • 50

How To Find Your Side Hustle Infographic Pete Freeman

• • • 49

How Losing My Job Was The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened To Me Ryan Shope

• • • 66

Baby Bird A Story ofTransition Katie Swalm

• • • 58

The Company You Keep: Relationship Advice & Career Decisions Faith Hanna

• • • 80

Taking Magic Back The Art of Slowing Down Cori Dunton

• • • 19

If Your Friends Aren’t Plants Then They Ain’t No Friends Of Mine Haddie Smith

• • • 38

Infamous Instafame Mikey Diggs

• • • 61

Healthy FOMO Food Or Media Overload Rachel Gilwit

• • • 72

Don’t Knock The Early Bird Ellie Kempton

• • • 87

What We Saw From The Cheap Seats Kathryn Schuyler

• • • 35

The Staple Of Simple Cuba Tiffany Lambert

• • • 15

Exploring the Dolomites: Mountains & Environment Francesco Guerra

• • • 53


S U M M E R AT M Y W I N D O W S I L L


My work starts with the idea of home – almost always the home I grew up in in South Carolina, often blended with imagery of homes since — and a strong desire to capture the feeling of place. I create spaces that are personal and intimate, suggestive of memory, overflowing with ornamental pattern and decorated with found objects. I love collage because of the freedom it gives me to create wacky scenes through unlikely combinations of images. I try to breathe a sense of narrative into all of my work and I’m heavily influenced by fairytales, magic realism, and Southern gothic literary genres. In some recent works I’ve incorporated a sculptural element, along with moments of light and shadow, to confuse perceptions of interior and exterior space. In my recent works on paper I’ve been experimenting with embroidery and preserved organic matter like ferns and fungi, highlighting the feeling that these urban and domestic scenes are at once fertile and prone to decay. Ultimately I want the spaces I create to be wildly uncanny but somehow still plausible, quietly humorous like an inside joke, and beautifully inviting but often with an edge of something subtly ominous.

/// BY MILLS BROWN

AFTER DARGER


PA R K V I E W S

13 ----


MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL 1.

2017. Collage photos of Park View, DC on paper. 24 x 36 inches.

2.

2016. acrylic painting and collaged photos on clear acetate. 24 x 36 inches.

3.

2017. Collaged photos from LIFE magazine on canvas. 9 x 14 inches.

4.

(detail from thesis installation, Little Boxes). 2017. collaged magazine and photos, acrylic paint, wooden frame. 12 x 12 inches, 3 inch depth.

5.

2017. Collaged photos, collected beads and embroidery on paper. 12 x 32 inches.


T H E S TA P L E O F S I M P L E

TRAVELING IN CUBA /// WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY TIFFANY L AMBERT

15 ----


---- 16

We’ve all heard the phrase “not all who wander are lost,” and wandering

the simple and subtle nuances of beauty in our daily lives.

around the old city in Havana, Cuba had me feeling lost in the best

What would happen if we chose to partner the simple with the

kind of way. My best friend and I decided to go on a trip to celebrate

wonder? What if we fused the spirit of travel with our daily grind?

friendship for the sake of friendship. We have been through it all

As I strolled around Havana I kept my eyes out for the gems, I paid

together, the good, the bad and the ugly, so we packed up and headed

attention, I had nowhere to be but there. Cuba has challenged me,

out to experience all the charm and culture that Cuba has to offer.

moved me, to find beauty in the simple things. I can assure you, it is

Normally, when I travel I do my best to really embrace the culture and

there, waiting to be grasped.

the personality of the city that I am visiting. Running around checking off landmarks from a list is not my style. I prefer hanging in cafes, sitting and soaking it all in or wandering around until my feet hurt— and Cuba was no different. We sat sipping mojitos and enjoying the rhythms of the city. We laughed and talked and reminisced on the good

“Those days filled with the hustle of responsibility, of sending those emails and doing the dishes, they hold purpose.”

