Laura, Lucy and Becky from the volunteer Zine team, talk us through their creative process…
"Arnolfini are keen to encourage volunteers to express their own creativity and share what they do beyond the gallery walls. There was a call out made to create a fanzine; a small handmade magazine that celebrates a particular cause or community. Two editors - Lucy and Laura were taken on, as well as a designer, Becky, to create the Zine. We understood the commitment required and have devoted much of our spare time and energy into what has become an exciting and valuable outlet.
Arnolfini is currently supported by over 60 volunteers whose interests span a wide range of creative disciplines. To get started we did an open call for submissions for artwork in all forms and received an enthusiastic response. We continue to ask for content from the volunteers in this format up to three weeks before printing.
Gathering inspiration from a selection of existing Zines, taking in their layout and design we began to discuss how ours would visually look. Becky worked on our logo design which is an ambigram that reads 'zine' one way up and 'fini' the other. She has also consciously worked on displaying the content in a way that not only upheld the integrity of the work but also gave Arnolfini zine its own feel.
Deciding on content
What is always a pleasure is how the issues seem to organically take shape based on the content we receive. For example, with our first call out a large number of submissions happened to be various interpretations of people; in drawings, photographs, even in the written form. This then sparked the idea to set a thematic guideline for submissions towards each Zine. The trio of themes so far being People, Objects and now Places.
We felt the effort needed to produce a high quality zine required organisation and the ability to think flexibly and creatively. Our own personal skills also allowed for effective and direct communication between contributors and professionals. This helped build even more of a supportive connection with our volunteer coordinators; Lucy and Mason, who have played a large role in making us feel like an integral part of the institute.
Expectations vs reality
From the outset we were especially conscious of Arnolfini's reputation within Bristol's cultural scene. What was most important with designing and editing each issue was ensuring that the artists' sense of ownership over their work was not marred by our own personal vision.
We have developed new skills and indeed grown in confidence throughout our time leading the publication. We have been both surprised and humbled by the warm response from the public and our Arnolfini colleagues. After the success of the initial issue, two or three reprints later, we felt encouraged and motivated to refine and improve. The second issue is reflective of those efforts and indeed in our third issue we have commissioned work. This will elevate the standard and offer our readership a personable feel to the organisation."
Laura Roberts has volunteered at Arnolfini for Richard Long: TIME AND SPACE and Vertigo Sea. She spends most of her time cooking, painting and making the occasionally flat lay for her blog- theperfectblush.com
Lucy Dreznin is a Bristol-based theatre maker and drama teacher, who enjoys talking to new people about all things arts-related. She has been volunteering with Arnolfini since September 2015, again,invigilating for Richard Long: TIME AND SPACE and Vertigo Sea.
Becky Williams is a Fine Art graduate with an interest in book arts and book design. When she's not designing the Zine or volunteering in the galleries, she works as a barista and draws pictures of monsters. beckyrwilliams.tumblr.com
The Zine is supported by Arnolfini and is available online via the volunteering opportunities page here.
Pick up your own copy of the latest issue at Arnolfini Box Office, Bookshop and Café Bar.