#35 Falling in love with art and making zines
Hunting near the belly button
Just another howdy and welcome to any new paid subscribers; I noticed a few newcomers this week. Welcome!
Thanks for your interest in my work.
Be sure to go back and read all of the published excerpts of my travel memoir so far on my author page (all of the posts are numbered, so you can quickly work your way back if you've only just joined us). Then you can swing back here for the latest excerpt of this week. Cheers!
During the Covid lockdown, my work stopped, and I was paralysed by an initial fear of the unknown at the beginning of the pandemic.
But eventually, I shook myself out of it by returning to my creativity. Apart from writing, I also love art, reading and music.
So I got out my sketchbook which had been put aside for years and revived my love of self-expression. It was my therapy.
Then I thought, why not share some of the things I've been making with my blog audience, so I started creating a zine, a self-published book or magazine dedicated to my interests to share with a small audience.
I loved the idea of making something small and well-crafted for those already reading along with me on my blogs. It was an enthralling process, which I hope to continue regularly.
So one zine dedicated to my photography in Sicily, titled A Sicilian Mosaic, soon turned into a second zine devoted to poetry.
Trinacria poems is a collection of poems written while living on the enigmatic Italian island of Sicily. It's about my Sicilian heritage and the nature of this ancient place. It is also composed of original collage artwork, made using personal family photographs and material gathered over twenty years of living in Sicily.
Then when I heard the news of the death of the singer and actor Meat Loaf on the 20th of January 2022, I felt compelled to go back and listen to his music after realising his performing career spanned an astounding six decades. I instantly fell into a Meat Loaf rabbit hole.
I soon fell in love with his music and life story. It's a shame it took so long for me to discover his music. It took his death to realise how many things of value he created.
In my defence, I was born in 1977 when Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman's collaborative album A bat out of hell came out and became one of the highest-selling albums ever. So I was blissfully unaware of his early music. I recall seeing the album's cover and thinking it was some heavy metal, a genre that would never have interested a pop-loving teenager like myself.
I made up for my lack of Meat Loaf love in the past by watching every video, interview, article, song or post about this fantastic artist. He inspired me so much that I dedicated a zine to him.
The exceptional life of Michael Lee Aday is my small tribute to Meatloaf's journey towards a career that gave us one of the most popular albums of all time, as well as many other memorable performances and memories.
The zine focuses on the fantastic struggle that Michael Lee and songwriter Jim Steinman had in getting the album recorded and the tremendous determination they showed in growing their fan base with grassroots performances and tours after no one wanted to promote the record.
The life story of Michael Lee Aday (Meat Loaf) is a testament to creativity, hard work, determination and self-belief.
Meat Loaf also helped me to get back into sketching and drawing. I also used his endless photo archive to draw him as I researched him. The result is a collection of sketches reflecting this extraordinary man's essence.
It has been a year since his death, and I still love drawing him.
The first anniversary of his death has already passed by, and we need to keep remembering what ML used to always say, never give up and remember to Keep Rocking!!
I hate to be long-winded, so I will stop here now.
I'll keep trying to write something worthwhile, well thought out and new here every week, perhaps more often if I get in the zone.
Thanks for subscribing, and be sure to send this to a friend or someone you think might enjoy it.
This week's excerpt from my travel memoir, Sicilian Descent, is exclusively for paid subscribers. Be sure to get a paid subscription if you haven't already.
I publish a weekly free newsletter with a letter and postcard from Sicily. While on Saturdays, the paid version goes out with the latest excerpt from my memoir.
And I usually share some things I think are worth sharing with you, random reading, viewing, listening and other finds I've stumbled upon during the week.
So please do keep in touch.
Cheers to you
with love from Sicily
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial