Does your child, nephew, niece or younger sibling love magazines? Illustrator Kristyna Baczynski guides us through a self-publishing adventure with a new, beautifully illustrated activity book.
From animal safaris and recipes to interview pages, Read All About It includes 10 zines to write, illustrate, and put together, each with its own distinct theme. With handy instructions, hints and tips along the way, children can level-up on their writing, drawing, lettering and collage skills to create fun, exciting magazines even after the book is filled up.
"I grew up in a single-parent, working-class family without many luxuries. So I spent a lot of time making my own toys, usually from drawings and bits of paper," Kristyna tells Creative Boom. "I’d make cute books to make my mum happy, and gross comics to make my brothers laugh. Fast-forward two decades and I’m still doing the same thing in a lot of ways… with a slightly extended audience."
What is it about magazines that Kristyna loves so much? "Boutique publishing, self-publishing, small press, micro-publishers, DIY zines… they are all different, but have a similar ethos or motivation; the creators saw a gap, a lack of representation and decided to construct it themselves. From bedroom stapled zines with a run of ten, to beautifully printed bi-annual niche magazines, I love when people get together and make the weird content that nobody asked for, but they feel compelled to share."
And what does Kristyna hope her young audience will get from her new book? "That children get excited about self-publishing and might carry that skill, that love of ‘making’ into their adulthood. The best illustrators are children, they’re such raw artists, and I can’t wait to see all the strange new zines that appear from this book."
Kristyna Baczynski is an illustrator, comic book artist and designer who grew up in the Pennines of Yorkshire in a family from the Carpathians of Ukraine. She has received a Northern Design Award and produced work for Anorak, Fantagraphics, Metro, Etsy and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Her new book, Read All About It is published by Laurence King and available now.