ole days. By all means, get out there and travel. Enrich your life with fresh I love travel because going somewhere new forces you to slow down, and re-ignites your sense of wonder. Even the simplest of things feel whimsical, almost as if they were destined to be in my path. I have no troubles living this out in my travel, but my daily life is another story. It is hard to muster up any taste of whimsy- there is too much to do, and those lists won’t check off themselves. Who has time to appreciate the simple things anyways? Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

experiences and cultures, but whether you hop on a plane or choose new experiences within your city, travel. Wander into that cute cafe and read a book, stroll through the park without checking at your phone. Be present, take it all in.

Those days filled with the hustle of responsibility, of sending those emails and doing the dishes, they hold purpose. Those days filled with the staple of simple, make up the majority of our lives- so let’s make them count. So take a break from the checklist and leave a little room

“We lost our wonder as mundane became the norm.”

to breathe in the fresh air. It takes a whole lot more grit, grace and gratitude to live out wonder in daily life than out on the open road, but it is possible.

Or do we? As children we had this innate zest for life. The simple joys

I know that every day won’t be $2 mojitos in Havana with my best

like eating ice cream or recess meant everything, but as an adult, things

friend. I’ve come to terms with the charm in checking those emails, in

are different. Reality and responsibility are now king and somewhere

pursuing my dreams, in having that glass of wine with my housemates

along the way, the magic faded as health insurance, credit card bills and

after work. It’s there to be found when you are willing and able to take

work hustle got in the way. We lost our wonder as mundane became

note of it.

the norm. That is why I believe, as adults we love to travel. We want to wander. We need the occasional escape, but that doesn’t have to mean

So may the mundane become sensational, the simple become a staple,

jet setting to exotic locations like Cuba. We can and should embrace

and may wonder become customary.


---- 18

T H O S E D AY S FILLED WITH T H E S TA P L E OF SIMPLE, MAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF OUR LIVES- SO LET’S MAKE T H E M C O U N T.


TA K I N G B A C K M A G I C

THE ART OF SLOWING DOWN /// WORDS BY CORI DUNTON /// PHOTOGRAPHY BY CORI DUNTON

19 ----


---- 20

There is a certain high that comes with busyness. I would know, I’ve

Seasons of crazy are to be expected, but when working 3 jobs and never

been addicted for the last decade. I’ve worked eighty hour weeks and

sleeping becomes your new normal, recognize that as a red flag. Take

called them normal. I’ve juggled three jobs and college at the same time

it from someone who’s seen every red flag and convinced herself it was

and insisted I’m doing just fine. I’ve lived off no sleep—emotional and

actually pink—all of this busy won’t benefit anyone if you lose yourself

in a constant state of stress. Telling myself there isn’t another way to

in the process. And I know it’s hard to, to look yourself in the eye

do life. Telling myself that this is just what being a responsible person

and admit you can’t do it all. But gosh, you’re human. Let yourself be

feels like, looks like. It’s a strange type of drug, this being busy. It

human. Imperfect and flawed and wonderfully limited.

affects every relationship, infuses chaos into every encounter. And yet, I couldn’t seem to quit.

“It’s a strange type of drug, this being busy. It affects every relationship, infuses chaos into every encounter.” I loved how my busyness impressed people. How my all-nighters and working weekends made friends and co-workers look at me differently, made them see me as capable, strong, reliable. But in my search to be seen as competent, I forfeited my joy. I put off dreaming. I chose my to-do list over whimsy a hundred times over. I focused my eyes on the mundane. I forgot there is magic everywhere.

“But in my search to be seen as competent, I forfeited my joy. I put off dreaming.” If you resonate with this hustle, then most likely, you’re slowly slipping. You’re tired and in need of a nap, but more than that, you’re going to crack soon. You’re doing “just fine” today but chances are one small breeze will blow your house down tomorrow. Oftentimes we can feel ourselves getting to the breaking point, but we refuse to back down. Maybe your pride is getting in the way, maybe you’re afraid of letting down the people you love, or simply determined to prove the haters wrong. Whatever your motivation is for this continual hustle, it won’t change the fact that you weren’t built to be a permanent multi-tasker.

