A Zine Renaissance: Why Miami's Tech-y Young Artists Are Turning Back To Old-Fashioned Printed Paper

Feb 1, 2013

Edwin Beauchamp and Gusto Mendoza, the creative minds behind the new design studio Coloform, are, naturally, all over the web. Of course, like any good twenty- and thirtysomething artists of their ilk, they're all over Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, even relatively stodgy Facebook, and pretty much everywhere else in the digital world. So the choice of medium for their latest project, Moods 2, seems almost archaic: printed paper.

This limited-edition publication follows a slowly growing rebirth in Miami of zine culture -- a d.i.y. approach to self-publishing that, like vinyl in the music world, favors the tangible. Yes, Moods 2 is something you have to actually pick up in real life to fully experience: the zine itself folds out into a poster.

In fact, the entire project arose from a poster project by Beauchamp and Mendoza this past September, based on the concept of visually conveying music and sound waves. "For Moods 2 we wanted make another giveaway poster, and through some experimentation we came up with a poster/zine concept," says Mendoza.

"The first poster and flyer used a distorted color graphic, resembling a marble pattern, and we felt it would be best to continue that aesthetic with a few characters I had designed," adds Beauchamp. "Some characters were specifically mode for this poster/zine, and others were from previous projects."

In the small Miami zine world, Moods 2 joins the likes of Strangeways, an occasional, contributor-sourced effort published by artist Luis Pinto. Any number of small-run, artist-designed one-offs continue to pop up around town. And on the more professional side of the spectrum are more magazine-like, but still independent, publications like the quarterly Miami Rail and the biannual Jai-Alai magazine.

Unsurprisingly, most of the editors and creators of this project cluster around Lester's, the flexible cafe/bar/small venue in Wynwood that's become a kind of smart-people salon. "The first thing that attracted us to Lester's is their periodical selection," says Mendoza. "It's a perfect event space that lends itself to creativity."

As such, Beauchamp and Mendoza will take over the place Friday night for a release party celebrating Moods 2, just two weeks after Pinto debuted the latest issue of Strangeways there, too. Pinto, Beauchamp, and Mendoza all DJ, with vintage clothing dealers Nic Fit Vintage also setting up shop on the Lester's patio. Admission to the event is free (and is for those 21 and up), but so are all the limited copies of Moods 2. Lester's is at 2519 NW 2nd Ave., Miami; call 305-456-1784 or visit lestersmiami.com for more details.