Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
I am 33 years old and l originated from southern California, til I was 3. Then [I] lived in SF bay area until April 2006 in which I moved to Seattle, WA. A day in the life is I wake up and get the kiddies ready, drink coffee (it’s my fuel), go for a walk, check my computer for messages (I admit to being a full addict to MYSPACE), draw/read [and] play with my son, do some house cleaning, work on dolls/zine [and] make dinner. Well, to be quite honest, my husband comes home from work and does a lot of the cooking a cleaning.
Do you do anything else other than your zine, rag doll creations and being a mother of two (as if that were not enough)?
I am currently I writer/contributor for www.punkglobe.com, a photographer, I paint, have been a wig stylist, earned a degree in graphic arts and go to belly dancing/yoga class (not as often as I should)… I am a mother of two children (Sailor Hank 3 years-old, Darby Jane 9 years -old), a devoted wife, and a thrift store junky. Sewing, painting and zine-ing take up all of my spare time. When I had just my daughter I worked full time as a wig-stylist, had a band for 5 years called “NAG” and did a quarterly zine. When I had my son I decided to stay home with him. Instead of obsessing about a sparkle clean house, I started focusing on art in my spare time and it took off; it started with friends commissioning me to do a doll or painting and has evolved into a full exposure career. I still have a long way to go, but am on the right track.
Can you please tell our readers what your zine Oblivious Nation is about?
In 1999 I started a band called "NAG" with my now husband (yeah my 2nd marriage) Cap’n Oblivious; thus, Miss Oblivious was erected. I decided to hang up Cunt Fear and start Oblivious Nation; basically, I explain it as a self-absorbed mess including art, music and insecure social scenes.
What topics do you discuss in your zines most often?
Myself (haha), whatever band is making me excited at the time. Such regulars are and have been Dame Darcy, Veronica Lip gloss & the evil eyes, Butt Trumpet, Corey Parks, Keith Morris, Yard dogs road show, Gorilla Angreb, Ginger Coyote, Master Moth. Basically, I am documenting my life, my mishaps and my emotions.
You used to do another zine called Cunt Fear, which later became Oblivious Nation. How did the zine change (besides the name)? Are there different themes, or other things you focus on?
Yes, I started making zines in 1994. [The first one] was titled Cunt Fear under the name "Star Whore". At that time, I was with a girl for 3.5 years and it focused on me being queer in the punk scene, which wasn’t as happening as it is now. I was lucky enough to be up close and personal with some of the most influential and revolutionary woman at that time, such as Lynn Breedlove, Courtney Love, GB Jones, Ana Joy, Bikini Kill and Stone Fox…plus all the amazing spectators as myself. Well, I did the zine periodically even as I started dating boys and then I had a child (Darby Jane/ circa 1997). It was distributed in Europe, US & Canada. As usual, I was bored and wanted a new title.
Now I am a proud breeder, married to a man and am pretty obsessed with the 20’s and 30‘s era of music, fashion and lifestyle, and queer electronic punk messes. The difference between Cunt Fear and Oblivious Nation [is] just a maturity level from my writing and expression. I was 19 then and now am 33. So, of course topics vary but are just not expressed with “fucken” and “shit” as much.
Twelve years of zine making is a lot. How many issues of your zine have you published?
Well, only about 8 or so of Cunt Fear but since March 2005 I have done a zine faithfully every month, a few bi-monthly. I keep it a priority, if nothing else for my children, to see who I was and my experiences, in the future for them to pass on to theirs. All together I have made 22 zines and am currently working on 23.
Where is your zine distributed?
Ug, through me mainly. I am so bad about the distro. I fund it all on my own and have so much on my platter, that I should look into getting a willing soul to help me. I always have them on me so when I am shopping or at shows, I sell ‘em.
In Seattle, you can go to Sonic Boom in Ballard, Singles Spin Steady. Also, I am at IHEARTRUMMAGE the first Sunday of the month which is located at The Crocodile Café, also in Seattle. I sometimes have ‘em at Streetlight Records in San Jose, CA. I was sending ‘em to LA. Then, that store changed into a motorcycle part shop. There are a handful of subscribers and regulars.
Are your rag dolls’ fans the same as your zine’s fans? What kind of responses do you get from your zine’s readers?
I have surprisingly received such an enormous response from my dolls, that some of my readers have bought the dolls from seeing them in the zine. Both mediums draw a unique crowd and collector.
I make dolls that are demented and of underground icons which I have sewn dolls in the likeness of Exene, Thom Bone, Keith Morris, Duane peters/Corey Parks, Ginger Coyote, Darby Crash, Hellin Killer, Alice Bag, Dinah Cancer, Twin Peaks Characters, Geishas and salty sea creatures. If you go to my website you can see photos of these and the icons with their creations. www.paynecreations.org.
What made you decide to start your zine? How did you come up with the idea Cunt Fear and Oblivious Nation as names?
I was in the middle of the bay area revolution in the early 90’s were all of us girls wanted to be heard, to be independent and pro-active. I had always wanted to be in a band, yet it wasn’t working out for me in 91-92. So, I took photographs of everything and felt it was a great way of sharing them with everyone. At the time I started Cunt Fear (which name derives from a CRASS song), most lesbians hung out strictly with lesbians, regardless of there personal interest in fashion, music and views. I was rebelling against that in a way. Yet, [I was] angry when I felt like the token queer friend to some in the straight world…which I was also rebelling against.
When you were still using Cunt Fear as a name for your zine, did you have a more female focus for your zine? Has this changed?
I have always had an equal amount of each. Of course, all the grrrls loved it and then those punk rock boys that were extreme loved it. All of my subscribers at this time are males.
How did you become introduced to the culture of zines?
