“My name is Chloe Henderson. I am an Edinburgh-based interdisciplinary artist. I make art inspired by the natural world, mythological creatures, faerytales, nerd culture, and the radical idea that humans should be kind to every living thing. Through my illustration work, I journeyed into the world of zine-making, and I set up the company Coin-Operated Press, in 2020, with my business-partner Katie Mayes. I make zines inspired by my experiences with anxiety, love, feminism, geocaching, and cats!”
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Chloe Henderson and I am an Edinburgh-based interdisciplinary artist. I am a Masters graduate of the Birmingham School of Jewellery with Distinction in Jewellery and Related Products in 2018. I previously trained as a jeweller at The Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, and graduated with a Bachelors of Design Honours in 2014. I am an illustrator, filmmaker, zine-maker, and jeweller. I make art inspired by the natural world, mythological creatures, faerytales, nerd culture, and the radical idea that humans should be kind to every living thing. Through my illustration work, I journeyed into the world of zine-making. I set up the company Coin-Operated Press, in 2020, with my business-partner Katie Mayes, where we host workshops, run zine fairs, create educational online content, produce, publish, and distribute our own collaborative zines. In my spare time I tame unicorns and swim with mermaids.
What do zines mean to you?
Zines are a freedom to express myself in a format that is open to interpretation and accessible for everyone. I really enjoy the wide range of niche topics that zines can shine a light on, and through this, I have found my community. For me, zines are the perfect way to share information and they capture the zeitgeist of the every day.
How did you first get started with zines?
My first interaction with zines was when I submitted an illustration piece to Artificial Womb, and after receiving my own print copy of the zine I became obsessed with the medium. I started collecting zines, attending fairs, and making my own! My creativity and making skills matched up well with Katie’s art management background and after tabling at a few zine fairs together we knew we wanted to transform our talks about various art projects into a reality… and then Coin-Operated Press happened!
Tell us about your zines.
I am the editor and producer of the Coin-Operated Press zines, so if you are fan of us, you will already have seen my work!
My own zines are about anything and everything that I am intrigued by or obsess over! I love that zines allow us to talk about all the weird and wonderful things that are interesting to us, and that is exactly what I do with my own zines. I make zines on a variety of topics from feminism, geocaching, microadventures, tea, anxiety, cats, and so much more! As well as utilising the humble zine to capture and showcase my portfolio of illustrations and jewellery projects. I very much work with the philosophy that anything can become a zine!!
What resources do you use to create your zines?
My zines are a hybrid of the traditional and the digital! They are either all digital, all traditional, or a mixture of the two! For digital elements I use Photoshop, and with my hands I use a mixture of media from illustration to cut and paste to watercolour paintings and everything else in between – I use zine-making as an excuse to be experimental with the mediums I create with. I have also found the filming my process is a really useful tool. I share these videos on my YouTube in the hopes that they inspire and are insightful for others, but they are also a great learning experience for me as I get to analyse what I did when I was making, as well as being a resource I can look back on in the future to remember what I did!
Tell us about your zine-making process.
I would like to write out a beautifully aesthetic making process for you… but that is wishful thinking! My process is a bit all over the place! Usually, it starts with an idea or a theme, then there will be a little bit of planning, but most of the time I just gather my materials and get stuck into making. This can be anything from getting the watercolours out and hand-painting a full mini-zine to turning on my laptop and constructing each page in Photoshop… you’ll just have to check out my YouTube for examples of my making processes!!
Do you have any advice for newbie zine makers?
KEEP EVERYTHING! Haha if you’re going to get into zine-making you need to get yourself a big box and start saving all of the shiny pretty bits of paper that pass through your life… that sweet wrapper = a perfect zine-background… that pizza coupon shoved through your letterbox = a perfect source of text to cut and paste a zine with. Become a magpie and keep all the things! Double sided sticky tape, PVA glue, and sharpies are your new best friends. Don’t worry too much about things looking perfect, just start making. Cut things up, glue things to other things, add a dash of glitter, and try not to get too anxious about making a mess because messy zines are some of the best zines I have read!! Just start! Do the thing!
What is your favourite thing about zine culture?
I love that anything goes. Think of any random topic you are interested in and there will be a zine out there for it… and if there isn’t, zines are so accessible for anyone to make that you could be the person to make that random zine! I love the accepting nature of the community and I love the diversity that zines capture.
Do you have a favourite zine or zinester?
That’s a hard one. I think my favourite zine/zinester changes every time I order a new zine! My latest zine crush is Kate Dunn and I have just ordered a huge bundle of zines from her shop and I can’t wait for them to arrive!! I love the Queer Animals Coloring Zine and I’m really looking forward to a quiet moment where I can colour in my copy! I might be a bit biased but Midnight Zoomies Volume 1 by SquiddlyKittenArt is also AWESOME and I’d highly recommend you check it out if you are a cat fan! I should stop now… I could keep listing zines I love forever! Check out our Coin-Operated Press zine reviews on YouTube for more recommendations of cool zines to check out!
Why do you make zines?
My purpose in life is to make art and making zines is a huge part of that for me. They are expressions of creativity, mementoes of moments, bundles of feelings, captured thoughts, educational intrigues and so much more bound and stapled and stitched and I love them so much for it. Making zines has become an integral way of expressing myself in my own art, and making zines for Coin-Operated Press is our way of sharing the voices of artists who have something important to say.
Do you have any events, zine fairs, zine launches, or anything else exciting that you would like to tell us about?
For International Zine Month 2021 I will be making a zine page every single day that will result in a 32-page zine by the end of the month! Follow my socials if you want to check out the prompts list and participate yourself, or if you just want to see how I get on with the project!
You can check out Chloe Henderson by visiting them on their socials…