The cover of the fourth and newest issue of Make Space Zine, out Friday, depicts an outstretched hand with “HERE” tattooed on the inner wrist—a simple but bold declaration of presence.
The message is appropriate for Make Space’s mission: to carve out room for female and gender-non-binary artists. Each issue profiles Seattle creators making everything from photography to hip-hop to stick-and-poke tattoos, offering an intimate peek inside their workspaces. The latest issue contains interviews with feminist punk band Mommy Long Legs, curator Sierra Stinson, and Seattle Weekly’s own GIF photographer, Sofia Lee.
Make Space is run by photographer Jazzlyn Stone and writer Caitlyn Edson. Edson and Stone met last year at Cha Cha Lounge, introduced by photographer and mutual friend Isabela Garcia (who is featured in the first issue). Over a bowl of “candy salad,” they bonded over their shared love of zines. It wasn’t long until they found themselves collaborating.
At a hefty 11˝ by 14˝, with thick, glossy pages, the zine unapologetically asserts a space of its own—a far cry from the humble, lo-fi sensibility of your typical zine. Edson tells me she’ll never forget Stone’s call from the copy store picking up their first issue, exclaiming, “It looks like a real magazine!”
Stone, who was introduced to zines through her hometown library’s massive collection in Salt Lake City, appreciates the meritocracy of the independent press. “When I was a kid, I always thought these systems were set up and couldn’t be penetrated,” she says. “As I got older, I realized that with the Internet and friends and some elbow grease, you can really just do whatever you want.”
Asked what draws her to the medium, Edson says, “We live in this computer world. [With zines], you get to touch, you get to turn pages, you get to hold it in your hands, and experience something in a way that feels very nostalgic.”
Someday Edson and Stone would like to host a permanent space where women and non-binary people can gather to make zines and art. They also dream of putting out a book. For now, they revel in the community that springs up around their release parties. Their event at the Factory this Friday will showcase the work of artists in the current issue, ranging from 3D sculptures to GIFs projected on the wall. Drinks, zines, prints, and art will be available for sale, and a mini-zine documenting the “behind the scenes” details of Make Space will also be distributed.
Edson and Stone call their release parties a “lovefest,” and Stone says that she and all her friends agree that they feel empowered afterward, like they “can do anything.” That reaction is a testament to the galvanizing power of physical media: It’s almost impossible to leaf through Make Space without feeling an itch to create something yourself. Maybe that’s why every cover features a close-up photo of a hand—to inspire readers to pick up a pen, a paintbrush, or a microphone and translate their own daydreams into a tangible space.
Make Space Zine Release Party. The Factory, 1216 10th Ave., thefactoryseattle.com. Free. All ages. 6 p.m. Fri., Aug. 26.