I am proud and happy and relieved to announce that the third issue of BodyTalk is launching this week. The Women Issue explores all things womanly, unwomanly and everything in between. Like past issues, avoiding cliches was really important. Unlike past issues, however, reading submissions over and over didn't often lead to any breakthroughs in visual representation. I guess what we are told is true: women can be really hard to read and interpret, and each of these stories is a unique experience. How could I make the design as complex as the subject of this issue? It would be fair to equate my relationship with Issue 3 to that of a hormonal woman.
Here's a re-enactment of what happened:
Designing this zine was an emotional roller coaster, but I learned a lot, and not just in terms of design. To brainstorm the story on clitoral piercings, I called a local piercing parlor and spoke with the piercist(?) for a while about imagery and methods. I discovered the beauty of Flickr's Creative Commons (mentioned above) and got a little bit closer to my PIctorial Webster's. I bought black suede ankle booties and am working up the courage to wear them, and then one day I didn't wear a bra at all. I also completely forgot to shave my underarms for two weeks, and after reading the story about hair (you'll see it oh so soon!), I didn't feel weird about it. I bought the most disgusting-looking Lean Cuisine I could find (yep, that's in the zine too), and as an homage to dear Georgia O'Keefe and women everywhere, I placed an order for what you see on the cover.
I think the edible O'Keefe's are my favorite part of this issue. Melissa, the decorator at Uppercrust Bakery did a superb job of reading my mind, especially when neither I nor the bakery assistant could keep a straight face when I placed the order:
Me: I need to order some cupcakes.
Uppercrust: Okay, what kind?
M: Cupcakes decorated like vaginas.
We both blush a little. The assistant has a few more questions, and at this point, any type of banal question becomes slightly amusing:
U: Mini- or large- sized?
U: How many?
U: How do you want them to, well...I mean, I know what a vagina looks like...but how do you want them to look?
M: Oh, good question. Like psychedelic vaginas.
U: What...um...flavor would you like them to be? (She lists a variety of flavors).
M: Vanilla. (To act as a blank canvas, I think to myself).
When I picked them up a few days later, all 12 were perfect in their own special way. They photographed beautifully, and at the impromptu Inappropriate Cupcake party, all were well..errr...eaten up.