I was at a bookstore in The Castro and picked up one of GB Jones Zines (which we became pen pals for over 5 years after), and I fell head over heels. [I] thought to myself “hey, I could do this”. Then, just being in the middle of SF in the early 90’s had a lot to do with it. Courtney Love was by far my biggest influence and remains to this day. I met her first in ’92 when Hole opened for Lemonheads and I had to acquire a fake ID to get in and she flirted with me before and after the show. It was another time in my life that I thought “wow anything is possible”, and I was hanging out and meeting a lot of staple people in that scene.
What do you love and find challenging about zine making?
I sometimes feel “does anyone really care about this mess”, which is the most challenging. Other than that, it does sometimes get in the way of my family time (which is my top priority). So, I have a calendar next to the computer now and figure out which event or show is most important for me to cover and which I will have the most fun at. What I love most is when you’ll get an email, phone call or a conversation and the person is telling you how great you are, or how the zine relates to how they are feeling or have felt, or you inspire someone to start their own revolution. Then that first thought passes and you are inspired for the next issue to be cut and pasted.
All the persons on the cover of each issue are personal friends that I feel are beautiful and should be on the cover of at least one publication in their life. I photograph them and show off their pretty images.
What are some zines you have read lately that you would recommend to someone learning about the zine-making/reading world?
By far, my favorite zine the last few years has been Tight Pants. There are so many out there, it’s hard to choose just one.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?
Get some scissors, glue and typewriter/computer/pen and go for it. Don’t think about whom to please except yourself with your zine and it will keep it original. Don’t do ads, don’t do too many reviews. I give recommendations instead of dissecting someone else’s creation. No matter what, cut, paste and zerox, even if you only do 50 copies. To me, that gives zines their magic. I have recently considered adding my zine online as well as keep printing on paper. We will see.
What does the zine scene look like in Washington? Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general) zine community or network and what does it mean to you?
I am such a contradiction. I am a social butterfly and yet I am so protective of my work that I think that is why I haven’t distro’d in stores- because I want to see whom is reading my life. Yet I want the whole world to know me? If that makes any sense to you?
Moving to Washington is the best thing I have ever done. The zine community is thriving. I just discovered the Hugo House which holds a zine library. There is Portland a short 3 hour drive, which is zine Mecca, and if that were not enough, the art scene has been very welcoming with my work.
Do you consider yourself as feminist?
I really dislike titles for myself since I am such a contradiction, I would mostly describe myself as a pro- active in all realms, but yeah I could say a feminist with a pervy, shocking sense of humour.
April/ May 2006 issue #16
January 2006 issue- Sweet Hamhocks
What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist/…)?
My biggest challenge right now is keeping the house clean…haha. But seriously being a GOOD mommy and wife. The wife part is challenging at times since a lot of my attention goes into my personal challenges, obstacles and mishaps. I meet a lot of new people and not that there is any type of infidelity issues; it’s more of me dividing my social and personal life- which I feel in the last year, I have really worked hard at. Since I have always been a “’fuck you’ I do what I want and am not changing for anyone anything”, I have to stop myself and realize there are other people caring about me in my life and I need to respect them. My mind is always going, going, and I think of all these things that need to be done but I cannot stop sewing, writing
or photographing things. I am 33 and have been in the punk scene since I was 12 years old and feel “okay I am staying on this DIY path for over 20 years. I am responsible yet still am very youthful in thought and play”. Dividing being a mommy and Miss Oblivious is never a hard thing since I am first and foremost a mommy! ...which I feel has kept me going and living for the future. Setting an example that I can look a certain way and be a good parent and productive artistically.
What do you think about feminism today? How would you explain what feminism is to someone who has no idea what it is?
A female that is a pro-thinker, pro-active and does what SHE needs/wants, and educates herself is a feminist to me. To be comfortable in her own skin, which can mean anything from being a stay-at-home mom, a welder or a teacher. Standing up for what you believe in and not losing yourself with age or experience. I feel it is easy to be a feminist when you are young; there is so much to be angry about. The older you get, you will see a lot of your friends slack off from many things, and get comfortable with day-to-day routine, and I think that is why I do stand out from a lot from my age group because I am not jaded or kicking back talking about what I USED to do or what I was. I still am me, the older I get, just in a more sensible way. Keeping myself from becoming the stereotypical soccer mom. eeewww!
What would a “grrrl”-friendly society look like in your view? How do you think society might be re-thought and transformed to come closer to an “ideal” world for women, grrrls and queer folks? Do you have any suggestions for the development of women/grrrl/queer-friendly policies?
I see it evolving from just 10 years ago. On television, in the media and in day-to-day(real) life. There is still along way to go but what would life be without obstacles and controversy. I think just keeping your choices and lifestyle out in the open helps instead of hiding your preferences because they are taboo in the general population. This is what has opened alot of the doors in the last decade- people not keeping their tastes and lifestyles in the closet. Lynn Breedlove, topless at shows making the cute lil' punk rock boys suck her rubber schlong, really helped all the grrls throw their fist in the air and say "hell ya, now that is an ideal world!" As I said above, other than any violence or hate, a lil’ controversy keeps the new generations going. When things are perfect or oh so pretty,
what is there to change? Then things would be boring! An ideal world is being able to make your own choices for your future. Since abortions, education, and voting have been a freedom of choice for females, things are most definatley evolving for us in the last fifty years.
If I had one wish to change the world we live in, it would be to get rid of all the violence and hate that ends in abuse or death.
What are some of your personal wishes/visions/ideas/plans for the future, if you like to share them?
More money and education for the low-income communities, more diversity in the rich schools and to keep art/music in the public school system.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stay true to yourself; don’t let anyone get in your way. Stand your ground in all situations but with an open mind to differences in lifestyle, views & opinions.