Zine Review: Side Project #5

Side Project #5
Samantha EE, Teresa Watts, Sabrina Wong, Sophie Raynor, Evelyn Paolino
www.sideprojectmag.com
@sideproject_mag (Twitter/IG/FB/Pinterest)

Side Project is a series about DIY and living creatively. In this issue, there are artist interviews, how-to instructions for a couple crafty projects, and various articles. This zine is the magazine that I always wanted to read growing up.

At $10, Side Project is definitely in the higher price range for a zine. However, for the price, you are getting a full colour, 46 page zine printed on nice paper. Aesthetically, it’s a very pretty zine. Everything is very neat, colourful, nicely laid out, and readable. It’s chock full of information and is a zine you can sit and pour over for hours.

In layout and feel, it’s very much a magazine. Those can be fighting words in the zine arena, but with ‘a zine for creatives’ on the cover but ‘mag’ in the URL, I don’t think the Side Project team is going to take it badly. I think they understand that they walk an interesting line.

Side Project puts me in a very strange space that I’ve never been in before. On one hand, it’s a zine. On the other hand, it’s almost not. It’s so perfectly well put together and perfectly created that it almost throws me a bit. There is often a sort of grit – a misprint here or a wonky staple there – and handmade feel to zines that Side Project doesn’t have because of its production.

That’s by no means at all a bad thing – please don’t take me wrong in that. And I certainly don’t mean to say that all zines have misprints or wonky staples. I only mean to say that Side Project is certainly different to my usual zine read.

In many ways the magazine-like qualities work very much in its favour. The combination of the aesthetic with pieces about creatives who live in Australia and sell on Etsy was really inspiring. It made me feel like homegrown creators can get the real recognition they deserve. I loved reading about talented people I could identify with as a creator and enjoyed articles on subjects I give a damn about.

On that note, my favourite piece of the entire zine was definitely the piece on Imposter Syndrome. I didn’t know that the feelings I hold all the time actually had a name and that other people feel them, too. I like that they didn’t just write about it but also added on some tips for making your imposter feelings work in your favour.

All up, this zine is gorgeous to look at and enjoyable to read. I can think of a few DIY friends I’d like to get copies for. DIY, Etsy sellers, and other creatives will enjoy it.

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