An Interview with Lizzie Ryan Illustration

Check out Lizzie Ryan Illustration at our 1st Birthday Zine Fair by clicking this link now!!

“My name is Lizzie and I’m an illustrator from the midlands currently living in Cornwall. When I’m not watching the walking dead I spend my days designing weird and totally cute characters that make me smile and I am heavily influenced by animals and children’s book illustration and stories, which you will see throughout my work. I hope that my prodcuts can put a smile on your face too.”

Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Lizzie. I studied printed textile design at Falmouth uni many many years ago. I fell out of practice and love with my craft and hadn’t really done much with it over the years until lockdown began last year.

I needed distractions and to find a hobby that I enjoyed to help with my mental health and naturally, I fell back into drawing and illustration.

I carried out daily projects, opened my Etsy shop and just started reconnecting with my long lost passion. It was hands down the best thing could have happened to me. I adore animals and these feature very heavily through out my work and I’m really loving character development and creating stories.

What do zines mean to you?

Zines are everything really aren’t they?!  I love how a zine can be ANYTHING, there are no rules to follow and as an artist you can say whatever you want and as a reader you can just get lost in anew world or new mind. The perfect gift in my humble opinion is a zine.

How did you first get started with zines?

One of the first zines I made was utter rubbish, it was collage and illustrations and the whole thing was a bit nuts..; but I had so much fun making it. I then looked at my boyfriend at the times one and he made a mini zine about a cow called moo fernley Whitt install and it had cut out vegetarian recipes In there to convince people to not eat beef…. I mean it was GENIUS. This was a guy who showed no creativity, and no interest in the arts and he made something so incredible. I am still jealous to this day, but it was his masterpiece which  made me realise that zines are incredible tools to be. Bit weird and have ALOT of fun that’s where my real love started.

Tell us about your zines.

My ugly animals zine was a reaction to an article I had read about the worlds ugliest animals. I couldn’t believe the list and disagreed with all of them on there. So I decided to make a zine to showcase them in the best light, celebrate the ugliness.

With the magic bean I wanted to do a take on a classic story but with an unlikely hero. It is basically a snail climbing a massive beanstalk to get to the most fabulous gay club where he can find like minded people.

What resources do you use to create your zines?

For the two involved in the fair I started with hand drawings and worked digitally on the iPad to create these. 

But I have made many where I have used collage, hand drawing, risograph. The beauty of this is you can make one no matter what tools you have.

Tell us about your zine-making process.

I start most projects with a simple idea. Eg what do I have to say, what do I want to draw lots of and start from there. 

I have to start by folding a piece of paper and writing front, back and the page numbers. Without my template the rest is ALWAYS a disaster.

I then make another template and sketch random ideas across it of what potential pages could be.  I do this a few times with each round getting more detailed.

If I am working digitally I scan the sketches in and then draw over it in layers. This then gets printed and folded and guaranteed I make several changes after in terms of composition. I like this hands on long winded way of doing it because i ADORE the process of making something from start to finish and physically seeing each generation of idea.

Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?

Don’t take it too seriously and speak from the heart. Pick a topic which you find fascinating or funny and just enjoy the process.

What is your favourite thing about zine culture?

Just how much everyone involved is passionate. I also love that no two collections are the same and you will ALWAYS find a zine that covers something new. Everyone has a voice.

Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?

Slimecitybook, his zines are a delight and I’m in awe

Why do you make zines?

Because I have a lot to say, I like to be silly and I love the thought of someone adding me to their collection and my stupid zine putting a smile on someone’s face.

Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?

I am currently working on two zines. One is a Classic mini 8 pageboom and the other is a type I have never been done before.

They will be cute and a little weird and I CANNOT wait to get them ready for September.

You can check out Lizzie Ryan Illustration by visiting them on their socials…

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