Category Archives: art

How much it costs to make a zine

 

Making art is an expensive endeavor. Last year I started Catahoula Zine, a quarterly print publication that features eight to ten writers and artists reacting to a singular theme. Zines are the original self-publishing platforms. Anyone with access to pen and paper can make one and the beauty of zines lies in their DIY roots. However, you can also make your zine as fancy schmancy as you’d like. I like to collect all types of zines including beautiful risograph prints and ones that more closely resemble scratch paper.

I’m breaking down my expenses from my first year of zine-making in case anyone is interested in starting their own. I print with MagCloud, a print on demand service that offers high quality, perfect bound glossy publications. Depending on the pages and size, I pay between $4-$6 an issue and sell them for $8-$12. That profit doesn’t even cover my expenses though, which I’ve broken down below.

 

 

In 2016 I spent about $1,300 to print four issues, two supplementary issues, and some mini photo prints. I also attended three zine and book fests: Press Fest in Austin, New Orleans Comic and Zine Fest and the New Orleans Bookfair. You don’t have to spend as much as I did to start a zine, but prepare to fork over some cash if you plan on distributing them.

Expenses:

Shipping & postage: $162.34

Printing: $800

Business cards plus a vinyl banner for zine fests: $64

Festival fees: $68

Hotel for one night: $151

Uber in Austin: $35

Grand total: $1,280.34

Expenses not factored in:

Meals in Austin, gas, domain purchase, and monthly Adobe subscription. My true grand total is between $1,600 and $1,800.

Where I saved money:

The Austin trip was part business, part pleasure. I stayed with my sister a few nights (she lives an hour from Austin) so I saved money on hotels. I also have an Adobe student subscription, which gives me access to the programs I need (InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom) for the price of one program.

Where I could have saved money:

I definitely overspent on dog.bites, the supplementary, cheaper zine I produced specifically to sell at zine fests.  I went to Kinko’s and shelled out more than I wanted. I originally wanted to sell dog.bites for $3 a piece but had to sell them for $6 to recoup my costs. I made about $1.40 off each one sold.

I paid for tables at three zine fests but I didn’t have to. NOCAZ offered free tables to locals and New Orleans Bookfair offered a sliding scale. I could have opted for the free table but decided to donate to the cause anyway.

Three of my four first issues had contributors. I sent each writer and artist one free copy of the zine. I could have just sent a PDF of the issue but since I’m not paying anyone I thought a print copy was only fair. This year I’m only accepting submissions for two of the four issues in an effort to save money on shipping and printing costs.

Where I made money:

The fests were my real money makers. I made between $130-$180 per day at NOCAZ (two days) and over $100 at the New Orleans Bookfair. I made $55 at Press Fest. It was the least lucrative fest but I met several people and it was an excuse to visit my sister. I also made money selling issues on the retail level (after the store takes a cut) and directly to readers at two issue launch parties, a pop up art gallery I hosted, and through the Catahoula website.

 

I hope this was somewhat helpful and the financial aspect of zine-making isn’t too discouraging. Money aside, I was introduced to lots of great people doing interesting things and really feel privileged that people trust me to publish their work. Drop a line at hello@catahoulazine.com if you want to chat about zines via email or IRL.

 

 

 

The Houzenga mobile: my art gallery on wheels

Brent HouzengaBrent Houzenga IMG_1480

 

I’ve owned three cars in my lifetime: a hand-me-down Delta 88 Oldsmobile (age 18-19), a Honda Civic (age 19-23) that made me feel like a bad ass after driving a land yacht, and my Honda CRV, which I bought when I was 23, paid off when I was 27 and, to paraphrase Jay Z, If you’re having car problems I feel bad for you son, I’ve got a ’99 Honda and that bitch still runs. 

My ol’ gal wasn’t looking so good last year. Under the hood she was still a beauty, but her cherry red paint job didn’t have much pep left. Now, thanks to Brent Houzenga, she turns heads wherever she goes.

Brent and I met about four years ago and reconnected when we ran into each other at UNO.  He had just enrolled in the Master’s of Fine Arts program and I was chugging away at bachelor degrees in English and film and theatre. I knew Brent painted cars with his signature bold, stenciled artwork, but when he put out a call for cars for his Fossil Fueled project last year I couldn’t sign up fast enough. Neither could my husband; we now have his and hers Houzenga mobiles. Our neighbors must think we are nuts.

Driving an art car is really fun. The best part is catching a glimpse of joy in an innocent bystanders face, the occasional thumbs up at a red light, or the high school kids taking selfies with my car. I like to think I’m spreading a little happiness everywhere I go. There are, however, a few downsides to driving such a splashy vehicle. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to chat with strangers about my art gallery on wheels. My vehicle is also not that professional. Whenever I put my reporter pants on (or skirt, in most cases) I opt to park a block or two away so my interviewee won’t see me getting in or out my car. That said, I live in New Orleans, so the few times an interviewee has seen my car they thought it was cool. That said, I’m glad I tricked out my ol’ gal; she’s easy to find in a parking lot and hell, why not?

 

 

You’re invited: Catahoula issue two launch party

William Seward Bonnie

art by William Seward Bonnie

 

Come for the zines, stay for the pretzel plate. The second issue of Catahoula is here! The Spring Issue features over 40 pages of art, photography, poetry and prose by artists and writers from New Orleans and beyond. The theme, “wander,” stretches the meaning of the word.  Poems and essays cover everything from daydreaming, being homeless, the exploration of one’s self, travel writing to seeing one’s hometown with a fresh set of eyes.

