Psychology major discovers catharsis and confidence through creative expression

One Keene State College student decided to face her darkest thoughts and then publish them. 

“This summer I was a sad lady,” KSC senior Liz Bolduc said, “I knew I had to do something.”

That August, Bolduc said she sat down and began to dispel her negative thoughts on paper. Bolduc’s final product, “LIZ: the zine,” is a 16-page miniature magazine that displays Bolduc’s personal thoughts and illustrations as well as contributions from close friends.

She titled her first edition “New Beginnings.” The issue skipped across her bout with emotional pressure. A zine is a small, non-commercial or homemade magazine.

Zines typically run under 20 pages and focus their content on a theme or personal interest of the creator.

Matt Allen / Equinox Staff

Matt Allen / Equinox Staff

Bolduc said she first thought of producing a zine of her own after seeing another girl’s take it on.

“Last year a girl—she has a band—brought a zine to the show she played at my house,” Bolduc said.

“I felt like I wanted to do something like that. I’ve always been interested in the outlet of zines,” Bolduc said.

She said she hoped to make a zine that her friend group and peers could relate to. Her friends contributed drawings, personal poetry and self-made graphics.

Contributor and KSC alumnus Tim Gagnon said he helped Bolduc take the first step.

“She was thinking about it and I told her, ‘No, you have to do it,’” Gagnon said.

He offered a two-leaf long faux letter, or as Gagnon described it “rambling,” at the end of the zine describing muddled childhood memories and the emotional angst that accompanied it.

“I think it’s awesome that she assembled all of these friends with very different styles,” Gagnon said.

Justyna Dabrowski, UHart student, contributed a personal graphic to “LIZ: the zine.”

The collage includes images of meaningful things, according to Dabrowski.

“Liz is one of my best friends so I wanted to help her zine,” Dabrowski said, “There was a lot of thought and process that went into it.”

Bolduc decided to distribute her first edition free through social media. She said she mostly promoted the issue through personal Instagram and Facebook accounts and mailed copies to out-of-state friends reaching as far as Washington and Canada.

“I’m still in the process of figuring out how I want to do this for the future,” Bolduc said.

“Printing thankfully is free here [at Keene State College] so I abuse the hell out of that,” Bolduc said.

She is unsure how printing costs will affect the continuation of her zine once unlimited printing is inaccessible.

Gagnon said he is “really proud of [Bolduc]” and the final product. Dabrowski also expressed pride for “LIZ: the zine.”

“I think she portrayed her thoughts precisely the way she wanted to,” Dabrowski said. Bolduc said that the zine served more than one purpose to her.

It began as a personal art project to last over the course of her senior year, but it also presented a way of pushing depressive thoughts out of her head.

“I thought this could be something beneficial for my brain,” Bolduc said, “I wanted to turn it into a positive experience.” She said it also assured her that she wasn’t the sole person affected by negative thoughts.

“That’s what I really wanted to show people. Everyone has to have these thoughts at least once in their life and how you deal with it is incredibly important,” Bolduc said. Bolduc plans to attend this year’s Boston Zinefest the weekend of Oct. 11 to display “New Beginnings.”

The second issue, entitled “Feelings and Other Sappy Bulls***,” is promised to arrive in November and circles around the theme of social relationships.

Bolduc said her goal is to change the theme with every new edition, creeping away from personal entanglement and towards more common topics.  An electronic copy of “LIZ: the zine” can be found on the website Tumblr at Lizthezine.tumblr.com.

“I was tired of succumbing to the negative thoughts,” Bolduc said.

 

Allie Baker can be contacted at abaker@keene-equinox.com