BE­ING AN ARTIST,

Broken Pencil - - Editor's Note - Jonathan

writer, or per­son work­ing in com­mu­ni­ties isn’t al­ways easy.

I mean, it’s the only life I can imag­ine for my­self, and I’m lucky and priv­i­leged to be able to do the ex­cit­ing work I’ve al­ways wanted to do. But it is also a per­pet­ual chal­lenge for peo­ple like you and me to fig­ure out how to get by in the face of the heav­ing, gnarly, back-break­ing cap­i­tal­ist ma­chine that is de­stroy­ing work­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment. i swear I’m more cheer­ful in per­son.

Like many peo­ple I know, artists and oth­er­wise, I patch to­gether a bunch of gigs to pay my bills. I’m al­ways on the look­out for my next project or col­lab­o­ra­tion, and I also try to nour­ish my long-term com­mit­ments, re­la­tion­ships, and skills. Bal­anc­ing all that with my val­ues, my de­sire to learn from com­mu­nity, my hopes for my­self and the peo­ple I care about — it can be hard to fig­ure out how to do mean­ing­ful work while af­ford­ing to live in an ex­pen­sive city like Toronto.

In many ways, this is­sue of Bro­ken Pen­cil also has to do with mak­ing it work. We need to have these con­ver­sa­tions about prac­ti­cal, re­source­ful, and eth­i­cal sys­tems of pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion.

That’s why I’m so ex­cited to share with you this is­sue’s full run­down of how to make it as a we­b­comic artist, writ­ten by Bro­ken Pen­cil’s As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor, Anisa Rawhani. Anisa and I have had many con­ver­sa­tions about labour, work­places, and fair pay. She’s been able to carry her in­sights and pol­i­tics around the is­sue into her re­search and writ­ing to make sense of the in­creas­ingly murky, cor­po­ra­tiz­ing world of we­b­comic plat­forms. For cre­ators try­ing to put to­gether a liv­ing, this is in­valu­able in­for­ma­tion — please use and share it.

Like­wise, brave and thought­ful artists, zinesters, and teach­ers are act­ing as stew­ards for a re­newed in­ter­est in us­ing the plants around us. Our sea­sonal fea­ture on the for­ag­ing move­ment in­cludes guid­ance from folks like Dionne Paul, who share their knowl­edge with younger mem­bers of their First Na­tion com­mu­nity, and groups like Not Far From the Tree, who want us to re­duce waste and feed com­mu­ni­ties by re­claim­ing our con­nec­tions to fruit trees in ur­ban cen­tres across Canada. It’s a gen­tle re­minder that when we’re stress­ing about how to put food on our plate and take care of our bod­ies, the an­swer might be closer at hand than we think.

So here’s to you, strug­gling artist, over­worked ac­tivist, un­free free­lancer. We see how hard you’re work­ing to make what you love a vi­able life path, against the odds. I’d like to take the op­por­tu­nity of this ed­i­tor’s rant to also re­mind you, just this once, to take a break and have fun! You might have no­ticed that this is­sue of Bro­ken Pen­cil comes with a pair of old-school 3D glasses — put them on and check out the cover and il­lus­tra­tions through­out the mag, all by Tim Bauer. Tim is a tal­ented il­lus­tra­tor based out of Van­cou­ver (and, speak­ing of artists on the grind, he’s a hell of a hard worker). When I saw the in­no­va­tive stuff he was do­ing us­ing x-ray and 3D ef­fects to un­pack gen­der per­for­mance and clas­sic queer aes­thet­ics, I was blown away. I’m so ex­cited he got to take over our sum­mer read­ing is­sue of the mag­a­zine and in­vite you to play around a bit.

Happy sum­mer, read­ers.

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