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Dumpling Diary, Little Venus
...and more of sectrets and love

An interview with
Sandy von Delicious
from Perth, Australia

by Elke Zobl and Haydeé Jiménez

August 2007


 


"... i would hope that what i have to say and the way i choose to say it will offer some kind of value to someone's life, even if only in a small way."
- Sandy


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Sandy

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
my name is sandy. i was born 26 years ago in a tropical brunei forest, raised by tigers, with ancestry that traces all the way back to mainland china, where i hope to maybe one day visit and discover that i am the last known descedant of a demigod overlord, and heir to the great wall. until then, i'll just enjoy my humble little lunchbox life here in perth.

What do you do besides your zines?

i work as a webdesigner for one of australia's largest broadband providers, making a gradual transition to graphic and new media design. i'm not entirely sure where i'd like "to be in 5 years time" but stuff with the creative bent seems to be the right path thus far. my zines and my hobby projects were actually a huge help getting my daytime career happening. it gave me something to show for my interests, gave me a chance to practice communicating in different ways, and gave me a sense of purpose through more frustrating times. i haven't zine'd in about two years, and my online life has waned a bit in a lovely way, but you can still find me at sanlive.com and sandylovesyou.com.


Can you tell our readers about Philosophy of Secrets , Entangled , and other zines you have done? What topics do you discuss in your zines most often?
to date, i've done four zines that have made it to distribution - dumpling diary, little venus, entangled and philosophy of secrets. i'm not so keen at picking a topic for a zine and then sticking to it; my zines are more a collection of work produced under a certain feeling within a short period of time. looking over them, they do each have a theme, but not ones chosen deliberately by me - rather, ones that organically emerged through just getting something down while feeling a certain way. the four in my catalogue so far seem to dance around love, secrets, resolving questions nobody seems to have an answer for, and what you see when you observe things for what they are as much as what you'd like them to be. i created them during a particularly stifling time in my life, and the themes surfaced in the process.

What inspired you to create your first zine?
love like pop #4 - http://lovelikepop.blogsome.com/love-like-pop-zines/
if i remember correctly, i got it from fatcheeks distro (http://glokenpop.com/fatcheeks), along with a couple of other treasures in a "just surprise me" bundle.


How did you become introduced to the culture of zines?
i wasn't really introduced to them, i kinda just heard the term 'zines' thrown around here and there. i think the concept of making little booklets is in most people's lives from a young age. you just forget along the way, and then rediscover that part of your life later and think it's a new thing for you. calling these little booklets 'zines' and associating them with any sort of movement is just adding a layer over the top of something that was probably there all the time.

as for the culture - i think you can only talk about being in the "culture" when you take into account the community, and i haven't really paid my dues in that respect. this interview is probably the most community-esque thing i've done in relation to my zines. so i wouldn't say i'm that familiar with the culture, i just make stuff and hope i'm not the only one who likes it.


Entangled


Where/how are your zines distributed? Who are your readers? What kind of responses do you get from your zine’s audience?
my print runs have tended to be very small (single print runs of about 20 or so), and almost completely distributed through distros, namely - fatcheeks in australia (glokenpop.com/fatcheeks), wasabi distro in japan (wasabi-distro.com) and atg in the uk (allthatglittersdistro.co.uk). i tried self-distributing, but didn't have the energy after the first couple of orders, and sent the rest of my stock elsewhere. i have no idea who reads my work, and haven't had much contact with readers, but what little feedback i have had, i've found positive and encouraging. i'd love to hear from people who hate it, and why they hate it!

What do you hope to accomplish by making and distributing your zines?
first and foremost - finding a way to feel good about what i have to say and the way i choose to say it.

after that, i would hope that what i have to say and the way i choose to say it will offer some kind of value to someone's life, even if only in a small way.


Philosophy of Secrets

What do you love and find challenging about zine making?
i love having something tangible to touch and smell by the end of the creation process; if it's a piece of work i'm especially happy with, it certainly makes the inconvenient trip to the photocopy shop worthwhile. i love figuring out how to express what i have to say. in a zine, you get to say it in words and pictures, and it takes work to strike the right balance between both. too many pictures and your message gets lost, too many words and your feeling gets lost. i love the quiet headspace that comes about when i sit down with my scissors and glue. i love the sound of my typewriter - which isn't only to do with zine making, but it sure is nice.