“Slow, stop, breathe, look around. Take in all this unconventional glory. “ Over the last twelve months I’ve been on a mission to take back the magic. I go slower. I pause often. I let the sun sink into the back of my neck and feel the golden glow of September in my city. I walk as much as I possibly can, around my neighborhood, at the beach, to dinner parties and the laundry-mat. I stop to take photos of every vintage car and pastel apartment building. I buy myself flowers each Monday. I fill my home with lavender and peach magnolia candles. I make my small one bedroom apartment a sanctuary, and though it’s only me, living alone in this shoebox, I call it castle and float from room to room. I’ve trained my eyes to find my favorite hues everywhere. In back alleys and bustling streets and front porches and car doors. In the middle of hectic Wednesdays and in the midst of the mundane. Slow, stop, breathe, look around. Take in all this unconventional glory.

“All of this busy won’t benefit anyone if you lose yourself in the process.” So take a nap. Call in sick. Don’t worry about what others will say. What they’ll think of your schedule, whether they’ll question your priorities. They’re not living in your body, they’re not suffering from the consequences of no sleep and all work. You are. And you’re the only one who can alter your course. So if you’re willing, follow my lead. I’m letting go of busy, I’m saying yes to substance. I’m trading a life of


hustling for a slower pace. I’m reducing the rush. Little by little, day by day. Every time I stop to admire the bougainvillea growing outside my apartment, every walk to the park just to watch the amber sun descend, every moment of awe and wonder is a beautiful middle finger in the face of my addiction. And oh, how good it feels to be on the road to recovery.

21 ----


C O M PA R I N G C L O C K S : C O M PA R I N G M E T O M E

/// WORDS BY WESLEY DUCKET T /// ILLUSTRATION BY KATHRYN SCHUYLER 23 ----


---- 24

It’s been a year since I graduated college, and nothing has gone to plan.

effortlessly render green. That should be me, I think to myself once

When I was growing up, I was always the one who was seeking an

again. And I find myself feeling bad about it, almost ashamed that I

adventure of this type or that. The desire was innate to a certain degree,

didn’t make the same choices - the right choices.

but I think the books I read as a child were what really gave my mind the legs it needed to wander. At a young age, I started reading stories

I had always heard people say stuff like, “It’s not a race or competition,”

like Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson, The

or “Just do whatever makes you happy,” but I guess I never truly

Hobbit, so on and so forth. There was a common theme that permeated

grasped the meaning of the words. It wasn’t until I labeled my life

through each plot, and I reckon it was that theme that kept drawing

decisions in terms of right or wrong that I realized where the vast

me into these worlds. Ultimately, I found that I was truly fascinated

majority of my angst originated.

and captured by the idea of uprooting from one’s homeland, and traveling into the unknown, and possibly even dangerous. Well, here

I had been framing everything in a relative scale when humanity is

I am, over a year into the “real world”, living with my parents, and

inherently trending away from relativity. For far too long, I had been

working in a part-time internship. Some adventure…

trying to create something that others would label as good—something like getting a cool new job in a cool new place after graduation—but in

“But at the same time, I could feel a small tinge of envy creeping up my spine. That was supposed to be me.”

the end, I felt like I was wasting my energy running in circles. I needed my own direction. Had I asked myself from the start what my true purpose was, and then taken action to pursue that purpose regardless of what anyone else had to say, I would not be sitting here warning others about the dangers of comparing clocks. This is the age of individuality,

I thought I would be the one to go on the road; hell, I was the only

and without it we run the risk of running with the crowd. Take it from

one in my whole friend group who even knew the name Jack Kerouac.

me, it’s a real crying shame.

