7 October 2015

Bloody Hell Zine

I'm really pleased to have published my first solo large scale print run project: Bloody Hell. Its a zine all about menstruation. This project was a lot of hard work to orchestrate on my own but in turn was really rewarding. The pieces in this zine were submitted from a variety of people who menstruate. I launched a successful crowd funding campaign (with a lot of help from friends in promoting it and getting the coverage which meant it ended up in national newspapers and featured everything from The Guardian to Cosmo). It's be a really privileged to work on this non-profit project and share some amazing stories with this zine. You can see more images here: www.soofiya.com/bloody-hell

Just a note, the remaining copies of the zine will be sold at zine fairs in and around the UK.

27 August 2015

Interview with Chella Quint & Adventures in Menstruating

This is a very special interview with someone *Top Funder Alert* who donated a massive £100 of periody goodness to help fund the printing of this zine. Now, what sort of person spends a hundred quid on a zine about periods? Turns out a badass Menstruation–expert–turned–comedy–activist does. Chella Quint is no stranger to period zines having published Adventures in Menstruating for around a decade and being the mastermind behind #periodpositive we got in touch for this exclusive interview. www.periodpostive.com

Favorite period product? I don’t have a favourite, I can’t really, I test new ones all the time and rate them for #periodpositive qualities for their advertising, packaging, and effectiveness, so I don’t want to be biased! If you are privileged enough to be able to choose between reusables and disposables, it’s great to know about both kinds so you can mix it up in a way that suits you and your menstrual needs! If you want to teach about or recommend products to others, I made up a little dance called the Menstrual Product Mambo to remind people that menstrual products aren’t just ‘pads and tampons’ but come in four types – internal, external, reusable and disposable.

Favourite Sesame Street character? Ernie. Definitely Ernie. I often cast others as the Bert to my Ernie. When I meet another Ernie, watch out. Although strictly speaking, I have a number of Bert’s traits - particularly regarding opening gift-wrap neatly and liking things to be tidy. I love Sesame Street. I talk about Sesame Street and periods for TEDx: bit.ly/periodpositive They use spoof advertising to educate too!

Do you have any good period anecdotes? Too many to choose! I collect them for my zine.  I will have to give you a set of Adventures in Menstruating zines - my favourite is issue 5, but some of my own anecdotes are in Chart Your Cycle and AiM issue 1. By the time I’d done issue 5, lots more people knew about the zine and there was less room for my own stuff, which was pretty awesome. There’s only one sad story – it’s kind of my origin story – it’s on this podcast: https://soundcloud.com/standuptragedy/edinburgh-2015-the-second-show

You're doing some pretty game-changing stuff with #periodpositive, tell us a bit more about how that got started and how it’s going? I said ‘period positive’ in a press release in 2006 when I was trying to get more stops on a zine reading and workshop tour. I was describing the workshops and said it was “queer positive, body positive, sex positive and … period positive!” And I’ve been saying it ever since. I also use the terms menstruators and non-menstruators because gender isn’t a binary – in the show I say ‘some men menstruate and some women don’t’. I’ve been using #periodpositive  on Twitter, in shows and in the zines to mean frank and open talk about periods whatever your feelings about them.  It was a natural choice for the name of my campaign and dissertation.

I even have a manifesto! Check it out at www.periodpostive.com .   

Adventures in Menstruating is your zine, which you started in 2005, how did you launch it? There have now been 10 issues: Chart Your Cycle, the Poetry/Comic split special, and AiM 1-7. I launched the zine with a reading tour in the US - my wife Sarah Thomasin (who is a performance poet) and I did poetry and readings from the zines and invited local performers to attend each show and perform themselves. They loved it so much they came to a couple more stops of the tour with us! They were great events and I’m still really close with the other people who hosted and performed with us! There’s a diary section in each zine that talks about the road show. I’m planning to do an anthology for the 10th anniversary this year and I’d love to hear from anyone who read the first printing of Chart Your Cycle in 2005 because their charts are now full!

What was it like working on it? How was the process? I always keep the same format to keep printing costs down - 24 pages, black and white, colour covers that spoof other print media like comics or pulp novels or glossy magazines, but always with the extra addition of periods somewhere on the cover! I think you had a great idea doing a fundraiser to spring for colour throughout – now you can get some more red in there on each page!!! There are sections like the diary, a comic, vintage and modern ad analysis, poems, leakage horror stories, product testing, and comic essays and fiction. The only criteria are 750 words, funny and #periodpositive! I’ve never turned away a contribution. I tend to do one every year or two but there have been some gaps - 10 zines in 10 years is pretty good though – something to be proud of, I think.

Your zine wasn't just a zine, it was so much more: you took it one step further with making it a performance, how well did that translate/what was the response?  People love its multimedia aspects, and I enjoy doing each type of media, so it’s pretty fun all round! It’s also been a lecture series, an art exhibition, a punk song, a short film, a workshop, lesson plans,and a Maker Faire stall! Audiences have responded really well to the topic in all formats, and I think all I’ve got left is podcast and video game and I’ve covered all the media! There is just so much need for menstruation in popular culture that is produced positively by artists and writers - not by corporations. Their goal is selling, my goal is entertainment and awareness raising. Activism over capitalism every time.

