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KUED's online series exploring creativity

The Zine with Remi Germaine

Remi Germaine grew up in an artistic family. Her dad is an art teacher and her mom has always had a hand in creative projects. Remi and her sisters grew up with the understanding that no medium was off limits. Her parents taught her that, “art is for everyone and everyone is an artist.” At home her and her twin sister would create ceramic sculptures, make relief prints and play with what seemed like an endless supply of arts and crafts tools. “I’m sure we ruined a lot of expensive pens,” admits Remi.

Today Remi has her own collection of expensive pens and markers. As a devoted pen pal and mail art enthusiast, she naturally fell into creating zines. “My love for Zines started when I got one from a pen pal. It was beautiful and simple,” says Remi. “I realized this medium is the perfect way to combine everything I love about art and writing. It gave me a chance to express myself and share personal stories.”

A zine is most often a hand-made, self-published, magazine like work that includes text and images. For many zine makers, a zine is the medium in which they express something important about themselves or their world. Not only is it a creative outlet but it’s also a way to write about personal topics. Each zine can be a little window, tactfully opened, into someone’s mind.

As a zine maker, Remi has a nice nook in the large arts and crafts room she shares with her family. In this studio, she makes zines that she mails to various fans and pen pals across the globe, everything carefully crafted including the packaging and envelopes.

Her zine style varies from hand-dyed sewn cloth to single sheets of paper that twist into a fold. When taking a closer look, a reader can see multiple layers that compose a rich background; a collage of paint, marker, watercolor, clip art and other mediums that shows a subtle quality. “I like using all sorts of mediums,” says Remi. “You don’t really have to know how to use the medium, you just play around with it and see what works and what doesn't work, and I love that part; using art supplies, but not following the rules of the art supplies.”

It wasn’t long after sending zines through the mail that Remi got courage enough to participate in a zine festival, the Alt Press Fest. A collector of zines from other artists, Remi says the zine community is a big part of why she keeps doing it. “Luckily everyone I met was incredibly supportive and encouraging,” recalls Remi. “I didn't notice before then that sharing is one reasons why zines are so amazing. The way zines and art can connect people is so special.”

To see more of Remi’s work, check out her blog Peachy Keen Press and her Facebook and Instagram.