Words & Photos by James Morley
While Valentine’s Day likely dictated many people’s plans this past Saturday, it didn’t stop the good people at Converse from hosting another successful installment of CONS Project: Toronto. This event was the fourth in the series of five free community projects, designed to inspire the next generation of creative spirits through interactive skate, art and music workshops. This event focused specifically on zine making and printing, and sixty-three aspiring designers, publishers, and creators attended the workshop to learn about the craft. Brian Paul Lamotte, accomplished zine maker and publisher from Brooklyn’s Pau Wau Publications, was on site with Nick Sethi and CONS Ambassador Eli Reed to lead the workshop.
Brian and Nick presented a number of zines and examples of past work with a brief lesson in skate-zine culture and history. Then, after a crash-course in content creation, the participants set out to make their zines. There was a plethora of equipment available, including instant film cameras, scanners, photocopiers, scissors, and glue, which, along with guidance from Brian and Nick, allowed a whole range of creative freedom. After making all of the unique pages that would fill the zine, Brian showed the participants how to layout and bind their zines, which included a quick InDesign tutorial. They also had a risograph printer on site to demonstrate one of the most unique and exciting printing processes available; a highlight, to say the least.
Participants completed and bound their zines, and the day drew to a close with a number of sneaker raffles. As everyone left the site of the workshop, spirits were high, and it was clear that all had a good time. This workshop’s amazing turnout and energy can only confirm the success and inclusivity of these events, and that is what it is all about. I already can’t wait to see what happens at the next one.