When illustrator Eleni Kalorkoti embarked on a year-long zine challenge, she wanted the impetus to create more personal work. The premise was simple: one zine a month, every month, for a year. Each issue was based around a personally relevant theme, such as moving to London or inspiring actresses.
"I had so little time to pick each theme and make a zine about it, I just had to go with anything that felt it could hold my interest and make for good pictures," she remembers.
Kalorkoti used a mix of techniques, from hand-drawing and colouring in Photoshop to acrylic paint, watercolours and pencil. "I've never found one technique I’d like to solely work in, so I enjoy trying out new ways of making images," she says. "Working in different media can bring out very different aspects of your work."
The project gathered a growing buzz. "As more people found out about it and started following my progress, it did bring new attention to my work. People blogged about it and so on," says Kalorkoti. "I think having a regular stream of new work to post about online led to new people finding my work, although nobody can ever remember how they found your work when you ask them!"
Having a stack of zines for sale also enabled her to exhibit at events and make contacts. Once the project finished, Kalorkoti found she was getting a much steadier stream of work. "I had worked with The New York Times once before, but I had quite a few new jobs with them after the zine project, which may or may not have had anything to do with it."
This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 231.