By Farwa Naseer
Founder of Get Candid Magazine, Aashi Yadav, on what makes zine self-publications so unique.
Zines are small-circulation self published work that express creativity and represent marginalised voices in society. Get Candid Magazine is a publication dedicated to empowering Gen Z with “hope and inspiration” and creating a space for positive news.
aAh! Magazine speaks to student and Get Candid Magazine co-founder, Aashi Yadav, about her experiences producing a zine and her tips on overcoming self-doubt.
Tell us about Get Candid Magazine – how would you define your zine and what subjects do you cover?
“While in quarantine, I felt that the news cycle, as well as social media, created a negative, fearful mentality around our world and the people in it – like there was no good left. After talking to friends about this, I found that I was not alone. Get Candid is, in a way, my response to that.
“It is a publication that aims to counteract the negative effects of the 21st century world so that we can use the positive effects of it meaningfully. Because of this, our zine does not have any specific subjects; we accept works revolving around themes of hope, the power of young people, and the impact of inspiration.”
Who is your target audience and can you share some tips on how to keep them engaged in your content?
“Gen Z is our target audience. I would advise to engage with your audience and post often. Don’t be discouraged if you do not take off immediately, or find that you stop gaining followers/customers – growth is not linear!”
Tell us more about your role?
“As founder of the zine, I oversee our social media presence, coordinate submissions, and communicate with our team of artists. The zine’s instagram is @getcandidmagazine and the link to our website can be found in our bio! We’re based in the US.”
Is it important for you to occupy space on social media platforms as well as print?
“Definitely! It is extremely important to me to have an active online presence, as it is the source of most of our viewership/audience. Social media has allowed us to grow faster than I could have ever imagined.”
What would you say make the defining aspects of a zine?
“The lack of defining aspects of a zine is what I love most about them – the possibilities are endless! For me, a zine must be an independently owned publication (online or in print) that showcases art, whether it’s short stories, visual art, film, photography, poetry, or anything else. I think the zine format’s open-endedness is really valuable and unique.”
How would you outline the process of creating a zine for anyone who is interested in the form?
“The process of creating a zine is pretty simple, which was quite surprising to me when I first started. The first step would be to organise submissions to the zine, and then design the layout to fit the content. If you are printing copies of the zine, you send in your zine to a printing company. If not, you can register with a company to create a flip-book. If you plan to make it available to the public, publicise your zine – in person or online!”
Do you think it’s important for zines to have an online platform as well as print?
“I think it’s incredible that we can have access to such a large audience through the internet and I found that the zine community is so welcoming and supportive. I was happily surprised to see how positive it was.”
Do you believe self-publications will grow in popularity in the next five to ten years?
“It’s hard to say, I feel that the innate nature of independent magazines is that they operate on a small-scale.”
Do you think that creating independently can become lucrative? Did you come across any challenges?
“I would say that it’s not too difficult to sell zines – it really depends on the production company you choose, as well as the packaging. I came across self-doubt, especially while starting the zine. I overcame this by reminding myself why I was doing this and taking each day at a time.”