The Rodeo

My friend who goes by Shut Eye Press invited me to PHX Zinefest. I didn’t know of that event’s existence, but I decided that I might as well sign up as a vendor and make this event the deadline to getting my shit together. “Getting my shit together” being, can I make a not-completely-unintelligible project, to realize this weird experiment of having a world-facing identity for random stuff I make. One could call it “starting a company,” but financial success is not what I aim for. What I aim for is to hand someone a “business” card, they go to an etsy store or a website, and that process isn’t a complete embarrassment for me.

Objectively, I have not reached the finish line. I have not made Etsy posts of all of the stickers I’ve created and printed, nor have I made posts for all of the zines I’ve created. I also haven’t finalized and polished a presence of these finished objects on this website.
While I’m still technically a failure, I feel proud of what I have accomplished so far.

My primary goal was to:

  1. Create a web presence and landing page that isn’t on social media (because social media is a disease)
  2. Have the physical objects completed, printed, and ready for sale for the in-person event.
  3. Posting those objects on Etsy afterward is important, but tertiary.

All of the objects that I planned to print, are finished and ready to print. That is an accomplishment. I’ve learned how to pseudo-build a website from scratch, use Jekyll, Github, Markdown, and basic HTML and CSS just from this one project. That’s a huge accomplishment. I’ve specifically made some horror western content just so that when people visit something called “Headless Rodeo” they’re not weirded out by the utter lack of themed content. This is an accomplishment.

All of the stickers are created and printed. Another accomplishment. All of the zines I had have been at least prepped for print and are ready to go. That’s almost an accomplishment.

While I still have lots that I want to do before zine fest, I wanted to take time to appreciate what I have done. I want to reconsider my definition of ‘success’ to beyond commerce. I will never retire on zines and stickers. It’s not about the money. It’s about keeping the balloon in the air. So far so good.