The Zines of Austin Kleon and the Collages of Yasmine Seale

Here are two similar projects that turn on the art of collaging and remixing.

First, Austin Kelon’s flock of zines.

A zine (/zi?n/ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine) is most commonly a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Usually zines are the product of a person, or of a very small group.

Last month Austin posted a tutorial on how to make an 8-page zine from a single sheet of paper. (It’s also possible to make 14-page zines too).

Since the lockdown, Austin been making a zine every day, transitioning from simple line drawings and cartoons to more sophisticated collages created from cut-up magazines, sheet music and books. They’re simple and beautiful.

Austin Kleon’s zines

I’ve seen the collaging and cut-out style in many places, but most recently in the creations of Yasmine Seale.

Yasmin is a translator from Arabic, and is currently working on a new translation of The Arabian Nights. Naturally, she was one of the first people I followed on Twitter when I launched my literary blogging project A Thousand And One Recaps, at which point I discovered her parallel project: making collages from an old copy of The Arabian Nights translated by Edward Lane, first published in 1838. She wrote about the project in an article for the Spring issue of Poetry Review.

There are loads more on Yasmine’s website and Instagram.

One thing I love about this kind of work, in both Austin and Yasmine’s iterations, is how it appears rough, random and rudimentary at first glance… while actually being incredibly difficult — and requiring a lot of practice — to do well.

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