What was your first zine about and when was it made?
Theresa Knopf: As a collective we have several Artists who have been collecting and making zines since they were very young, and others who have only collaborated on group zines and are publishing their first solo publication specifically for LA Zine Fest.
David Matheke: The first zine I ever made was called “Reginald, the Talking Toilet.” It was about a public toilet with a consciousness. People loved to shit into his mouth. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old when I made that.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?
TK: Our Artists have put out some great zines whose subjects range from humor, poetry, social awareness, Fine Art, and CATS!! It’s so hard to pick a favorite!
DM: “Hands Petting Cats and Other Haikus by David Lucien Matheke.” It’s volume 1 in an ongoing series I am doing. They are blind contour drawings and cute little doodles of my hands and my cats paired with bleak, depressive haiku. Volume 2 will be available at zine fest this year. Of all zine-related things I’ve ever made, my favorite thing is progress.
Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.
TK: We all met as college students and through mutual friends. The experiences we had together in those formative years has been a huge influence. The professors, fellow students, and time spent working side-by-side in the studio has enhanced all of our work and inspired us to push boundaries and take chances. Everyone in the 429 collective is influenced by one another. As a group we find time to meet and critique each other’s Art work and motivate each other to do things outside of our comfort zone.
We are also influenced by Los Angeles herself. The diversity of the urban center all the way out to the outer suburbs, mountains, valleys, oceans… Without this love for the city, I don’t know how a group as diverse as 429 could have formed. Each Artist in 429 is very different from the next, but we all share a love of the Los Angeles Art Scene because it is as diverse and welcoming to honest artistic experience as we strive to be.
DM: I am a noise artist. That influences all my other art. I approach all my art the same way as I approach recording and performing noise.
My cats are one of the most important features in my life. They contribute hair to all my artwork.
DIY cassette label culture and zines that my friends have made are also a huge influence to me. I have to mention my friend Dan Copleland, who does “thistown’sdrunk” is an amazing series that I like to keep up with. I just love holding hand made, limited edition art in my hands. Seeing the artist’s hand and feeling the residual energy is very important to me.
What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?
TK: When not creating, we meet for coffee, go to gallery openings, and watch movies together. All of these experiences have helped us to form strong friendships and trust one another. This group finds ways to feed the Artistic spirit and create a network of support when anyone needs it. Even when we are socializing we always find ways to talk about Art and inspiration, and ultimately helps nurture our studio practice.
DM: Think about creating. Sleep. Cuddle my cats. Hang out with my wife. Eat vegetables. These things all help my artistic practice. Although, if I go too long without creating something (a few days) I start to get really, aggressively irritable and depressed.