My first zine that I created embraces the concept of body positivity. I wanted my first zine to be about something that I've been struggling with my entire life. I wanted it to be a safe space for me to love myself. I still struggle sometimes to love myself unconditionally but, my art is always there to remind me of my process. I just hope that it also helps other womxn with their journey to loving their bodies.
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I actually started making zines at the beginning of 2018. I have done my art for about 9 years but, I was always doubting my art. That's why it took so long for me to actually put it together in a zine. My students are really what pushed me over the edge, in terms of making zines. I had support from my friends and family but, I still felt this doubt. After working with some of my students I realized how early on we start doubting ourselves. If I was going to tell my students to voice their stories/emotions/trauma then I have to do so as well. I needed to be an example for my students and let me tell you, it has paid off.
Yes, zines are important when we talk about cultural identity. As a Salvadoran American it is very hard to find spaces/well-known artists/events/activists that speak and hold space for the Salvadoran experience. A lot of spaces that are meant for "all Latinxs" end up centering the Mexican American experience. Often times Centro Americanos are excluded from the conversation when we talk about social issues. I think that zines are one way we can provide space for different cultural identities without silencing each other. Your zine is your own and however you want to speak on your cultural identity is up to you. That is a very beautiful and powerful tool to have.
Just start. Start with one drawing/poem or whatever art form you choose and take your time on making the next one. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to create a zine. Especially if you don't know where to start and you doubt your art work. Take a deep breath and create one piece at a time. Don't worry about a theme or "signature look". That comes later. For now just let your heart explain itself. The rest will fall into place.
I am still very new at being a zinester. I don't have a large following. It took me forever to even create my first zine and I'm still learning about my own creative mind. But, one important thing I want people to know is that ALL of my art is created with love. All of my art comes from some type of emotion that I went through. The pain, the confusion, the sadness, the happiness, and the process of self love. My art/zines have helped me through so much and I hope that it helps someone else start/continue in their own path of healing.