April 2021 Updates

A few words from Katie…

I am always so thankful for our blog and Youtube videos – they are a wonderful archive of all of our adventures! And April was full of them – it was an absolute whirlwind! 

Coin-Operated Press were part of Glasgow Zine Library’s Zine Fest, which was amazing. I was proud of us for making it into that particular zine fair, knowing how notoriously difficult it is to get a much-coveted spot! That is the wonderful thing about arts moving to online platforms during lockdown – they have become much more accessible and inclusive. Long may that continue! 

I attended a couple of events hosted by the Young Producers Program and GZL. Art and Music Combined was a really interesting experience. A couple of weeks before the event, a parcel arrived at my door full of paper, gold paint, and obscure drawing tools like pom-poms, a feather, and a button! I was intrigued to see how the event would be run and learn some new techniques to bring to Coin-Operated Press. I think people are still getting to grips with hosting arts events online – especially crafting and making workshops – and I’m not sure if this particular one translated very well on an online platform. The workshop was very free-flowing. Participants were provided with the tools and a short brief for each section; a piece of music was played. We were asked to make a continuous line drawing; use unconventional materials to draw what we hear, draw sound waves…I was surprised to discover that I found this workshop quite challenging. Perhaps it would have helped had there been more of an introduction or even examples shown of what we might produce. Or perhaps I just didn’t connect as much with the music – I didn’t know a single piece of music that was played – and Grimes isn’t at all to my taste. That was the piece of music that was used in the final task. I liked that the song apparently dealt with depression and anxiety –  we were asked to draw whatever we wanted and felt when we listened to that Grimes song. I really enjoyed throwing charcoal and gold paint around for that and created some cool textures and backdrops – however, the whole song was played three times over and quite frankly I got bored. I was expecting more commentary on the psychological relevance of how art and music intertwine and feed off each other to impact mental health, but with very little interaction from the hosts, it was difficult for me to maintain much interest for the whole workshop. 

Glasgow Zine Library hosted a wonderful month of workshops, events, and zinesters and I discovered so many artists, doing such amazing work. I can’t wait to come back next year – hopefully in person!

This month, I was most proud of Coin-Operated Press for hosting our first online event – a night of music, poetry, and performance, all in aid of Food Not Bombs Dundee! It was really nice to put my events organiser hat on again, and we produced a really fun night (with only one technical hiccup!) Thank you once again to all of our incredible performers – we can’t wait to put on more events in the future. Our amazing audience raised £115 for Food Not Bombs Dundee – thank you so much!!

I needed a long nap after the show – I definitely underestimated how exhausting an online event could be! Zoom fatigue is real! 

After a few days off, we were back to work with lots of planning for May – our birthday month! We have so much exciting stuff coming up with another virtual zine-fair, and lots of zines coming your way! Our collaboration with Artificial Womb is coming your way very soon – we had so many wonderful submissions. Our Earth Zine is also on the way to the printers! Keep your eye out on our socials for all the good stuff!


A few words from Chloe…

Hey wonderful zine friends! I hope you had a wonderful April! We did so much this month in the Coin-Operated houses…

I hurt my wrist this month, which turns out to be tendonitis… so that has made working on everything just a little bit more difficult! Trust me to overwork my drawing hand! I came up with an #OppositeHandDrawingChallenge to keep me going, but this not being able to draw thing is rubbish! I’ve been doing my wrist exercises, and I have medication but everything is taking me twice as long to work on as it usually does… please send me healing vibes!

Glasgow Zine Fair was on for the whole of this month and I am so proud to have virtually tabled as Chloe Henderson and as Coin-Operated Press… and thank you all so much for your orders! We are so grateful that you stopped by and checked out our virtual table, and really appreciate the support you bring us by buying our zines!

As well as tabling, myself and Katie both participated in a bunch of the events that GZL hosted this month. I really enjoyed learning more about the Bent Bars Project in a talk hosted by the organization, and I am really keen to try and work with them (and their sister organisation Books Beyond Bars) in the future! I think it would make for a wonderful zine collaboration… keep your eyes on this space… hopefully there will be a lot more Coin-Operated collaborations in the future soon!
I also really enjoyed making a felt protest banner with Seleena Laverne Day. Seleena is fantastic artist, and she was really personable in this banner-making workshop. My stitching skills are not fantastic, but I really loved how my banner turned out in the end!

I hope we can make it to Glasgow Zine Fest next year… in person!!

Speaking of wonderful events! Thank you so much to everybody that came to our first ever online event: Coin-Operated Press Presents: An Evening With… in aid of Food Not Bombs. It went so so so well, and we raised £115 for a very worthy cause! Our performers were amazing, and I am so proud of Katie for doing such a great job as host! We were both really nervous before the event… me worrying that the tech was going to explode, and Katie anxious that she would forget how to talk! but luckily it went really smoothly! One minor tech issue, and running over time was our only issues, and we are so thankful that it went so well! I can’t wait to do events like this in the future… in person!!

This month also saw the release of our new series of videos on YouTube… we are doing zine reviews! I kicked things off with my review of Caw & Paw’s Cough Drop Circus, which you can check out here! We have many more to come and I am really looking forward to using this as an excuse to buy a lot more zines!! If you have a zine you’d like us to review please email us at coinoperatedpress@gmail.com and we’ll check it out!!

There are so many exciting things coming up next month! Thank you so much to everybody who submitted to the Earth Zine – your submissions are brilliant, and I am really enjoying the process of editing this zine. Stay tuned, as this one will be hitting the printers soon!
We are also having a lot of fun working with Artificial Womb to produce the UNAPOLOGETIC FEMINISM zine, and we can’t wait to send that off to the printers in June!
Ooo and don’t forget to apply to be a stallholder at our 1st Birthday celebration Zine Fair in May!! It’s free, virtual, and going to be so much fun! Check it out, and apply now!!

I can’t believe Coin-Operated Press has been running for a whole year! It both feels like it was not long ago that we launched, and at the same time it feels like we have been doing this forever. I am really enjoying this zine journey so far, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Until next month, much love zine friends and happy zine-making!

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