As for this version of the show, people love it! They even love it when I flyer them! I’m the first person to take a menstrual comedy show to Edinburgh Fringe and it’s a real privilege - the show has just started its run and audiences are already really enthusiastic - I hope it continues to be so well received.

Anything else you'd like to add? I just wanted to say that as this is the 10th anniversary of my intersectional menstruation zine, it’s incredibly cool and apt to welcome you and your zine to the period zine gang, I’m so glad you’re doing this in the UK and I have a period zine pal here (who’s also a designer! Word!). Here’s to ten years of your publication too! We are part of a much bigger worldwide tradition of independent menstrual media makers. It’s why I really wanted to support BloodyHell and #periodzine

There's only two more show's to go at Fringe, so catch them while you can.  There's even a flash blob tomorrow, so don't miss out: www.chartyourcycle.co.uk

30 July 2015

Straight Edge Zine!

As a nice little side project I'm putting together a zine on being sober and straight-edge. If you want to contribute please send stuff in here I'm looking for anything from illustrations to written pieces.

6 July 2015

Fund A Bloody Mess

I’m publishing a collaborative intersectional feminist zine about menstruation. It’s witty, disgusting, gory and bloody awesome. I've had lots of submissions everything from written pieces, drawings to an exclusive letterpress tip-in print.

I’m crowd-sourcing to help cover printing costs (its all non-profit) and would love it if you could help spread the word and pledge some £s. More info here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/bloody-hell

3 June 2015

MA Degree Show

Today I set up for our final show and handed in all my practical work for my MA. Its been a long (and tough) year but look at all those books, books, books and more books. I just have my thesis left to do over summer and that it's I'll be a Master of Books in no time.

17 May 2015


I'm putting together a zine about periods and looking contributions of all kinds such as illustrations, typography and more. You can find out more information and details on submissions here: www.soofiya.com/Bloody-Hell

10 May 2015

Takeover 2015

Yesterday, I exhibited at Takeover2015, selling a few prints and zines. It was a really great day and I met some fantastic people in the process. The highlight would have to be taking part in the Bread and Roses Book Award Art Exhibition.

More info here: soofiya.com/Tony-Tangerine

12 April 2015

Smash the State!

I recently illustrated a smashy little poster and had it risographed in lovely fluoro pink and orange from Hato Press.  I'll be selling this alongside some other snazzy risographed posters including Bowie and Henna themed prints at Alt Press and London Radical Bookfair Takeover 2015. Takeover will be full of awesome zines, prints and radical DIY goodies, its happening on May 9th from 12-7pm and can really recommend paying a visit.

Also you can vote for the Smash the State poster as part of the Guardian's 'Alternative Election Poster' call out.

8 March 2015

Backstage peek at my wardrobe

This month in Computer Art's Magazine I was featured in the 'my style' section. Choice quote: 'tacky and garish' So following on from the feature, here's a few extra snaps of my wardrobe. Including a pretentious tweed jacket, cat hoodie and tinnitus-inducing orange leopard print trainers. Enjoy!

26 January 2015

All the colours!

Colourful clothes, paper and fluoro tape inspired my current project on Zines. Here's a little preview of the mess of ugly colours which await.  

31 December 2014

Snazzy Jazzy Type

I worked on a very 80's-eesque alphabet a few weeks ago, you can see the full set and a special festive edition over in my portfolio

30 December 2014

Witch-y goodness

This witchy seance illustration is a by-product of watching a lot American Horror Story, Series 3, Coven just before Halloween.

12 October 2014

Book Design MA

In the past few weeks I started my MA in Book Design at Reading, which at times feels like both the best and stupidest decision I've ever made. There have been some really exciting lectures so far including some from Michael Tywman who, every Monday, delves into the typographic archives and brings some amazing gems to share and talk about. I snapped a few photos from the first lecture which in no way do the ephemera justice but you sort of get the idea. Oh, and on Thursday's we hit up the Museum of English Rural Life to touch books which are centuries old,  how cool is that? I was having a little read of Euclid's The Elements this past week. Aside from the historical mind-blow there's two projects on the go too, one called Complex Text, where amongst other books we have typeset War and Peace (yes, actually War and Peace). As well as a Book Jacket project with Fraser Muggeridge and David Pearson: which should be good fun. All in all a very busy few weeks ahead and equally busy year overall for this MA.

14 September 2014

Nail Art

My current form of procrastination is incarnated in jazzy nail art. Here's a small selection of my most recent time wasting.

From top to bottom: There's teal with metallic blue zig-zags, 70's riot grrrl zine themed nails, shimmery pink gradients, pink geometric patterns, shimmery gold-y pink nails, pink zig-zags, queer-femme nails, different shade of pink zig-zags, garden themed nails, indigo feminist nails, raspberry jelly nails, and finally rainbow nails.