SF Zine Fest talks with Tyler Spangler


In three sentences, tell us what your work is about.

Tyler Spangler’s work focuses on the formalist relationship between images removed from their original context. He explores the connotations of color, form, and photography through the medium of digital collage. His work is about filtering beauty, confusion, and inquiry from the human condition.

How did you first find out about zines? What inspired you to make your own zines?

I saw my first zine online. I was in high school and I was checking out old punk flyers and came across old fanzines that someone uploaded. I was fascinated. It helped me realize that spreading ideas through zines is a really amazing thing. They disregard bureaucratic roadblocks and allow ideas to flow fast, cheap, and efficiently. It is a true medium of the people. 

What do you do when you’re not creating?

I like to surf, cook, and road trip. All of these influence my process. 

What is an unexpected benefit that you've experienced from reading/ making zines?

Self publishing is very empowering. To have an idea go from your brain to a physical entity and into the world is really magical. Once you self publish your first zine, you begin to realize your ability to contribute and influence other people. You go from an observer, a consumer, to a producer. 

How would you advise first timers on making their first zines?

Just be completely honest. No idea is stupid. Create it and out it out there and see how people react. Its the best way to learn and grow. Above all, create like a crazy person. Lock yourself in a room and wring out every last drop of ideas. No one has your experience and point of view. 

What are you working on for this year’s SF Zine Fest?

I have collaborated with Situationist writer Isaac Cronin with whom I met at last years zine fest. We are making a book called Dictionary of Unhappiness. It is a 90 page color paperback of 40 definitions accompanied by 40 illustrations. I will be selling this book along with 10 different prints. Of course I will have a bowl of candy for everyone again! I want my table to be a kaleidoscope of blinding color. 

For more from Tyler Spangler, check out:

Instagram: @tyler_spangler