SF Zine Fest talks with Max Stadnik of Tiny Splendor

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

Our work is often humorous, dark, and/or psychedelic - we strive to keep it diverse and fresh all of the time. We want to bring work to the scene that is unexpected. But at our core we endeavor for accessibility, affordability, and a high level of quality.

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

It is honestly hard to remember the first time I found a zine or thought about what it was. I think that coming from a background in traditional printmaking, getting into zines was really natural. It is a great medium for getting your work out into the world. It is powerful in that way, because you are suddenly freed from having to rely on institutions and the interests of others when it comes to self-publishing. And in this sense the zine embodies a certain honesty and rawness that is often lacking not only in the world of traditional publishing but the art world in general.

What do you do when you’re not creating?

The four of us all work various jobs, but for the most part they are in creative fields. If it is not creating for ourselves, it is usually helping others get their projects out into the world. At this point there is very little down time, but when I am trying to get away and relax it is nice to cook a good meal and listen to records.

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

There really have been too many unforeseen benefits that have come from getting involved in the zine world to list here. But what comes to my mind first is discovering the RISOGRAPH. After making zines, prints, patches, and pins for a long time, we eventually saved up enough money to invest in our own RISO, which has changed all of our lives. This machine has really allowed us to work on a level that none of us foresaw. It truly is a dream machine.

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

Most importantly, have fun. Keep the concept simple and just get it done, get it into the world, and get on to making your next one. All the lessons you need to learn you will learn through repetition and making hard mistakes - this is important! Don’t be discouraged. It is best to start small and build yourself up, keep it simple and cheap.

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

We have quite a few projects we are trying to complete—whether they get done or not we shall see. But for the zine fest we will be debuting a new zine by Daniel Shimoda entitled “Sunless” showcasing a series of new drawings. We will also be debuting a new zine by Maren Preston called “Los Dos,” a personal look at Argentina and Bolivia through original artworks. Also in the works is a collaborative zine between myself and Sanaa Khan entitled PSYCHOZICS – a psychedelic fusion of fetish and supernatural, from the occult to the bizarre   for adult readers only…keep your eyes out for it – coming soon!

For more from Tiny Splendor, check out: