Peep Show: Leslie Perrine - Design Bureau

Leslie Perrine

1. Slug linocut; 2. Micron pen; 3. Zinester pin from Chicago Zine Fest; 4. Rock with heart on it; 5. Whale pin; 6. My business card; 7. Thread; 8. My wallet that I made; 9. Eiffel Tower picture that my friend, Jamie, made me; 10. Markers; 11. Muffs CD; 12. A pear; 13. Aurthur and the Whale (book I wrote); 14. Picture from an old kids’ book.

Leslie Perrine

Leslie Perrine

chrisforce says:

Zine Fest! Yes!

Peep Show: Leslie Perrine

Monday, June 13th, 2011

by Elizabeth Gilmore

A couple of months ago, every Xerox copier machine in Chicago was going crazy with zinesters from all over feverishly photocopying their self-published stories one by one. In this DIY sea of creatives, we applaud Leslie Perrine for offering a creative outlet to writers, illustrators, and storytellers of all kinds. As one of the founders of Chicago Zine Fest, she has fundraised, talked, showcased, and written all in the name of a great event. She may look little, but she’s got the creative power to whoop your ass.

So I’m staring at the girl who started it all eh? That’s a big undertaking, holding the zine-city of Chicago in one small, ink-covered hand and all.

Well, there was a lot of help involved in planning the Zine Fest. Also, I co-founded Chicago Zine Fest with three of my friends. This year, we had an even bigger team of six organizers, not to mention a slew of volunteers, donors, and supporters! We have been very lucky to have a lot of help and encouragement along the way. It’s definitely not just our inky fingers who have made it happen.

A lot of people don’t give the zine culture enough credit when it comes to a form of art. Care to punch one of those critics out?

It’s funny, because a lot of zine makers would probably take that as a compliment, mostly because “art” tends to have a stigma of highbrow and not [being] accessible to everyone. There’s an accessibility to zines, in that anyone can make one, and they cover a wide range of topics reaching a broad audience. There are, however, some amazingly talented zinesters that combine words, images, and content to create beautiful pieces of art. It’s one of those funny underground niches that exists basically because it doesn’t get a lot of recognition from the high-art critics.

You guys had a huge turnout for the second annual Chicago Zine Fest. How does it feel to offer such a large group of people a DIY creative space that doesn’t cost a month’s salary to rent out?

It’s awesome. The most fun thing about the fest was seeing who turned out for the events and realizing what a wide audience there is for self-publishing and DIY art. We had people from all walks of life come to the readings, exhibition, and panel discussion. It was really exciting. I also love being able to be in a building filled with people who all care about creating things. It’s creating a kind of support system to reaffirm that what we spend our time doing makes sense.

Now that you have more time on your hands, what are you looking forward to doing?

I’m looking forward to summertime biking, movies in the park, and swimming. Mostly, I am excited to have time to draw and write. I am working on a new book and have several projects I have to finish up that got pushed aside with all the planning for Chicago Zine Fest. I’ve been working on helping out at a letterpress studio in Hyde Park that I’m hoping to do more work with. The big thing is just having time. It takes a lot of time and patience to be creative.

Whats the creepiest gift you’ve ever received from someone?

A pair of slightly dirty pink slippers — luckily there was a joke involved.

If we were to stop by your apartment unannounced what would we most likely find you doing?

Probably drawing while watching something awful likeVeronica Mars on my computer. Maybe cooking food, possibly dancing around to Fleetwood Mac.

What was the last book you read?

Last graphic novel was The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier, and fiction novel was The Martian Chroniclesby Ray Bradbury. I’m currently revisiting Daniel Pinkwater’s5 Stories — sooo good.

I have to ask…how tall are you?


So there you have it…all 4’11″ of pure motivation and creative juice. So start writing your newest zine or concocting a new character plot; you’ve got about a year ’til the next Zine Fest, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Check it out here.

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