Four years ago, I started a project to make a zine a week. I called it Sunday Zine, because I knew I would need a deadline to keep me on track. I made 50 zines that year—some of them are now part of my greatest hits. But when I reached the end of that project, I didn’t want to make another zine.
Honestly, I didn’t want to make anything. I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to blog. I stopped reblogging and tweeting. I had a day job that was paying my bills, and I had moved out of my parents’s house. And if being an artist hadn’t happened by now, maybe it was time to give up.
That lasted about two months. 😂
The last time I sent you a letter was six months ago. It was just before I left for the XOXO Festival in Portland. On the Friday before the talks started, I sat in the co-working space in the same building, with my laptop, and I wrote the beginning of a letter I never sent. Today, I don’t remember exactly why I didn’t.
I did a lot of zine shows and art fairs last year. I tabled in the heart of the West End, at the flagship Broken Pencil show, in the Artist Alley in my rec centre parking lot. I even took the bus to Olympia for my first time at their zine fest.
And nothing seemed to work. I ended the 2019 season deep in the red. I couldn’t even sell enough to make up the table fees. This time, though, I know giving up art isn’t the answer. I don’t want to give up writing this time. I have to try something else.
Luckily, I’m a generalist. 📚
My dream has always been a little shop. A physical space where I could host readings, hang art, sell books and whatever else was my obsession at the time. My dream was always that the contents would change—with the seasons, with the weather, with my whims.
Physical space is expensive, even moreso here in the suburbs of the most expensive city in Canada. Even with my small windfall of inheritance last year, I couldn’t find a retail space that I could afford (we need the tiny house movement for retail!)
But let me tell you about my 2020 project. 🥖
Starting May 3rd, and twelve more Sundays until October, I’ll have a booth at my local farmer’s market. (At this time, I’m assuming it will go on as planned; of course, this might change 😔) That booth will be called All Day Breakfast, where I’ll sell zines, of course, but also sea salt—made from water collected from my local beaches—and sourdough starter—dried for bakers to start their own. This venture feels like the culmination of my two big dreams: writing and baking. I couldn’t make one or the other work by themselves, but maybe, by bringing them together, All Day Breakfast will be stronger.
In 2019, I pushed myself out of my emotional and physical comfort zone. In 2020, I’m staying close to home, so I can dream even bigger. For 13 Sundays, May to October, I’ll be testing, iterating, baking, and writing to find my niche. In 2021, perhaps I’ll find my little shop.
Stay tuned for reports from the market, and if you’re close by, I’d love to see you there. I’ll save you a loaf.