Dublin Zine Fair Participant Interview #13

We’re delighted to have Belfast based designer Louise Browne with us today! The Dublin Zine Fair is open to anyone who has self published material,distros and artist books. Next years bookings will go online two months in advance of the 2015 Zine Fair. Join our mailing list to keep informed of next years dates and when to book….

Louise Browne
Louise is a designer currently working and living in Belfast. She enjoys holidays, doodles, sharks, camping, running and one day hopes to make zines made about all of these things. The Sharkive, now on issue 2, is a submission-based zine filled with all sorts of sharky wonders.


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1.What are zines to you?
A lovely way to get out all the crazy ideas and things that sometimes you don’t feel you can tell people out loud. I work in an agency by day so it’s lovely to be able to make something that ends up exactly the way I want it to be – no clients, no advertisers and no sales people to please. Only the lovely readers and myself.

2. What’s your first memory of zines?
I remember making a lot of silly flick-books at school, usually of people walking up hills and sometimes doing rude things. I’m not really sure if this counts…

3. What was your first publication? Please describe.
I’m pretty new to the zine world, I’ve worked on consumer magazines so have lots of publications in that sense, but my first issue of The Sharkive was my first real hand-made publication. The Sharkive is a submission-based zine, a collection of everything and anything sharky. Stories, doodles, puzzles – anything goes. Issue 1 had a lino-printed cover, issue 2 is currently in production – there are plans a-foot for a limited edition cover.

4. Why did you start making zines/self publishing?
I started making zines last year so I’m pretty new to the zine-scene. I have a notebook full of ideas for future publications, at this stage I’m hoping at least a few of them will make it down to the 2014 Dublin Zine Fair!

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5. What/who are your influences?
My influences include lots of magazines – I’m a sucker for a beautiful magazine cover. I love Monocle Mediterraneo, Flamingo magazine, We Are Here and I also love to get my hands on as many newspaper supplements as I can. I’ve recently subscribed to Stack Magazines – they send out a different independent magazine each month, it’s a great way to see what people are doing and see magazines you might never have otherwise.
Also – when I’m on holiday I always pick up and bring home lots of lovely fold-y things, colours, nice stock, printed goodies, magazines and newspapers and keep these for inspiration.

6. What is your favourite material or method (in making your publications)?
I loved lino-printing my covers onto coloured card for The Sharkive – issue 1. It gave it a finish that just printing it off couldn’t match. The best part still has to be seeing the finished product and see peoples faces when they find their submission in there.

7. Do you have a favourite zine?
I do love Beards, Beards, Beards by Linda Coulter. It’s filled with beards – and I love beards.

8. What’s the best & worst things about making a zine?
The best is definitely seeing the finished product and also that you can go from an idea to a finished product in hardly any time at all. You just need to stop procrastinating and get started. The worst might be faffing like crazy to get them all finished at the last minute – but that’s my own fault for procrastinating too much and not starting earlier.

9. How do you distribute your publications?
I like to leave some randomly around my office, some I post to contributors who are abroad and here at the Dublin Zine Fair!

10. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a zine?
Just start. When you have an idea decide your format and away you go! Set yourself a deadline. Work to it. And don’t be afraid to show people your finished product!