December 7th 2012 marks the opening of "What Are You Doing To Participate" group zine / art show In Los Angeles, CA. The show is curated and organized by Sam James Velde, Rich Jacobs and Adam Rossiter and features zines and prints spanning music, skateboarding and art culture from the 1980's til present. The show takes place at The Dilettante and will go til Jan. 7th 2013. Some of the featured contributors are:
Chrissy Piper, Tod Swank, Garry Davis, Andy Jenkins, Jocko Weyland, Mike Gitter, Mel Kadel, Jay Howell, Nina Hartmann, Travis Millard, Dirk Knibbe, Cali Dewitt / Jay Clark (FaNKULT), Thomas Stavnes (REMIO), Pez & many many more!
In anticipation of this event we are spotlighting some of the artists involved to delve more into what motivates them to participate, and today, we asked a few questions to Travis Millard.
What experience / feeling initially inspired you to make your 1st zine? How old were you?
I was 16 or 17 at an all ages show at the Rhumba Box in KCMO and saw a guy handing out zines. I asked how much and i think he asked "what can you afford?", which was most likely one dollar. I remember pouring over it and realizing that he'd printed whatever he wanted by himself and got it into my hands. The Love Garden in Lawrence, KS was also an excellent record store i used to frequent and they had an extensive zine shelf where i found my first copies of Comet Bus, Hate Comics, Ben is Dead, Bunnyhop, Crap Hound and others. A friend encouraged me to try making my own so i put together a little mini-comic and started handing them out to friends at shows, this was 1995 i think. It surprised me that people even seemed interested in it and it encouraged me to try another and just keep trying i guess.
Why do you continue to make zines, esp. in the light of Tumblr, Blogs, etc.?
Blogs are good, but I like to see it and hold it in print. My collection of zines is just more personally valuable than my collection of blog links.
What zines / artists inspired you in the beginning? What zines/artists inspire you currently?
Bob Deck did a local zine called Mass Mag, and later Micro Mag that was semi-regular and highly coveted. I started mailing stuff to Bob when i was in high school and he invited me to contribute some illustrations, which meant everything to me at the time. I've been fortunate to meet a lot of the artists that inspired me for years and continue to find new people who keep flicking the spark. It's a very long list.
Why are you participating in "What Are You Doing To Participate?" zine / art show?
When asked what you're doing to participate, you take the call.
What are you trying to convey, express, share in your zines?
I like to think of them as visual mix tapes of what I've been up to at the moment. Usually there's something kinda funny or grotesque in there, always explorative and at the root just having fun drawing and sharing it with others.
Travis' zines in the show include: "Creek Talk", "Creature Wants to Say Hi", "Pull Down the Heavy Psychic Load" & "Who's Gonna Empty the Catbox" (a collaborative with Mel Kadel)