But, as time unfolded, my two best friends would be the ones to get jobs on the other side of the country following graduation. Although

What does it matter if that girl on TV lives in a high rise penthouse?

my physical surroundings remained static, over the course of the next

Who cares if the guy you went to high school with lives in a basement?

couple weeks after graduation, my world began to look drastically

Maybe Miss Big Shot works 90 hours a week, and hates it; maybe

different. The emotions I felt during that period of transition are

not. Maybe Johnny down the street learned how to code on his own,

difficult to explain. I was both excited and nervous about finishing

and his grandma doesn’t charge him rent. Killer deal, right? There is

school, and I was happy for my friends who were just beginning their

no need to pit your timeline against anyone else’s, as if one is a model

journeys. But at the same time, I could feel a small tinge of envy

example that the others could only hope to live up to. When it all

creeping up my spine. That was supposed to be me.

comes to an end, I’m sure you’d rather that timeline be filled with memories of a life that you deemed worthy of living, and not one

Fast forward six months. My thumb moves mindlessly from the bottom of my phone to the top, wading through the social ocean. The lives of my friends, at twice my yearly salary, and exempt from the predispositions of familiarity, carry a rose-tinted hue that my eyes

choreographed by those you live around.


“Don’t spend your time worrying about what everyone else is doing, or how much they have to wager with. Play the table, not the person.” It’s ok to feel lost, or small, or slow at some point in your life; everyone does. Sometimes, life deals out what seems to be a bum hand, and more often than not, we toss the cards right back down and fold before the game even starts. Why? Because we don’t think it’s possible for us to compare with the other hands at the table. Surely, someone has an ace; the person sitting across from you is certainly acting like it. But what good is an ace on a cold table? Don’t spend your time worrying about what everyone else is doing, or how much they have to wager with. Play the table, not the person. Play as if you’re the only one there, and you’re guaranteed to win.

F O R FA R T O O L O N G , I HAD BEEN TRYING TO C R E AT E S O M E T H I N G T H AT O T H E R S W O U L D LABEL AS GOOD. 25 ----


---- 26

IN REGARDS TO MINIMALISM

/// WORDS BY BETSY FREEMAN /// PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETE FREEMAN (AW, BROTHER AND SISTER. PRECIOUS.)


It is true—I too have partaken in the purist Kool Aid of minimalism.

you’ve got to warn these poor onlookers of your ensuing odd behavior.

No one can be sure as to the exact origin of this state. Factors include but are not limited to: solo-hauling my life’s possessions in a backpack

Do not be fooled into thinking that minimalism is confined to

from one top floor room to another, that all-nighter of nerding out

physical possessions. No friends, minimalism is a lifestyle. True

on Marie Kondo’s revered manuscript, or maybe living in a space that

minimalism means taking the principles described above and applying

often gets confused for a closet. As it stands, here I am actually fitting

them to one’s commitments. Minimalists are “no” people. The

into this storageless scenario called my life.

minimalist calendar resembles the minimalist closet. Everything fits, no area is overwhelmed, and each commitment is chosen intentionally.

“The heart of minimalism is a constant process of absolving oneself of items that are not in nearly daily use.”

Additionally, this means that a minimalist very specifically chooses with whom to share their time. Why yes, this principle is also one of the top 10 tips of how to become a judgmental turd who never shares their time or love with anyone they don’t deem worthy. How one chooses to carry out this choosiness in terms of commitments and

Zooming out now, let’s start by describing the general condition

community varies per minimalist, and is up to discretion of character.

of minimalism. First, is the obvious minimalism on the part of possessions. Living a minimal life means only owning what you use

Gentle reader, as you are probably aware, this is not the first article

frequently and or thoroughly love. Unfortunately, this does not happen

on minimalism. Minimalism is up there with athleisure in terms of

in one decision. Rather, the heart of minimalism is a constant process

trendiness. The question remains whether this trend has inherent value

of absolving oneself of items that are not in nearly daily use and or

or if this just one more thing to pile onto the list of

items that do not, as the well-worshipped Marie Kondo would describe,

unrealistic expectations.

