If you weren't paying attention to The Offensive, our DIY zine-making competition, it's literally time to get read. The past few weeks we've been poring over the hundreds of reader-submitted zines bearing the hashtag #TCPOffensive via the Zean.it app, and now we've culled our list down to the Top 5. Tomorrow we'll be announcing the winner, selected by none other than OG rap god Juicy J himself, who will have their zine published and included as an insert within the pages of VICE Magazine's September Issue. Until then, get acquainted with the hard-hitting masters of the digital zine-making platform. In alphabetical order:
Isabel LaSala - @isabel.lasala
Theme for your zine: An ongoing series of baggies containing photos of various NYC textures & facades.
What inspired you to make it?: Zines are great vessels to communicate a body of work. I felt like it was the best way to present these new pieces.
What's 'offensive' to you?: Almost nothing anymore.
What are you working on next?: 'Never let em know your next move'
Ivory Serra - @ivory
Zine theme: Travel and life experience.
What inspired you to make it?: I was inspired by my amazing friend Marta, who is in the zine.
What's 'offensive' to you?: I really don't find anything too offensive except not following ideals.
What are you working on next?: I'm working on a new photo book which will include 20 years of the skateboarding and art culture in NYC
Jeff Hemmi - @jomo
Occupation: Graphic designer
Theme for your zine: Grills
What inspired you to make it?: I'm from Houston, TX, where grills are a big part of the culture. I thought it would be interesting to showcase disembodied grills without the faces. Just focusing on the grill itself; letting the grill shine on its own.
What's 'offensive' to you?: Monotony
What are you working on next?: Just more zines in my spare time I guess.
Liv Hoffman - @everyonelovesliv
Theme for your zine: The Chinatown hustle
What inspired you to make it?: Chinatown life inspires me because I feel like I am in a different world every time. I like the fast movement, high pace, chaotic vibe. When I take photos, I want to be in a sea of people so I am not noticed, and that is really easy to do there.
What's 'offensive' to you?: I find it offensive when grown men catcall me on the street when I go out to take photos. Sometimes I just ask them, "How would your mother feel if she heard you say that?" I want to throw it back at them so they can reflect on why it's offensive.
What are you working on next?: A good friend of mine from high school is homeless living on the Lower East Side. She is currently hooked on heroin, which has turned her life upside down. I really want to work on a project with her that sheds light on the issues that she has faced, while also reflecting on the idea of being homeless but still having a home.
Nery Madrid - @nerymadrid
Occupation: Freelancer (visuals, art director, musician) and full-time single parent.
Theme for your zine: The theme I was going for is marginalized and disenfranchised people who are pushed to the edges, but then are placed in the center for profit (dehumanized and then duplicated).
What inspired you to make it?: My inspiration for making the zine is the passing of my partner/wife/mother our two kids (Elijah and Yasmin) Kadeisha Nicole Hilliard. She lost her life from a 5 year battle with cancer. She begged me to start shooting again and to put my work out there for all to see.
What's 'offensive' to you?: Cultural appropriation, the lack of proper acknowledgement and monetization when it comes to contributions made by specific cultures, genres, and artists. Basically when other people take credit for others' rich histories or work.
What are you working on next?: I'm working on a couple documentary films, more film photography projects, as well as the launch of a tech start up company that my friends and I started and of course growing as a person, son, lover and father.
Honorable mentions: Annabella Mull, Brian Chan, Isabel Dimaranan, Maria Koblyakova, Nikki Freyermuth, & Zach Ranson.
Stay tuned tomorrow, when we'll be announcing the winner of The Offensive: A DIY Zine-Making Competition.
Click here to download Zean.it and get started on your own DIY zine creations.