Get to Know Your Zinester: Rad Cat Press

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

My first zine was written for my mom and about sustainability. In 2010 she wondered how she could live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, so I began pouring my brain out about it and eventually formed over 200 suggestions I had collected over the years on the topic.

Describe your most recent zine.

The 5th edition of a guide to coping with depression and anxiety has been my latest, largest, and most difficult project. Mental Wellness for Everyone is fully illustrated and covers a broad overview of coping with depression and anxiety including activities to do, medicines to ingest, nutrients to fortify, foods to eat, and thoughts to think. Written from personal experience and scientific research, readers learn about what increases the potential of experiencing depression, common triggers that cause depressive episodes, and forming and deforming habits. Special
sections include coping techniques for mothers, teenagers, and activists, as well as a mental wellness checklist and positivity reminders.

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

I don’t draw so much anymore with how time consuming zine writing is, but my favorite pieces of work have always been the drawing collaborations I sometimes make with others. For me this is a fun way to connect with another artist and together build something memorable.

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

1) Living in the Lorax Manner, a radical and communal household, introduced me to zines as well as informed me about many of the subjects I write about. There I also noticed how alienating radical culture can be. Today I do my best to spread ‘radical ideas’ by writing and aesthetically designing my zines in such a way that is accessible by both
radical and more mainstream audiences.

2) My introversion lead me to dislike working with activist groups, but I still wanted to help change the world around me. With zines I can make my own schedule and work alone to my heart’s content, though I’m beginning to realize I need a little more balance between making zines and spending time with others!

3) The people who read, edit, contribute, and comment on my work influence me by giving me a reason to keep going. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing ever again, but the feedback I receive always makes me want to finish, update or start a new piece. Without the positive support from those around me, I would never have completed anything!

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

While I’m not creating I socialize, hike or camp, dream, ride my bicycle, garden, read books and scientific articles, make lists, think too much, help people with their confusing lives, try to figure out my own confusing life, watch interesting films and anime, meditate, and fix bicycles or the house I’m living in. The breaks I take from creating tend to strengthen the mediums I work with because I discover new ideas of what to write or how to solve a problem.

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