“spark joy.” Does the {College Sweatshirt? Sushi-shaped eraser? Flamingo Christmas lights?} get real use? If you don’t use this possession almost daily, then it had better delight your very personhood.

“Not owning much means that every item better be quality. Turns out eight crappy versions are unnecessary when one good one will do.”

“There’s simplicity in not having too much or doing too much. In that simplicity we find an opportunity to focus our values and priorities across the board.” Similar to anything else worth talking about, it’s complicated. There’s stuff to be learned from the movement. Not owning much means that every item better be quality. Turns out eight crappy versions are

Fair warning, embarking on this process runs the risk of taking over

unnecessary when one good one will do. Less duplicates means less

days upon days of turning your space, your closet, and perhaps even

buying which translates to a less waste, less debt and less consumerism

your friends’ items (some people have an open door policy, don’t judge)

(or fill in the blank of whatever other cultural ill you would like to

inside out with questions as to each item’s place in your life. Listen,

address). Also, do note an under-booked calendar means less rushing which equals less stressing. I’m going to just throw it out there—we

27 ----


---- 28

could all use a little less stress. There’s simplicity in not having too much or doing too much. In that simplicity we find an opportunity to focus our values and priorities across the board.

Due to timeless benefits in the modern realities of space and time, some flavor of minimalism is here to stay. Living spaces continue to get tighter as the mass migration to cities continues. I can relate, as I live in half a room in the city with a box and a top rung of a small closet for all my stuff. Anything breaching these tight spaces better be able to levitate or live on the sidewalk. I see and possibly trip over every item every day. As much as I would love to elicit your pity, the fact is, I’ve come to a place of thankfulness for these confines. Buying less and owning less is non-negotiable and therefore I am quite literally on top of what I own. Knowing what I own frees me up to be more creative. I constantly have an opportunity to mix and match everything everyday to keep outfits edgy, time interesting, and ideas fresh. I’m into it. Benefit number 6,047 is the decrease of waste. I have found I waste less stuff, food, time, and energy—major bonus.

“Riding this trendy wave affords the opportunity to prioritize and constantly re-assess what’s important.” I am currently working on the transition of minimalism mentality from my things to my calendar. Real talk, I rush around far more than I wish. Someday I’ll be older and wiser and have a lovely minimalist calendar. Working on it. #Dreamz.

In the end, a little more minimalism can benefit just about everyone (except the already hard-core minimalist; they need to chill and quit using apple cider vinegar for too many purposes). Riding this trendy wave affords the opportunity to prioritize and constantly re-assess what’s important. How you are living now in every hour and every decision is the reality of your life. Why not let your hours and space be centralized on what you truly desire and love?


---- 29

29 ----


---- 30

A LT E R N AT I V E A R T F O R M S : COMICS

/// WORDS & ILLUSTRATION BY KATHERINE KWONG


Time spent reading comics was intentionally limited by my

Thinking in the medium of comics changed the way I processed my

discretionary mother. To her, comics were on par with Saturday

experiences. When I drew them, I could convey my thoughts with

cartoons: fun in limited amounts but, brain draining in excess and

a lingering question on the end, or I could make the whole event a

exaggeratedly silly. Comics were “candy books” — junk food that would

joke – or both, it’s my choice. Since comics are often defined by the

ruin my appetite for more substantive reads. Despite the restriction,

clarity and simplicity of their dialogue, my first comics had way too

I gained a good grasp of irony and philosophy from Bill Watterson’s

much detail. Rarely will you see giant speech bubbles of exposition in

Calvin and Hobbes, savored life’s small triumphs with Charles Schultz’s

comics. Either you split it up or let the illustration do the talking. But,

Peanuts and enjoyed the hilarity of teenage life with Zits panels by Jerry

as with any process, I am learning to pare down to the essentials in

Scott and Jim Borgman. Comics always seemed so funny, yet pithy.

both image and writing. After all, new mediums change our context for

It wasn’t until I started reading more comics and graphic novels that

creativity. When we challenge the creative habits we’re used to, we can

I grasped the creative intensity of the medium. Comics and graphic

experience the discovery of seeing something new come to life with art.

novels are powerful because writing and illustration compliment each other so well — you get to experience the story twice. You read it and you see it.

