C.L.A.P. zine giveaway!!!

Creativity has always been a touchy subject for me. While I come from a family of ridiculously artistic women, I can’t draw, dance, paint or sing. For the longest time, I figured the C-gene skipped me, and I sort of grew to be fine with that. (Sort of.) As I got older, I realized that creativity exhibits itself in all kinds of different ways. (Duh!) I’ll probably never ever like being on stage or able to harmonize worth a darn, but shoot, I can dream up marketing ideas for days, whip up a meal out of whatever scraps are in the fridge and always find the bright side of any bad situation…and that counts for something!

So, when I got my hands on very first edition of C.L.A.P. (Creative Ladies Are Powerful), I couldn’t help but get excited as I read it cover to cover. The zine, created by Holly Hilgenberg and Lisa Luck, sets out to celebrate women in all forms of creative living, not just the (somewhat limited) realms of visual, literary or performing arts. Teachers, writers, educators, nonprofit folks, hair stylists and artists are all welcome as contributors—and the resulting publication is fresh, fun and exciting. Retailed locally at Yeti Records and Everyday People, the first issue is packed with inspiring creative exercises, articles, recipes (vegan marble cake!), illustrations, jokes, how-tos (disco perm anyone?), playlists, quotes and cheap and easy DIY ideas.

Holly was kind enough to sit down and share a bit about history and mission of C.L.A.P. the zine…

C.L.A.P. originally started as a creative women’s collective in spring of 2007 by several of my lady friends and me. It sort of fell to the wayside for many of the women involved, but I kept trying to do things like craft nights (and I don’t even like crafts!) to have an excuse to get ladies together in a creative capacity. Last year, I returned to the idea of C.L.A.P. and thought it would be interesting/fun to start the group up again, with more of a focus on supporting creative women. I was finishing up my Masters degree at the time and my main partner in crime on this project, Lisa Luck, was preparing for her wedding and opening up Yeti Records with her soon-to-be husband, so again, C.L.A.P. was put on hold.

Over this past winter, Lisa and I would meet and talk about our various creative endeavors and seeing a local music zine at her shop sparked an idea in me—we should restart C.L.A.P., but as a publication. I love independent publications and magazines and have always wanted to start my own, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

I put out a call for submissions from the ladies I knew around town and was amazed at the interest in the project. Ladies were definitely excited to have a space to share their knowledge and experiences and to have an outlet to express themselves. Though I want to grow the publication in its reach and it’s presentation, it is really important to me that C.L.A.P. is a welcoming space for ladies that want to share their stores. It is also worth noting that the focus of the zine is not just on women involved in traditionally creative fields such as the visual, literary and performance arts, but also includes women who utilize creativity in other fields like teaching, nonprofit and entrepreneurial work, food, etc.

Interior photos courtesy of C.L.A.P.

Want to win one of two copies I’m giving away?

Of course you do! To enter, leave me comment telling me about a recent creative accomplishment. (For an extra chance to win, tweet or blog about the giveaway and enter the link to your tweet/blog in a separate comment!) To read excerpts from the issue, order copies directly or learn about subscriptions and submission guidelines, visit  C.L.A.P.’s website here.

I’ll be picking the winners on Friday, so get on it!!



high plains stamp of approval: super friends zine (giveaway closed)

Hi there, and happy Saturday.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Harold, creator of a super awesome zine, with a super awesome name, “Super Friends.”

I’ll admit, I went on quite a bit of a wild goose chase trying to track this fella down in order to interview him for the blog. I’ve been loving his zine ever since I found it at Zinefest last month, and, as a matter-of-fact, so have all of my house guests. I swear, no one can help themselves from picking it up off the coffee table once they take a seat on my couch! It’s irresistible!

Representing just a portion of his collection of photos and notes found while working at a Twin Cities-area thrift store, the 54-page publication is packed with LOL-worthy photos, poignant love notes, unfinished stories and all sorts of other random, found awesomeness. Every time I page through it, I’m comforted (and oddly validated), knowing that someone else has a similar (if not greater) appreciation for discarded photos and random ephemera.

Anyway, after a couple of dead-ends, and a handful of emails, I finally got a chance to talk with Harold about how he got started collecting found photos, his motivation for putting the pub together and to see if he has plans for “Super Friends II.” I hope you enjoy our little Q & A!

Me: So, we can’t get specific about where you work. But, it is a thrift store, right? What do you do there?

Harold: I work at a thrift store in the Twin Cities area.  I have a wide variety of responsibilities, but I mostly deal with the heavy lifting and truck unloading the no one else wants to deal with.

Me: How did you get started collecting strangers’ photos and notes?

Harold: The collection started when a coworker would find weird photos and write notes on the back to me as if the person in the photo was writing to me.  I started calling them my super friends because it was like I already knew these people and they were friends of mine.

Me:  How do you find these items? In albums? Tucked into pages of books? Pockets?

Harold: When people donate stuff, it’s usually in a cardboard box or a plastic bag.  Usually photos will be in albums, envelopes, or just loose in a box.  I’ll find some when I’m emptying the garbage as well.

Me: What makes something a “keeper?”

Harold: When I started collecting, I would save pretty much any photos that I found.  Now I have high standards of what’s worth keeping.  You gotta go through the checklist.  Is there a nipple showing?  Are they wearing an adult diaper?  The funnier the better.

Me: There are quite a few websites dedicated to showcasing hilarious photos similar to what you’ve found. Have you ever thought of starting a blog or website with your finds? Do you have any photo sites you like to visit?

Harold: I like Awkward Family Photos and Found Magazine (Dirty Found in particular) but I’ve never really had any plans to make a website.  Maybe when I have more free time in the future.

Me: How big is your collection of found stuff? Do you organize it in any particular way?

Harold: Right now I have two photo albums of my favorite pictures, a folder stuffed with notes and drawings, a couple diaries, and a plastic bag of photos that I don’t consider album worthy.

Me: Do you have plans to make a “Super Friends II?” Please say yes.

Harold: I don’t have any plans to make a second “Super Friends.”  I wanted to make one big zine with all my favorite photos rather than two or three smaller issues.

Me: What other zines/projects do you work on?

Harold: My friend Adam and I have been making a variety of zines over the past eleven years, starting with a skateboarding magazine in high school.  Nowadays the zines I make are mostly humor-related.  Outside of zines I do a lot of painting and T-shirt printing.

Me: Where can people get “Super Friends?”

Harold: The zine isn’t for sale at any stores.  I will have a table of zines and other goods at the Walker Art Center for the mnartists.org Field Day on August 19th.  Other than that, people can email me if they are interested in getting a copy (subtitlespub@yahoo.com).

And now, another giveaway!

Oh-so-generously, Harold’s offered up two copies of “Super Friends” to High Plains readers. Awesome, right? All you have to do is leave a comment and you’ll automatically be entered to win. I’ll be picking the two lucky winners Thursday night, and will announce the winners on Friday!

Good luck, friends! Hope y’all have had super weekends so far.