Interview with a Zinester: Dre Grigoropol

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.
I create illustrations, write stories and a blog, and put zines together. My work is very focused on women’s experiences, lifestyles, and senses of humor. Aside from the DIY zine and art making I run one of my comics on the web at Deesdream.net. It is about a female fronted post-punk band. As of the beginning of 2014 I started a comics, illustration, and culture appreciation website and podcast called Comixgab.net. My more personal work can be found at Dretime.net.

dre

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
I was very interested and inspired by collecting comics and magazines growing up. I was always making paper pamphlets and homemade magazines by myself or with my friends. At that time I wasn’t aware of the term “zine.” I’m not sure when I was introduced to word “zine,” but it most likely happened over the internet. My first time visiting a zine fest was the Philly Zine Fest in 2003. I visited the fest many times, but only started to exhibit my own zines at the event in recent years.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
Feminism is a huge part of the work I am interested in and the work I create. I identify as a feminist, and the characters and motifs in my writing have dealt with many different gender and social issues.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
Some of my favorite zines out of my zine collection may be the Unlovable zines by Esther Pearl Watson that have been gifted to me. The title really grew on me over the years as it has been a long time feature in the back of BUST magazine. I keep them with other zines that are also the same size (5 x 5 inches) in a wooden box. Also, many of my friends have conducted postcard projects, where they send artsy, interesting, or handmade postcards to their friends on a regular basis. It is actually really nice to see a postcard in the mail, especially when so much junk mail keeps coming in. One of favorite postcards that floated in is an illustration of the zodiac sign Capricorn.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
I would like to think of my zinester life as a Ninja Mixer. Strong, powerful, and it mixes everything up.

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