Interactions pt 1 - Primary research

As well as documenting my own experience in the world I want to make this zine relatable so I put out a call on instagram asking people to share what makes them feel anxious. Here are some of the replies I had.


“Stuck in the middle of a crowd with no way out, walking home anywhere without streetlights, job interviews, clicking send on a message you know won’t be recieved well” 


“If a train is cancelled I worry and instantly jump to a worse case scenario that I will miss whatever I’m travelling for (if it’s meeting friends that they would be upset or if it’s work/uni related that it would mean I fail something or get in trouble)”


“Seeing really great design work online it a huge thing for me; it used to cripple me to the point of being so anxious I couldn’t make anything - super invonvenient”


“Doing adult things without another person that feels the same way. Like food shop on your own, huge store, lots of people, no earphones”


“Getting everything in your bag/change while the cashier is waiting for you to leave”


“Central line in rush hour”


“New situations that I’m unfamiliar with drive my anxiety wild. Starting a new job in retail and coming back from uni have been recent situations for me”


“So I just hate coaches and types of public transport where I can’t get off easily so the fact someone else is in control of what I’m doing for example getting a coach from Bournemouth to London I know I can’t get off which makes me hugely anxious and the fact there’s lots of strangers on the coach too” 


“Work parties… last one I went to I got so nervous and anxious cause no one was talking to me I spent the whole time with a straw in my mouth and drank half a bottle of pimms to myself on an empty stomach and made a complete tit of myself because I decided it would be a good idea to make a speech”


“my bus stop was closed and I had to get off at the nect one and I ended up lost in shoreditch with no data and cried trying to get to work”


“When I do venture outside and especially when I’m out on my own, I often feel like an imposter; Like I’m somehow wrong for being there and taking up space in the world. In this moment my vision can feel severe and paranoid, my hearing spaced out like echo’s; my whole brain swims. My chest feels restricted, but buoyant, like an air mattress with a slow leak. I find the only way to cope and re-centre myself is with touch; I will hold my hand to the floor and ground myself (Although more often than not I feel too awkward to do that and just live with the anxiety until I’m back in my safe space).


Another failsafe way I cope with anxiety is to ensure I have absolute control over the spaces and situations around me. It’s hard to tell if my love of interior design is a product of my personality and taste or just my anxiety disorder. They say a tidy room is a tidy mind, but my compulsion to constantly reposition all my furniture and clean every surface goes beyond that, and I will become overly emotional and sometimes angry if I’m unable to make these changes.


My first memory of what I now recognise as anxiety was as a child. I would cry and hide to get out of social situations; even low-key gatherings with family and friends who I liked (even loved), the overwhelming feeling of panic and dread would completely wash over me, and I could think of nothing more than being back home in safety and familiarity.


The reality of the situation was that nothing bad was going to happen, but my brain was telling me that it was; or at least that it could.


My anxiety has always been triggered in social settings, and I think due to these formative memories of panic and fear as a child, I’ve developed introverted coping mechanisms in my adult life. There is of course nothing wrong with being introverted and spending time by yourself, but for me it’s not always a choice, its anxiety controlling my decision making. If I feel particularly agitated or stressed out by something, I’ll often give in and instead of letting the anxiety take over, I’ll avoid that ‘something’ completely, usually by shutting myself away in the solitary confinement of my duvet and Netflix.”


Interactions pt 1 - Initial research

19th October - IVM Studios


Today we had a talk from IVM Alumni, Ellie Crewes. She talked us through how she developed her style within University, how she coped with graduation and publishing her first book. 


As someone who wants to focus on creating an outcome I would be happy to sell I found this talk quite inspiring. She spoke about her process of building up illustrations using drafter paper and adding colour later. I’ve decided to spend more time on individual illustrations and building each element up to create a mixed media outcome. 


I visited Gosh Comics where her book was launched afterwards. I found the Short press section particularly inspiring. Some followed a strict story narrative whilst others became a visual piece that followed a theme but could be opened at any page. I think I would want my narrative to follow the latter pattern. 


Short Press has allowed illustrators and artists to create and sell their own work in established shops. It’s interesting to see the different examples and techniques used to create a professional product that can be sold cheaply and in large quantities. 



I visited his exhibition at Somerset House that explored both his work and style, as well as other artists who had been inspired. I was particularly interested in the way his cartoons, although simple and easy to understand, were relatable and often addressed difficult issues. 


Charles Monroe Schulz, born 1922 in Minneapolis, grew up in a small town with his first and second generation immigrant parents. He is most well known for his comics of Charlie Brown and the gang, AKA Peanuts.


The personalities and thoughts conveyed in his work are clear and each comic could make you laugh or cry or question your whole outlook on life. 


As I begin to create my own imagery I want to consider how I convey the feelings I get whilst experiencing anxiety so that my visuals are relatable to everyone. 



I visited Gosh Comics and picked up some different examples of zines to inspire how I plan my layout and narrative. I liked he fold out ‘Milktoof’ but folding these on a large scale doesn’t seem efficient. I liked the narratives where each page stood out as a piece on its own, they were all based around a theme rather than having a specific beginning, middle and end. My days and feelings whilst suffering from anxiety don’t always link up, sometimes I’ll be ok and then suddenly I’ll wake up having a panic attack. Each day is separate but they’re always defined by what my anxiety is doing. 


Interactions pt 1 - Starting point

This project has a focus on creating an outcome that I can sell through exhibitions, my website or DIY Markets. My starting point for research therefore was examples of zines and publications that I liked.


Things to Consider


  • Material to print on

I will have to consider the price of buying in bulk or whether it is cheap to buy singularly as and when I need to create more. The background colour will depend on the colour scheme within my work, so I could consider sticking with black and white and changing the paper colour. What size paper am I printing on? Can I feed into a printer or would I need to screen print or use external printers?


  • Fold (One sheet, one fold per sheet, concertina)

I like the concertina approach but to produce on mass this might become difficult.

Printing on one sheet of paper would definitely be easier if I were to screenprint the final products but the folding would again be a lot and allows more risk for a less professional finish.

  • Colour

If I print in black and white and add colour with the paper choice it would be cheaper but if I’m including photography within the work it might look better printed in colour. If I do use colour I will have to consider using a colour scheme or pallette.



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