“My name is Lex, my pronouns are they/them and I create zines using alias AIWS. Most of my work speaks about disability, autism, neurodiversity, being queer and non binary, but I also love creating zines about mental health, animals and personal things.”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Lex and my pronouns are they/them. I am an artist and zine maker from Lithuania, but living in Berlin, Germany at the moment. I share my home with my rescue beagle who is animal testing survivor and was used for animal experiments before coming to me.
What do zines mean to you?
For me zines are a way to share my experiences and knowledge with others in a way that feels comfortable and easy for me. Zines let me explore difficult or not that common topics as well as talk more about being disabled and autistic.
How did you first get started with zines?
When I was in primary school I already made little handmade books and magazines about animals or wrote made up stories. At that time I didn’t know anything about zines or alternative press. Only much later, as an adult who moved abroad I discovered zines and started making them. To my surprise people liked what I had to say, so I never stopped.
Tell us about your zines.
Most of my zines talk about disability, autism, neurodiversity, mental health and ableism. I often explore these topics from a very personal perspective, but sometimes add hard facts too. In addition to these topics I also love creating zines about animals where I include lots of drawings of them.
What resources do you use to create your zines?
Every zine of mine was made either in my bed, on my floor or at my desk. Often a mixture of all three. Because most of my zines are quite personal, the majority of my resources come from my memories, my notes and my surroundings. Other times I use internet to double check facts or books as references.
Tell us about your zine-making process.
Each zine is different, so the making process might be different too. Usually I sketch a lot and write the main ideas I want to convey, when I create a layout on how many pages, what size, format, etc. my zine will have and then I start working. Sometimes I create zines pretty quickly, sometimes it takes months to finish them.
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
There are no limits on how to create a zine. Every zine is unique and beautiful in its own way and every type of zine will find its readers. Just keep creating! You got this.
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
I love how open, diverse and accepting zine culture it is. There is no wrong or right way to create zines and that you find a zine on every topic.
Every time I attend zine fairs or festivals I feel like oh, these are my people! Everyone is just so welcoming. I love this warm feeling the most.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
I don’t have one favourite zine or zinister, but I would like to give a big shout out to actually autistics who create zines. It is always very interesting and often so validating to read your work.
Why do you make zines?
I make zines to get my voice and perspective heard by others as well as connect (to some extent) to others who might experience the same things. Through my work I want to contribute to making this world a little bit more inclusive, accessible and accepting.
Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?
For a while I was working on my third picture book about the fox and I hope to self publish it by the end of the year. So I’m thinking of doing a Kickstarter or similar campaign to be able to publish it.
You can check out AIWS by visiting them on their socials…