My digital artefact is Pine, a digital zine which gives creatives from around the world a platform to share their work for free. As a writer, I understand the struggles behind potential or attempted publication—financial issues, lack of portfolio, and the high-standard expected by established publications. I decided to fix that problem, giving artists an opportunity to get their work out there no matter if they’re a professional or rookie.
Based observation, personal experience, word of mouth, and in-depth readings, I decided it best make Pine free to access and submit to. By making it free and easily accessible, Pine could be shared and submitted to without it financially affecting contributors or the “creative/artsy/indie” audience that I aimed for.
I decided to develop Pine by seeking contributors through social media, posting on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram seeking artists or creators. Pine would then be edited through Canva, taking design, style, and general inspiration from the magazine frankie and zines such as Pastel, Glass, Gulp, and Verses on Instagram. Pine would then be exported as a pdf and uploaded to Issuu, to then be shared and distributed through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email.
I started off with Issue 1: Self — a collection of artworks, short stories, poetry, and photography surrounding the theme “Self”, created by artists within the Wollongong region. Written pieces were edited by my editor, and the zine itself was made on Canva and distributed via Issuu, with no notable technical issues or excessive time taken. Once it was released on September 13th, I asked contributors to share Pine to their networks, which was then shared throughout the literary community on Facebook. People were liking the Instagram posts and sharing the release throughout their social media pages. Generally, people didn’t comment on posts often, though I received a lot of positive feedback in person. As of November 1st, Issue 1: Self received over 400 reads. It was a simple process with an effective outcome.
I encountered countless problems with Issue 2: Earth. Approaching the deadline, I had only received seven contributions. This non-verbal feedback forced me adapt. I reached out to a variety of people to ask for their contributions, broadened the range of content in which Pine accepts (now including critical works), and took a political stance to stay topical. Contributors soon came rushing in from around the world, and my editor and I had to select the highest quality submissions. Canva and Issuu both had significant technical problems, pushing back the release date towards the end of Climate Change Week rather than the beginning. More people shared Issue 2: Earth, though fewer people engaged online. As of November 1st, Issue 2: Earth has over 300 views – a drop I attribute to the lack of hype or call for submissions which previously prompted literary groups to share.
Pine operated in the intended way, with audiences (no matter how small) still enjoying and sharing the work. The measure of Pine’s success doesn’t depend on numbers, but is measured by the audience’s love and support. Recent feedback suggests that users would enjoy printed copies and an active website, which is the direction in which Pine will attempt to take over the coming months. Hopefully in a few months time, Pine will have a real home.
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