Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself. : Hi, my name is Katherine Leung. I live in California. By day, I'm a middle school art teacher. By night, I am a zinester. I curate Canto Cutie zine. It is about the Cantonese diaspora.
What do zines mean to you? : Zines are an awesome tool for writers and artists to say what they want to say and publish on their own terms. That's why I really love reading zines and creating zines because within them you can see the autonomy the writer and artist has, and you get a lot more honest work when you're reading and creating.
How did you first get started with zines? : I first got started with zines when I made my first zine called Dead Dads Club. I just wanted to see Literature and art related to that topic because I had lost my dad at a young age. I was interested in that topic because I wanted to see art and literature that didn't have to do with therapy like what if we can just explore this theme without being in like a counseling group. And so that's how I came up with the zine. It is an art and literature zine. And I ran a short call for submissions. I ended up receiving work from people all over the world, made new friends, made all sorts of connections I never thought I would. And then I've had two volumes of Dead Dad Club and I've also started my zineI work mostly on now - Canto Cutie.
Tell us about your zines.: So my zine is called Canto Cutie and it's about the Cantonese diaspora. Cantonese is a linguistic minority in southern China, but you can find the diaspora in Hong Kong, Singapore, all around the world, including the US and UK. And Volume one of Canto Cutie was released July of 2020 and features the work of over 10 artists and writers all around the world. The cover artist's name is Tsz Kam and they're based in Austin, Texas. Volume two was released February of 2021 and features the work of over 15 artists all around the world. It also it has literature, poetry, short stories, it has artwork and interviews... and Volume three is coming out summer of 2021.
What resources do you use to create your zines?: So three resources that I want to share about is three computer programs. The first is called Swift Publisher. It is a program that's similar to InDesign. It's for Macs only, its really cheap and published by an indie company and I created my first zines on that program. Another program I recommend is Affinity Publisher. Again, it's an InDesign kind of similar program but made for both Windows and Mac. And the third program I want to talk about is Canva, which is a web based graphic design program. I have experience working on it and it makes it really easy to share with your friends and like edit together. It's kind of similar to Google Docs in that way.
Tell us about your zine-making process. : When I'm making a zine, I first start with a call for submissions, and after I collect the submissions, I see if there's any themes that emerge from the submissions. I also think they're artists or writers that really stick out to me as being really prolific or having interesting things to say. And I reach out to them for an interview. Me or my partner, Tsz Kam, we will reach out to them and do an interview based off of what they want to talk about, how they want to share their work and how we together think that their work could best be honored in our zine.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers? : My advice for newbies zine makers is anything goes. You can make a scene about literally anything and there will be an audience for it and make something that you wish existed. I started Canto Cutie because there weren't zines or that many art or literature publications about the Cantonese diaspora in English. So that's why I made my zine. And if you think about what you wish existed, your little corner of the universe - fill those gaps, you know, make a zine that you wish existed because there will be people who wish that that zine exists and will be so thankful that you could make that space.