Category Archives: DIY

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.

 

 

 

Catahoula: Winter issue in stores now, accepting spring submissions

Defend New OrleansA little zine news for ya: Catahoula is now in stores! That’s right, you can pick up the winter issue at Defend New Orleans on Magazine St. in the Garden District or at Crescent City Comics on Freret St. The current issue features “Allons,” a story (written by yours truly) about what it was like growing up with a swamp for a backyard. Print copies are $8 (plus tax), but you can also pick up a digital copy for a measly $2 by clicking here.

What is Catahoula? A labor of love, mostly. I’ve been wanting to make a print zine for about three years, and after graduation I felt the need to tackle a new creative project.

Since the first zine only featured my words and art, I want to open the spring issue to writers and artists eager to share their own work. Interested in submitting your work? I’m looking for short stories, personal essays and poems (2,000 word max), photography and original artwork.

The theme is “wander.” From travel to day dreams, I’m leaving this wide open to interpretation. Anyone can submit; you don’t have to live in Louisiana.

Send me your best work to christy@slowsouthernstyle.com with the words “Catahoula Spring Issue” in the subject line.  Please send artwork as a JPEG or TIFF file and everything else as a Word document. Deadline is March 20.

 

Halloween: Space Age Vikings

Thanks for the picture, Daniele!

Halloween used to be a special time for me. It was all treats, with the occasional trick from a finicky sewing machine. I used to labor away on our costumes, until a few years ago. A friend told me she didn’t realize how awesome our costumes were until she saw the pictures on Facebook the next day. “It was too dark and I was too drunk to appreciate them that night,” she admitted. That comment made me realize it wasn’t worth the hours hunched over leopard print faux fur, stitching wooden beads and hand cut fabric leaves to a chest plate. Halloween has lost a little bit of its luster, unfortunately, and I don’t know how to get it back. It’s the equivalent of your parents telling you Santa isn’t real. 
This year we slapped viking costumes together using pieces that we already owned. A few last minute purchases pulled the look together; his helmet and my shell necklace tied everything together. I told myself I would be okay with going light on the costumes this year, but everything about our look bothers me. I need a headpiece, his cape and loin cloth look half assed, and we’re more Ziggy Stardust than Eric “Bloodaxe” Haraldsson. My laissez-faire attitude caught up with me; next year I’ll focus on what satisfies my creative spirit and not let other people influence my decisions as much. 

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Mardi Gras: Look ma, no pants!

Oh, Mardi Gras. It was one of the coldest and rainiest Fat Tuesdays ever, but that didn’t stop the die hard crazies from heading out, including us. Since I never take the weather into consideration when planning a costume, wool socks under wool tights under green tights under fishnets was the only way to go. I felt like a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race underneath all that hosiery. Despite how nasty it was, we managed to laissez les bon temps rouler anyway. Needless to say, I didn’t bring my camera in fear of getting it wet, so these were the only non iPhone pics we took. 
This year, I decided to make our hats. With about 12 hours total of hand stitching ( I rarely glue anything, unless sewing isn’t an option) I gave myself a bit of a break and thrifted our tops, minus some embellishments that I added. It’s always fun to play dress up, but I’m allowing myself a sweatshirt and jeans day today after freezing my toes off. Hopefully we’ll have better weather next year but hey, a little rain never stopped me from having a good time anyway. 

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Tips to get your costume together

It’s officially carnival season- are you as giddy as I am? While I’ve already got most of my costume supplies, I haven’t done a lick of sewing yet. I’m keeping it all a secret this year, but three words: orange short shorts. Want another hint? That’s what my husband is wearing. 



If you need a little help figuring out what in the hell you’re going to be for Mardi Gras, fear not. I’m sharing my tips to get your costume together at the East Bank Regional library on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00pm. From what to look out for when shopping, to a list of stores you’ll need to make it happen, consider this DIY Costume 101.  For more information check out the library’s calendar listing by clicking here or sign up on the Facebook event page. Have a question you’d like answered? Leave it in the comments below, or send it to slowsouthernstylellc@gmail.com.



Mardi Gras 2012







Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Making Mardi Gras: A Quasi DIY Part Four

Making Mardi Gras: A Quasi DIY is a four part series. Catch up and read parts one, two and three here, here, and here.

The devil is in the details, so make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to accessorize accordingly. Since the husband and I are flamingos this year, we can’t let any opportunities for glitz slip by. Some feathered eyelashes here, some sequined trim there, I always try to max out what we are wearing. The problem lies with time constraints. Without fail, every year I’m up to my eyeballs in bead work or sewing sequins, only to come up with more and more ideas for the perfect costume. Just when I think I’m getting close to finishing my creation, one more detail pops into my head. 

Be sure to check in next Friday when all will be revealed!
black & pink feather eyelashes

handmade tiny top hat
70’s collar gets a sequin trim upgrade
john waters and/or portlandia would be proud
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Making Mardi Gras: A Quasi DIY Part Three

Making Mardi Gras: A Quasi DIY is a four part series. Catch up and read parts one and two here and here.

What separates the men from the boys on Fat Tuesday are the details. Anyone can throw on a bagged costume and say they are dressed. But you wouldn’t do that, right? I’m a sucker for those important final touches, or rather a glutton for punishment. Anytime I think a costume is complete, I find one more minute embellishment that transforms it from plain to over the top. Last year, I was hand sewing tiny shells into the hairline of my husband’s wig the night before. Did anyone notice? Probably not, but when you are Poseidon, King of the Sea,  you can’t sport a pedestrian hairdo. 
This year it is all about going over the top gaudy. We’ve got more sequins and feathers than Liberace had piano keys. I like for our costumes to complement each other, but not mimic each other so I gave our flamingo hats their own personal touches.
The gal is on the left, the gentleman on the right. And kitty makes friends.

Ruffles add a feminine touch for her
A dapper bow tie for him
Minuscule millinery work is for the birds
Crumpled up homemade top hat pattern serves as stuffing

So how’s your Mardi Gras costume progressing this year? Are you almost done or haven’t even started?

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Making Mardi Gras: A Quasi DIY Part Two

If you missed Part One check it out here.

So that sequined jacket I bought for my husband might be passable for other holidays, but for Fat Tuesday it’s a downright plain piece of clothing. A good base for sure, but let’s be real- the gaudier the better for Mardi Gras is my rule.

 I initially wanted to hand sew feathers onto the lapel and front flap pockets, but after sanity set in I realized that a few factors were working against me.

1. If it rains, all of my handiwork is destroyed
2. Sewing feathers is about as fun as getting a root canal.

So I decided on a combination of fringe and marabou to add some over the top details. Remember it’s not about having to start from scratch, just make it look like you did. First up was this great fringe that I bought. Not only is it hot pink, but there are sequins in there as well! Talk about going overboard, right?

Last year I transformed a woman’s sequined blouse into a sleeveless shirt. I vowed not to run sequins through my sewing machine again this year, so my only option was to hand stitch. It’s a good skill to practice anyway. 

Marabou feathers stay put on a cord, just like a feather boa. It’s much easier to sew through the cotton cord then hand stitch individual shafts down. While the effect is different, for my purposes this was just fine. I just needed something fluffy and fun vs. elegant. And you can’t do a flamingo costume without feathers, right?


Next week: tiny top hats for plush animals

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style