On the Zine Scene!

This weeks zine interview is with Amber Forrester!

I found her on etsy a few years ago and requested a zine trade for one of her 'Fight Boredom' zines and recently rediscovered her website and how much she really is involved in the Zine Scene, it is overwhelming and a really treasure of information that she has compiled and continues to. Check out the interview with Amber below :

1. Name, Location, Age.
Amber Forrester, Montréal, 25. I make a perzine called Culture Slut, I run Fight Boredom Distro and I write zine reviews.

2. What are you listening to at this moment?
My favourite album at the moment is Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs by Duchess Says, a local band that I was lucky enough to discover when I first moved to Montreal. I'm also loving Best Coast, Florence + The Machine, The Coathangers, Dum Dum Girls, and old standbys like Bikini Kill and Hole.

3. What are some of your favorite zines?
Some of my favourite perzines include Doris, Riot Wife, Nothing Rhymes, High On Burning Photographs, Motor City Kitty, List, Root and Telegram Ma'am. As far as comp zines go, I've been enjoying Femme à Barbe, Shotgun Seamstress and Lickety Split: A Smut Zine. I also like some photography zines, like Girl Photographer, and pretty much anything that includes Polaroids. The most recent zines I've read are Ship Of Fools, a diary comic by my friend Emilja and Get A Grip, a mental health zine by Sarah Tea-Rex. I'd recommend 'em both.

4. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I wish I knew! I haven't quite figured that one out yet. I've just finished up a year and a half of studying French, so I guess it's about time I go out and find a job, but I've been procrastinating on that one. I don't do well with living by other people's schedules. I might like to work in a thrift store or something, and perhaps take a course on dressmaking. But I'm easily put off by paperwork and "major" plans because I change my mind so frequently and I don't like to think about the future. I learned how to silkscreen at the Ste-Émilie Skillshare recently, so that's something that I've been devoting my time to - I'm having a lot of fun making things and coming up with ideas for future projects, like a Fight Boredom t-shirt design contest. I'm also volunteering at the Gender Advocacy Centre and working on my next zine. I wish I could just sell my silly little things and read a lot and travel.

5. Any practical tips for people who are interested in making zines?
Read as many zines as you can. This will inspire you and help you to get a feel for the kinds of things you'd like to write about on your own, as well as give you ideas on what to do and what not to do. But don't wear your influences on your sleeve - if you base your zine off of another, people will notice. Remember that first zines are rarely amazing and that's okay, they're a process and it takes some time to find your style. The only way to get better is to keep on trying. Don't compare yourself to others. Don't expect to sell a hundred zines right off the bat. Ask yourself what you would like to see in a new zine. Be honest. Don't make any apologies. Don't be afraid of criticism - let it help you become a better writer.

6. Do you read any magazines? If so which?
I have subscriptions to Bust and Broken Pencil. Though I must admit that the latter was given to me and others for free after having booked a table at last year's Canzine in Toronto. I enjoy flipping through some international fashion magazines, like Lula and others, but can't actually afford them, so I read a few fashion blogs instead. I especially like fashion blogs that are able to analyze things from a feminist and / or anti-oppressive stance. And I read Elle Québec from time to time at the library, so I can look at pretty dresses and practice my French. But there aren't really a lot of magazines out there that catch my attention - which may be part of why I began making zines in the first place.

7. What is the neatest thing that has happened to you from making zines?
My best friends are people that I met through zines, and we exchange lotsa fun snail mail. It's nice to know that I could travel all over North America, Europe and Australia and always have a place to crash. Zines have brought me on travels to Chicago, Portland and some other cool cities, and if everything goes according to plan, I may find myself at the Brighton UK Zine Fest a year from now. I've also learned a lot of information through zines that I may never have otherwise stumbled upon. And I've been recognized on the street from photos that I've posted to my blog, which is actually more awkward than anything else, but I suppose it could be filed under the category of "neat".

8. Have you ever been interested in publishing something sold at mainstream chains?
Not particularly, although I may eventually like to print something of a compilation book of a bunch of my zines, so I suppose it could be a possibility in the future. But that is barely an idea, let alone a goal. Incidentally, Fanzines, a book by Teal Triggs was released a few months back and contains an image of Culture Slut... so in some minuscule way, you can find my work and that of other zinesters at mainstream chains. But it was used without permission. You can read more about that here: www.fanzinesbytealtriggs.weebly.com.

9. Favorite format to make zines, hand-written / type-writer or / computer-typed?
They all do fine, but I'm partial to the typewriter myself. I was given one in my teens that was actually a high school graduation gift to my mother, and now I have eight. They're often used to write my zines, as well as letters and stuff. There is just something about the look of them that warms my heart. I would say that if you're going to hand-write a zine, at least try to do it neatly. As for computer-rendered text, my only pet peeve is when people go overboard with their use of fonts. I mean, I guess a zine is a zine and ultimately you can do whatever you want, but I personally don't find it very pleasing to the eye.

10. Give some random advice to my readers about anything.
Make an effort to learn things outside of traditional education. Avoid oppressive language. Write letters. Be nice. Don't be a creep.

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Fight Boredom 5
[I don't have this personal issue but I need to, 34 pages on how to fight boredom with girl love!]

Culture Slut 23
[A full color zine[rare] that is 46 pages long and affordable..unheard of. This zine includes polaroids and stories about her adventures..this is zine was also made without the help of any computers as well!]

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You can get the above zines and others on Amber's Etsy as well as on her zine distro 'Fight Boredom Distro'. Make sure you check out her blog if you want to hear about her honest opinions on zines and the scene, reviews on zines and info on upcoming events and a million other zine related things. It really is one of my favorite blogs to visit to find out about new zines!

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Thanks again to Amber for letting me interview her for my blog. If you want to check out last weeks interview with Chris check here!


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