Tally Zine Fest 2020: What It Is and Why You Should Go

Next weekend, two small businesses in the Railroad Square District of Tallahassee will be buzzing with local artists and art enthusiasts alike, with hundreds of unique items being bought and sold. The Bark and The Plant will be hosting the third annual Tally Zine Fest on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.!

Tally Zine Fest was founded in 2018 by director Colleen Itani and assistant director Kelly Lorraine Hendrickson. “TZF is a platform for the DIY community and merges locals, academics and anyone interested in printed media,” they write on their website. “People also travel into Tallahassee to sell work at a table, purchase zines or just experience the festival. The atmosphere is casual which gives all attendees a chance to talk with each other face to face, about zines, zine related projects and artwork in general.”

So what exactly is a zine? Coming from the word “magazine,” it’s a handmade booklet that you can fill with drawings, poetry, prose or information. The first zines were made by sci-fi fans in Chicago in the 1930s. In recent history, zines have been used as political action tools because they were an easy and discreet way to spread information about meetings, protests and riots. They also have a history in the punk rock world, with the Riot Grrl zine being a prominent example as a way for women and femme-identifying people to start their own bands and carve a space for themselves in the male-dominated punk scene. Nowadays, zines are making an artistic comeback because they’re simple, versatile and inexpensive; you only need a copy machine to mass-produce basic zine designs for cheap! Many zine artists are even taking it to the next level and publishing their zines online as an accessible way to share their work and reduce their carbon footprints.

When I first started getting into drawing early last year, I decided to take the plunge and reserve my own table at TZF 2019 to share my work. At first, I was nervous – this was my first time selling my art publically and I had no idea what to expect. I was worried that my amateur art wasn’t legit enough for such a “real” art show. But when I arrived at The Bark that Saturday morning, I was greeted by friendly faces who helped me set up my table and were genuinely interested in me and my artwork. I was able to get to know the other artists who were tabling around me as well as the fest-goers that passed by my station. Many people who bought drawings from me told me how much they liked my art style and how much my pieces resonated with them, which was extra special! My experience confirmed that Tally Zine Fest is one of the most unique and special events that Tallahassee has to offer for art lovers.

Grace Hayes Zine Image

Courtesy: Grace Hayes

So if you’re looking for something cool to do next Saturday, look no further than Tally Zine Fest! Check out the Facebook event and follow TZF on Instagram for the most up-to-date information. When you go, bring some cash and an open mind – you’re guaranteed to find at least one item you can’t go home without snagging for your wall!

For more information on Tally Zine Fest 2020:

Where? The Bark (507 All Saints St.) and The Plant (517 W. Gaines St.) They’re right down the street from one another!

When? Saturday, Feb. 22 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m..

Parking? Street parking in the Railroad Square/All Saints district, St. Augustine Garage and possible designated parking for TZF attendees.

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