Like a punk zine, but carefully rendered.
Like a graphic novel without linear narrative.
Like a dream journal of invented fantasies.
Like a spell book without instructions.
How This Blog Will Work
I’ll save my essays for finished pieces and announcements of new projects. For day to day progress shots and sneak peeks of long projects, find me on Instagram @evviemarin.
I don’t know exactly how often I’ll post here, but I’m aiming for monthly. I’m starting off with more frequent posts to get the ball rolling and launch the zine, but it’ll steady out from there. My target range is 10-15 articles per year.
Subscribe on the sidebar to get the email or RSS feed so you never miss a post. Sign up for my newsletter to get updates on my work and a monthly mini-post just for subscribers. March’s illustration letter will go out sometime between the 23rd and 28th.
Illustration & Esoterica
My approach to spiritual material on both blogs is secular to interfaith. While some of my material is spiritual and draws on folkloric and occult imagery, I don’t have a religious agenda. While I have no patience with intolerance, I have nothing against organized religions practiced with tolerance and respect for other groups. I’m neither for nor against religion.
My own world-views are animist and agnostic. I come from a Catholic background that never spoke to me, largely for political/feminist reasons. I love story, mythology, and mystery, and I have an artistic and academic fascination with the human religious impulse, even when skepticism or personal politics keep me from engaging in it fully.
How This Zine Will Work
I hope to release two editions per year. Some volumes, like this one, will be loosely-themed collections of stand-alone drawings, and others will tell a story, like a graphic novelette or a picture book. Vol. 2 falls into the latter category, and is already written. (I even know the title, but I’m not telling yet!) That should come out around late summer, early fall.
This project has to start out as an ezine. I’d love to do printed booklets, but printing and collating is expensive and time-consuming at 44 pages, even in black and white. If the ebooks move, I can justify a small print run. (If the printed zines move I might even think about color!)
For now, you can get the PDF ebooks on Etsy for $5 each. I love the open sharing of zine culture, and I want this project to be as accessible as possible, but I also need to charge something for my work to be able to keep doing it. Each 8.5 x 11” sheet (2 booklet pages) takes 4-12 hours to draw and ink, and that’s not counting time spent writing, scanning, editing, and formatting, or cost of supplies! My compromise is to set the full ebooks at $5, but share excerpts from each for free on the blog. If I do a print run, the pricing will depend on costs and time, but I’ll try to keep it under $10.
A couple panels from each volume will be available in my shop as art prints. I order prints in batches, and I’m well stocked at the moment, so I’ve put up The Hanged Cat and Map of A Retired World View as downloadable print-at-home files. (The ebooks are formatted at 72 dpi to read on screen, and won’t print great. The print files are hi-res for making crisp and snazzy wall art.)
If you love this project and want to pay more than $5 to speed up the voyage to printed and color editions, you can donate through Paypal, or buy yourself something nice from the shop. You can also support the project for free by sharing links on social media or telling a friend you think will like it. Your support goes right back into the work, and I appreciate it so much. Thank you!
Dystopian Pre-Apocaylptic Present
In high school and college, I used to keep these illustrated sketchbook diaries that acted as a catch-all for daily observations, drawing practice, and the heaps of emo garbage I couldn’t hold in my mind and body. I was training as a painter and set designer, but I spent hours on these books whenever I could steal downtime, and I started working out my voice as an illustrator there.
My sketch-diary practice fizzled out in my twenties, and I haven’t missed it until recently. This project feels like a throw-back to those days, but kicked up a few levels. I’ve been looking back to my student work lately, and feeling drawn to pick certain threads back up that I dropped nearly a decade ago. Haven’t figured out why yet, it just feels like what to do.
The title, Stars & Dirt, comes from my tendency to add stars or dirt to every other drawing. It’s an old doodling habit—mindless, meditative fill that makes satisfying textures—but it’s symbolic, too. It’s about reaching down and back as much as we reach up and forward, and looking at the detailed, microscopic picture as much as we look at the vast and dizzying big-picture stuff. It’s about inhabiting the space between the muck and the sky, and touching both. It’s about dreams of floating in space, then looking down and seeing through the ground, through layers and layers of silt and bones and hidden things.
The sub-title, Dystopian Pre-Apocalyptic Present, comes from a recent conversation I had with my sister about how the glut of futuristic post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction on the market today catches and reflects the spirit of our times. She said something about this year feeling like a post-apocalyptic future, and I said “yeah, cause it’s the pre-apocalyptic present.” The Doomsday Clock’s at 2 minutes to midnight.
I don’t love that clock metaphor. It makes the closing of that gap between 11:58 and midnight feel inevitable. There are meditations throughout the zine on apocalyptica and our attraction to destruction and doomsday mythology.
The little “Land for Sale” picture is based directly on something I saw years ago, driving through a bunch of small towns in Massachusetts. There was a hand-painted sign that said “Land for Sale” sticking out of a pile of junk on this little dirt lot, not much bigger than a traffic island, surrounded by roads on all sides. Seemed to fit the theme.
We say listening is more important than speaking or asking, and we say it so often it’s trite even if it’s true. Asking matters, but there has to be stillness and space for receptivity in aftermath of the asking.
The winged stars guy is a night wind spirit—a scrap of a Zeit Geist. They bring tidings you can only hear when you shush up.
Thanks for reading, and be well!