I decided to throw a launch party as an excuse to get together over cocktails. It gets lonely sitting at home editing copy with just a laptop and a few cats.  My friends at Sarsaparilla were gracious enough to invite us into their space. In case you’ve never been, Sarsaparilla is a weekly pop-up bar serving affordable craft cocktails and small plates every Tuesday inside Dante’s Kitchen. The mood is come-as-you-are; enjoy live music and board games while you stuff your face. Oh yeah, I’ll also have zines available for sale.

 

Catahoula Issue Two Launch Party

Sarsaparilla (inside Dante’s Kitchen)

736 Dante St.

Tuesday April 19 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

RSVP here on Facebook

John Preble’s Self-Made World on The Toast

The Abita Mystery House is one of those places that just stayed with me after my initial visit. I’ve written about it here and again for the Driftwood back in the fall. Just when I thought I was done writing about the place, one of my professors suggested I interview John Preble, the owner, for a more in depth essay. So I did.
 “John Preble’s Self-Made World” is the result of two trips to the Abita Mystery House and several hours spent talking to Preble about how the Abita Mystery House came to be, his thoughts on folk art and museums, and the town of Abita Springs itself. I’m so proud to announce that my essay was selected by Roxane Gay for publication on The Butter, a subsidiary of The Toast. Read it by clicking here then go experience the Abita Mystery House for yourself. 

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Exhibit Be



Short story: Street artists from across the globe transformed an abandoned housing complex into a powerful art gallery.



Long story: I had the privilege of touring Project Be, an off-limits street art gallery, last summer. The makeshift space was like an “at your own risk” art crawl: broken glass, missing stairs, crumbled sheet rock, and other debris littered the dilapidated Florida housing project out in New Orleans East. A tour of Brandan Odums’ -and several other artists- work meant you had trespass. The local media jumped on the story, more people started to show up to view the art, and eventually Project Be was shuttered for good. 

Odums found a new space in Algiers and this time the property owner granted him permission to create “the largest single-site street art exhibit in the American South,” according to Odums’ website.

Exhibit Be attracted hundreds of people this past Saturday. It was only open to the public for one day, but rumors circulated that future events might take place. A part of Prospect 3, panel discussions, DJs, and food trucks added to the party atmosphere while still acknowledging the solemn subject matter of some of the art. The work was diverse as portraits of civil rights leaders, slain New Orleans children,  to giant carrots, dinosaurs, and more abstract figures.

The building is slated for demolition in the near future, which made the experience even richer. Exhibit Be exists to remember the past but only exists in the moment.

You can view more photos from the event on the Slow Southern Style Facebook page. It’s also worth your time to scroll #ExhibitBe on Instagram. 

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Worth The Drive: Abita Mystery House


Unexpected free time this summer has afforded me the luxury of taking random day trips from New Orleans. My first stop? A trip across Lake Pontchartrain to Abita Mystery House. Tucked away in the charming town of Abita Springs, this quirky museum houses owner John Preble’s impressive collection of tchotckes, vintage arcade games, painstakingly detailed dioramas and taxidermy that looks straight out of Rob Zombies’ House of a Thousand Corpses. I mean that in the best way possible.

 I was downright giddy when I first drove up to the museum. My friend Rebecca described it as a “Pee Wee’s Southern Folksy Playhouse” and I couldn’t agree with her more. The collection is split up among a vintage gas station, a 100 year old Creole cottage and the House of Shards. Each building contains an amalgam of the ordinary, the odd and the downright delightful. Make sure to allow yourself a few hours to explore. While the Abita Mystery House is small, it’s chocked full of wonders. Photos are highly encouraged, so bring your camera and a roll of quarters if you want to fiddle around with the arcade games. 

The Abita Mystery House is definitely worth the hour drive from New Orleans and the three dollar admission fee. 



Abita Mystery House     
22275 Hwy 36 
Abita Springs
 Louisiana 70420 
985-892-2624


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Help Send Eklektik Ekhos To Nepal

Douriean Fletcher of Eklektik Ekhos has been invited to teach with an arts organization, Waters From Heaven, in Nepal this October. To help pay for the cost of the trip, including art supplies, she’s selling special tank tops to help raise funds on her website. Styles are available for both men and women. Pre-order yours by July 30th, knowing that you’ll be helping a talented artist share her craft with those in need.  

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Treat Yo’Self Trunk Show

I can’t think of a better marriage than handmade jewelry and folk art, can you? Jupiter Lala and Rebecca Rebouche are teaming up this Friday for a special trunk show at Rebouche’s charming studio, The Beauty Shop.

In addition to the whimsical mixed media art and painstakingly detailed jewelry, there will be king cake, bubbly, and handmade paper fortunetellers.

Read up about Rebecca Rebouche via my Uptown Messenger article from this past summer, or head over to the Facebook event page to RSVP.

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PROPAGANDA at the New Orleans Bookfair & Media Expo

I’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ happening. Along with my project partners, I’m debuting an exciting new venture I’m involved in at the New Orleans Bookfair & Media Expo today. Find out more about the expo via my Uptown Messenger article (yea, I’m double dipping in the self promotion) and I’ll see you between 11am-6pm today. Can’t make it out? Don’t worry, all will be revealed soon.

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Cocktail as Art Competition at L’Entrepot Gallery


FREE DRINKS

How’s that for an attention grabber? While I don’t condone attending events just got get good n’ liquored up on someone else’s dime, Bombay Sapphire needs to borrow your taste buds to help select the official cocktail for Art for Art’s Sake. Might as well heed the call, right?


A panel of five New Orleans bartenders will be concocting a signature cocktail, which will then be voted on by the event attendees. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served up from Carmo Cafe and door prizes too.  Gin ain’t your thing? There will also be a cash bar for other liquor and non-alcoholic drinks. Swing by L’Entrepot Gallery this Saturday from 6-9pm.


For more info or to RSVP check out the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/104407079714465/


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