What do you think about zine-making today?
i like that this 'industry' still seems to uphold the personal factor. the art and the politics can sit separately side-by-side; i don't feel a sense of having to be artistic instead of political, or political instead of artistic.zines still have the feel of being respected as a personal thing. i think it could be that because you're physically materialising with your own hands what is held by you in your own head, there's the tendency to hold sacred some part of this process and product. well, in my little experience, anyway.

What role does the internet play for you?
in terms of zines? i like the idea that somebody i've never met in a country i've never been to could be enjoying something i've made. thanks to the internet, large scale distribution and neonlights fame isn't the only way for that to be a reality.

What are some zines you have read lately that you would recommend to someone learning about the zine-making/reading world?
i haven't read anything lately, but my top three faves are love like pop #4, this cute little zine that came packaged in an envelope with a real cropped photograph stuck to it, and a lovely half-sized one with the author's thoughts on sex, love and intimacy. sorry, i'm not very good with names. what i liked about those zines was that they had strong emotion, but presented it in a dignified way. i think to learn from an approach like this would bring a positive contribution to the zine world and to the way we approach life.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a zine?
show, don't tell. if you must tell, don't over-tell. be real before being clever. but before all this, just do it your way. also - expect paper cuts.
What does the zine scene look like in Perth? Do you feel part of a (grrrl or general) zine community or network and what does it mean to you?
walking through the fairly linear, small but bustling central business district, you can't help but notice wesley church, "where all the emos and goths hang out". this is the most visible and infamous taste of the underground artistic culture here in perth. and you'll catch many snippets of the entire spectrum of the creative scene - from fringe to mainstream to progressive - tucked in pockets and scattered throughout this city. all of which, i'm sure must include its share of zines and zinesters somewhere perhaps.

no, i'm not really part of any of it. but i respect the creative community, and am happy that the creative community seems to in turn respect loners too.

Little Venus


Do you consider yourself as feminist?
no. and i tend to butt heads on such issues with self-proclaimed feminists.

What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist/…)?
no issues in particular, but the noise made by both feminists and 'colonialists' can make for grumpy times.


Philosophy of Secrets
What do you think about feminism today? How would you explain what feminism is to someone who has no idea what it is?
i think feminism has run its course, and the term is outdated. i think drawing out this idea of "feminism" now only provides us with some other factor to segregate people with.

feminism made common the concept of women having independence. the reason feminist pioneers had to make so much noise about it was to be heard over the sound of patriarchy. but now that we know about it, we don't need to play it up so dramatically. it's like resolving conflict between two individuals; we've cleared the air by bringing the problem to the fore - yes we're aware of a problem and want it to be solved - now we need "get back to work", stop carrying on about it and give it a chance to go away and be replaced by something positive.


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 think we need to reframe the feminist debate as an attitude of people getting on with their lives. i don't think this can or should be enforced via policy - i think that will only make it worse. people having to force a smile over something imposed will only create anxiety and resentment.

the power to make the situation better lies very much in the people involved. this shouldn't be a blanket political sanction, but an attitude shift that needs to start in that sacred private space inside everyone's personal model of the world - the same place where good quality zines come from. when you come across a person with the right idea, who isn't forceful or disrespectful about it, but demonstrate this idea by the way they live their life, you naturally consider and absorb pieces of that idea for yourself, and it changes your life for the better in gradual and subtle ways. it's a slow progression, but it produces authentic results.

respect for the individual - this is how i think we'll achieve this "grrrl"-friendly "ideal" world.

What are some of your personal wishes/visions/ideas/plans for the future, if you like to share them?
i have no plans. it makes me a bit nervous that i don't have plans, and everyone i know seems to be driven by long-term goals. but i think if i just focus on this step with consideration for the next step, whatever vision underlies this process of stepping will come to fruition of its own accord.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
sitting for prolonged periods of time puts pressure on your lower back. be sure to get up frequently for a stretch and a walkabout.


Dumpling Diary

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info:
Sandy von Delicious
Perth, Australia

http://www.sanlive.com/
http://www.sandylovesyou.com/zines/



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