Dublin Zine Fair Participant Interview #12

We’re here at the Dublin Zine Fair! Here’s another interview and another reason you should head to our event today! Meet the artists,writers and poets that create these wonderful unique publications……….#12 is amazing illustrator Shelky Bean….

ShelkyBean is a visual artist working in the west of Ireland. Her digital illustrations portray the spiritual connections between humans and nature.



1:What are zines to you?

Zines are an amazing, small space where people have the freedom to do whatever they please.

2:What’s your first memory of zines?

Wandering around Dublin years ago, I stumbled across a gallery in Temple Bar. After looking at the exhibition I visited the gift shop. Next to the till was a small basket of tiny zines, covered in handmade paper. They were about daydreaming and every day events, mostly rambling sort of musings. They were a euro each. I was inspired, excited and pleasantly shocked that such a thing existed.

3:What was your first publication? Please describe…

My first publication was called “The Girl and the Bear” and was an illustrated story about unrequited love.

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4: Why did you start making zines/self publishing?

The hand-madeness of zines appeals to my crafty side. The scope of content appeals to my political/ entrapanurial side. I love the scene that revolves around the creation of these little publications, and how it is so inclusive and diverse. I thought the medium would lend itself nicely to my work, and made it affordable and accessible.

5:What/who are your influences?

It’s amazing where influences and inspiration comes from. Books, in all their forms are hugely inspirational. A recent trip to the Chester Beatty gallery blew my socks off. But I am equally moved by clever advertising, such as the promotional material for the dance production Hear Me Sing Your Song at the Project Arts Centre last month.

6:What is your favourite material or method (in making your publications)?

Material depends on the zine’s content. In my last zine, Philophobia, I used watercolor paper because it was a colouring book. I lean more towards accordion format zines because I like the idea that they can be displayed opened out, which extends the narrative, or taken apart completely.

7: Do you have a favourite zine?

I am a huge fan of Cathal Duggan and Gar Shanley’s zines/comics. They are refreshing, stunning quality and hilarious.

8: What’s the best & worst things about making a zine?

What a question! The worst first; personally, I can’t drawing a straight line with a ruler, so I find that side of things very challenging. This year, I’m not beating myself up over it – the mistakes add a certain charm (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself!) The best: having an outlet for my work is an amazing blessing. Being able to put it out there, to be seen (and hopefully taken home) and meet like minded people along the way is what it’s all about!

9: How do you distribute your publications?

Zine fairs and craft shows. I also post them out to interested customers. Once or twice I have left them in public spaces, for the devilment…

10: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a zine?

Anything goes! Start with something small and achievable. Come along to a zine fair and talk to the artists, see what it’s all about. Like with anything, if your want to do it, and your committed, you CAN do it – what have you got to lose?