Zine Supreme #7: Juliette Toma
Welcome back to Zine Supreme, my weekly chat with someone who makes tiny things you hold in your hands. This week, I talked to Juliette Toma about the significance of printing things out and embracing the embarrassing.
What prompted you to become a creator? How did you start making zines?
In college I took a class about comic books. Our final was to make our own comic. I took all my most embarrassing diary entries from middle school and drew illustrations to accompany them. Once I was done I stapled them into a little zine. The feeling of taking something seemingly insignificant like my old diary entries and turning them into a physical product I could hold and show people was really satisfying for me. It makes all the drawings I make feel so much more significant to me. Rather than have a drawing on a single sheet of paper hidden in some drawer, putting them in a zine and actually turning them into something is a great feeling for me.
What are your intentions as a creator? What do you hope to achieve when you make a zine?
I find humor in universal embarrassments and hope to create work that other girls can relate to and laugh at - and that ultimately makes them feel less alone.
How do you feel your identities impact your work?
I’ve always considered myself a shy awkward person. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to celebrate my awkwardness and to laugh at all the things I was embarrassed by. Since I can’t go back in time, I choose to do this with my artwork. The things I’m embarrassed by, such as acne and neuroses, are celebrated as the stars of my work.
What materials do you use in your zines, and what’s your creative process like?
I love to paint and use found imagery for collages. I usually start out by looking through some of my vintage magazines. I will use these vintage photos to comment on current cliches and concepts that I find silly. I will then glue them down, and begin drawing and painting my take on the out dated concept.
What’s the hardest part of this work - and why is it worth it?
The hardest part of this work is getting your work seen, but when someone buys one of my zines and tells me how much they love it, it makes it completely worth it.
Which of your zines or zines you’ve been a part of is your own favorite, and why?
My favorite zine I’ve been a part of is the most recent one I made with one of my best friends Bijou Karman. It's called “Facts About Your Figure” and its theme is outdated beauty culture. I personally love drawing big hair, make up, and lingerie so I had a blast working on it. I also love collaborating with people and seeing what they come up with.
You can find Juliette on Instagram.