It creates a delightful visual sense of uncertainty when moving from

“But, as with any process, I am learning to pare down to the essentials in both image and writing. “

panel to panel, discovering alongside the characters. It’s like watching a play scene by scene on your own time. Some of my recent favorites have

Since starting this process, I’ve found four mantras in my study of

included the graphic novel Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, a swell story

comics to apply to all of my art forms. First, I’ve learned to dialogue

about a shape-shifting girl and two rival knights; Lumberjanes, a comic

with my inner critic in a different way. Drawing the same picture

centered around five gals at a summer camp for hard core lady-types;

repeatedly made me laugh. Finding humor in this imperfect, original

and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, a moving memoir about her coming-

depiction of myself was a real gift. Your inner critic isn’t a terrible

of-age right after the Islamic revolution in 1980. Reading these comics

person, they just need some grace every once in awhile.

and studying their various styles made me curious about trying to draw comics for myself.

Second, I want to make sure my style has room to take risks and to develop. I have by no means found my “comic artist/illustrator/graphic

“Thinking in the medium of comics changed the way I processed my experiences.”

novelist” voice. Experimenting with comics is new to me and I change my subject matter a lot in my head. Right now, I have ideas ranging from a story called “Mop Dog,” to a forgotten cloud or my tomboy childhood. I want to use micron pens, watercolor and maybe paper cut outs. I am excited about the possibility of what’s next.

I started with what I knew: I was transitioning from living on my own in Minneapolis to living with my parents in Southern California. Plenty of material there!

“New mediums change our context for creativity.”

31 ----


---- 32


Third, clarity and consistency go a long way, but they don’t mean

Job hunting? A chance to seek humor and extend grace to my

perfection. Creating comics really frees up the writer side of me from

competitive expectations. I’m still struggling with not yet having a

unnecessary exposition. It also makes me think of moments as core

job. But, then I remember the comic I drew where in all caps I’m

elements: What is happening in this panel? What is the dominant

expressing my fear and my analysis of my own fear. It’s funny and

expression on the comic-version-of-me’s face? How can I convey that?

cringey and true and not true all at once — and only in three panels!

By holding onto your original idea, you can introduce the story step by step, drawing by drawing. You don’t have to be Stan Lee; be yourself!

Whether it’s comics you experiment with or sculpting clay and leaves, consider how a new medium can help you rediscover your

“Drawing my feelings is the surest way to a cathartic laugh. It helps me realize my problem isn’t as big as I think it is. “

creative abilities. Comics are a very accommodating medium. Grab some blank paper, your favorite pencil or pen and think about that time when someone took forever in the grocery store line or you had an epiphany eating a midnight snack: draw it. You may just find new ways to see yourself.

Finally, drawing my feelings is the surest way to a cathartic laugh. It helps me realize my problem isn’t as big as I think it is. Cleaning my room? Another chance to make someplace feel like home for now.

33 ----


---- 34


THERE’S MORE TO SEE HERE This article goes on along with another 60+ pages of Mazing. Visit Mazingmag.com to purchase (calm down, it’s cheap) and continue reading Mazing issue 3.

35 ----

Profile for Mazing Magazine

Mazing Magazine Issue 3  

Mazing magazine is vision put into practice. It's a talented group of writers, artists, and idea-makers who want to inspire our generation t...

Mazing Magazine Issue 3  

Mazing magazine is vision put into practice. It's a talented group of writers, artists, and idea-makers who want to inspire our generation t...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded