Dublin Zine Fair Participant Interview #8

 

Today’s Zine Fair interview comes from (now) Dublin based comic artist Ceili Braidwood. Ceili is a hugely talented artist who began printing her own comics in 2010. She has traveled the globe and lived and worked on various continents.

Now after four years of pushing and improving her work, she has a wide variety of comics and stories for you to discover. From humour to horror to haikus and more. Make sure to pick up a few of her badges at the zine fair while you’re at it!

Check out Ceili’s gorgeous website, this girl likes to keep busy!!

http://sendmeletters.com

IMG0043A

1.What are zines to you? 

For me, zines are an affordable and easy way to self-publish my own comic work in places outside of the internet. As a relatively unknown cartoonist they are a great way of spreading my art and stories to new people and sharing my love of cartooning and drawing with the world.

2. What’s your first memory of zines?

I don’t think I really knew what zines were until after I had been making them myself and even then the things that I was making I never really considered to be zines even though technically they all were! Probably the first time I really connected the two was when I was in Melbourne, Australia, and I read about the Sticky Institute there, a small zine shop, hidden away under the train station, dedicated to zine publication and creation.

 
3. What was your first publication? Please describe.

It’s embarrassingly awful, thank god I don’t have any copies left, though I’m sure at least one of my friends is holding on to one to blackmail me with in the future. (If you do please don’t show me it, just hide it away forever!)  It was a mix of digital art and one or two comics that I had done at the time. This was back when I was still in college and I had no idea what I was doing. It was to be sold for my first time tabling at a convention and I left it till the very last minute. As far as I remember it was  printed one sided (So wasteful!) on a few sheets of paper from the library colour printers (It was full colour I’ll give you that!) then I spent the rest of the day running around campus searching desperately for a stapler large enough to nail it together.

Nowadays I own my own booklet stapler, I’ve learnt my lesson!
4. Why did you start making zines/self publishing?
Like I said, the first one was because I needed something to sell at my first convention, Eirtakon. I went to DCU so it was run by a lot of my friends and they managed to persuade me I was good enough to have a table of my own. So I made the zines for that, after that it was just a matter of wanting to have my work printed and, though it took me a while to get the hang of it, each new convention I did started to be a new excuse for a new zine.
5. What/who are your influences?

As I do mostly comic work my influences are a wide variety of cartoonists, from the European Hergé, Maurice Sendak and of course Asterix’s René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, to the Americans, with Bill Watterson, Craig Thompson and Jeff Smith, and on top of that a wide range of Japanese comics. Since my mother is Australian I also got my fair share of things like Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs.

Other than those, my main influence is probably all the fantasy and sci-fi books I read when I was growing up. I’m pretty sure my interest in story telling would not be nearly as intense without them!
6. What is your favourite material or method (in making your publications)?

I use ink and brush or nib to draw my comics and though I often colour them digitally I also love using water colours, markers or even coloured pencils to make my works. Printing them is another matter, While I was living in Australia I had my own good quality printer so I was able to use that and a wide variety of different paper discovered in local office supply stores to make my own hand made zines.

Now that I’m back in Ireland my options are a lot more limited so I have used a bit of outside help in printing and putting together some of my latest publications! I’m not a big fan of places like Read’s so I ended up seeking out a printer, and found my way to Gemini International Limited, not only are they very reasonably priced they’re very friendly and helpful and even hand delivered my books for me so I could make it to the Q-con convention up in Belfast without missing a day! (No I’m not being paid to advertise for them, and yes they are awesome!) So yes, my favoured method at the moment is the help of other people!
7. Do you have a favourite zine?
Mmm, my most recent favourite would have to be my friend Ken Mahon’s new release, Storm Chaser’s (Though whether it counts as a zine or not is questionable I guess?!) From my home collection I’d have to pick Frontier #2, with art by Helen Jo. Though I also have a soft spot for Zarina Liew’s Time for Tee and I love anything by Kyla Vanderklugt who does stuff like Contrary Cat and her mini con series, which includes Plea and Pledge.
8. What’s the best & worst things about making a zine?
When you’re putting them together yourself the worst thing is definitely collating. Though I’m also not too keen on tidying up the edges with a guillotine, I always seem to muck up when I’m doing that and it just makes them even messier instead! The only good thing about collating is that it’s monotonous enough that you can put on some TV show in the background and keep yourself amused as you go. (Best not to pay to much attention to the show though or you’ll end up with some pretty weirdly collated zines…)
The best part about making a zine is when you’ve done a good job and you get to see the finished piece, or preferably a huge box full of finished pieces all waiting to go out into the world and catch people’s interest!
9. How do you distribute your publications?

My main method of distribution is at conventions. I do have an online store but so far my total number of zine sales from there is a big fat 1. So yeah, most of my zines I sell in person at conventions and markets like the Dublin Zine fair! (So thanks for letting me be a part of it!)

10. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a zine?
Just do it! Haha, I feel like a lot of people have an itch to start doing something, whether it’s comics, zines, drawing or writing, and they tell everyone “Yeah I have this thing I wanna do…” but all of them seem to be waiting for some moment of inspiration, waiting till they’re suddenly masters of writing or creating or drawing, whatever it is, if you’re one of those people, you just need to stop waiting and start creating, otherwise it’ll never happen. No one cares how shit you are when you start out cause we’ve all been there. You can only get better by actually doing something so my advice is, just go and do it!