Zine Supreme #1: Julie Orlick

Welcome to Behind the Zines, a series in which I ask women and gender non-conforming folks making magic happen through the written and printed word about their work. Today's interview is with Julie Orlick, a Brooklyn-based photographer and filmmaker who adores black and white, absurdity, and analogue materials.

What prompted you to become a creator? How did you start making zines?

I think the earliest memory I have of wanting to make a small book was when I was about 16 or 17, sitting out front a coffee shop near Amoeba on Sunset Blvd. and a guy came up to my friend and I and took a picture of us. He then proceeded to show us a small book of his photographs to show us some of his work. I was really getting into photography the time and was inspired to make my own as a means to showcase my work in a hand held form; and to be able to show people it anytime - anywhere.

What are your intentions as a creator? What do you hope to achieve when you make a zine?

I create photographs, comics and poems that have deep meaning to me and are something I hope other humans will be able to relate to. My thought process is always - What will be my next series? How long will it take to photograph? How will I print it, present it in a gallery, and share it with people?

How do you feel your identities impact your work?

I love food, coffee, pastries, diners, vintage and film. As well as a photographer and film maker, I am a pastry chef. A lot of my work includes some sort of food element and is always inspired by a vintage era.

What materials do you use in your zines, and what’s your creative process like?

Whenever I make a new zine, I think about texture and presentation. What kind of feel I want the book to have and how I want the viewer to experience my photographs is very important. I'll visit paper stores and feel/look at paper and think a lot, pace back and forth. I'll go to coffee shops, get high off caffeine and write. I'll go home and look at all my images and figure out which ones look best next to each other, which ones should be first, last, etc. What will be on the cover, the back cover, what I want it to say on the first page, etc. I also think a lot about the prices of printing, how many copies I'll make and what I'm willing to pay for as far as self publishing goes.

What’s the hardest part of this work - and why is it worth it?

I think the hardest part is paying for it all. I seriously don't make any money doing any of this. On top of that I end up giving away a lot of zines for free. Film is costly. Printing is costly. Every part of everything that I do is costly. But it's worth it because it's the most efficient way I've been able to show people my work in a more accessible way other than just the Internet. Plus, how else will my work get published now if I don't just publish it myself first?

Which of your zines or zines you’ve been a part of is your own favorite, and why?

I think my favorite zine of mine is of my tintype series - mostly because it's my current project. It's a work in progress & I've worked really hard on it, put a lot of thought and time into it, and am determined to make it an incredible and noteworthy series of work. I'm really proud of the photographs and where they're going.


Carmen Rios is the Managing Editor at Argot Magazine, Digital Editor at Ms., Community Director and Feminism Editor at Autostraddle, and a Contributor at Everyday Feminism. Her words have been published by BuzzFeed, BITCH, ElixHER, MEL, and Feministing, among others, and she was once a blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement, a writer at Mic, and Managing Editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Carmen's successful work for over eight years in digital feminism—as a writer, social media maven, and activist leader—has earned her the titles of “digital native,” “intimidating to some,” and “vapid and uninteresting.” She's too honest on Twitter , too vague on Tumblr and consistently uses the same Instagram filter.

You can also find her at  carmenfuckingrios.com

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