Creator Q+A | Rani Goel

Throughout the month leading up the the SFZF we will be running daily mini-profiles of some of the many zinesters, cartoonists, and other creative types who make the Zine Fest what it is. Today's creator is Rani Goel of Rani Goel Art & Design. Stay tuned for more!

Q. What inspired you to get into small-press/DIY publishing?
A. Coming from a very structured client-driven graphic design background, my messy, more expressive repressed artist wanted to come out and play. I adore the soulful expressive quality of small press and DIY publishing. It's so important to keep it alive!

Q. When did you create your first zine or similar project? Can you describe it for us? When you look back, are you proud, embarrassed, both?

A. I created my first zine in 2003 called "Servings." It was a very personal project that dealt with some painful issues around body image and creating it was very cathartic. I made it for myself and took a chance on sharing it with others at SF Zine Fest in 2003. I'm proud that I took the risk and expressed myself in that way. I think my work has certainly matured since then-so I wouldn't say embarrassed, but that zine doesn't reflect where I am at today. I'm proud that I took the leap and just did it.

Q. What is your all-time favorite zine/comic/etc (by someone other than you)? Who is your DIY hero?
A. Andrew Goldfarb who creates the comic "Ogner Stump's 1,000 sorrows" and he paints, illustrates and does other original artwork. He truly IS DIY. He's been faithfully dedicated to his art for most of his life and he's a one-man band who makes his own miracle tonic that he sells at shows. I know since he also happens to be my husband, that may seem cheesy to mention him, but he honestly is my DIY hero. If I had to pick someone other than him, I'd say the Cubby. They are a collective which came out of the band the Cubby Creatures and the spirit of their work is full of authenticity, humor and a call for bringing out a little more depth and beauty in the world.

Q. What would you like to see more of in the small-press world?

A. More courageous experimenting with images, technique and format, and more personal zines!

Q. If you could give advice to an aspiring DIY creator, what would it be? What advice do you wish you had gotten when you were starting out?

A. The most important thing is to have fun and let the voice that rarely gets to be heard come out and freak out. Zines and DIY are a safe place to let your freak flag fly and if you've got one, I'd really, really love to see it.

Q. What are you working on now? What are you gonna do next?

A. I'm remixing a book called "the Mind" which was an educational book from Time Life from 1964. The images in there are crazy and inspiring for a group online art show. I made kits of 5-10 images from the book plus some text and am inviting others to create 5x7 pieces to send me for an online show. I think it'll be interesting to show these images remixed since a lot has changed since 1964 in the way that science, psychology and our culture relates to "the Mind." After that I will remix a book called "the Body" which is also from that series.
San Francisco Zine Fest