Get to Know Your Zinester: EliseBee

What was your first zine about and when was it made?

My first zine was about a cat that dressed up as a fish, hid in a school of fish, and ate all the tuna fish in the world as revenge for his owners eating all the cans of tuna in the house. (I really don’t know what happened here, haha).

Describe your most recent zine.

I’m finishing up a few new zines, my favorite is what will be called “Forgotten Dreams,” including notes people have written to themselves and then have forgotten, either because they finished, or because it became only a dream. I’ve found a few in thrift shops and a few from friends. I’m hoping tabling at Zine Fest will also introduce me to new participants in my future zines! I really want to incorporate the everyday into what I do, because small moments are the most important and charming. I’m also working on a few other zines including, “secrets from penpals,” which is just as it sounds, an “interview with someone nosey,” a small illustrated story book about someone whose nose is crooked, and another “guide to awesome dance moves”. I like to make things that are slightly cheesy, slightly nostalgic, and make people a little happier.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?

This is hard, but I’d say something that is closest to my favorite is my small family of creatures I’ve sewn and created over these past years, they’ve help me to really interact with others in a new way, since I’m usually pretty shy, and I think they help others to play, which is what I’m all about as a maker; interactivity and smiles.

Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.

Small memories and storytelling — things that are often overlooked, but make life most pleasant or worth living (like pen-pals, family, old people, smiles, shag rugs, romantic movies, dreams, etc.) and stories that make you dream or capture emotion.

Helio Oiticica and Lygia Clark -– artists of the Neoconcretismo movement back in Brazil in the 60s/70s who encouraged the audience to interact and touch, making art more accessible and tactile, and realizing the audience was key to creating. These artists are more influential in my other, more sculptural works that are small interactive people.

Dr. Seuss –- “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” was so amazing to me because it was the first book that I thought was universal, a book that everyone could understand and leave with a breath of hope and lightheartedness, embracing imagination.

What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?

When I’m not creating I work at the Long Beach Museum of Art as an art educator and museum assistant! I basically give tours, create and give workshops and answer questions for kids and adults. We have some pretty cool adult workshops and family workshops that are affordable and free! It helps me keep creating and learning about new materials and most importantly, learning about people. My favorite part is that I get to make samples for classes and I help kids to talk about art, which really means helping them to realize they have a voice and imagination. I feel really lucky to be at a place where I can embrace my love for making and teaching.

For more from EliseBee check out her Esty!

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