Do It For The Grain will be a free, independent, semi-regular publication of analog black and white photography by local artists. It tackles the impermanence of our times by calling for the creation of physical images in a medium as accessible, democratic, and honest as the city in which we live.
DIFTG will be available from your favourite local business for free, and will give local photographers a real outlet for their work. High quality prints of all photographs published in the zine will be available for purchase, with 90% of the proceeds going directly to the photographer (the remainder will go towards the printing of the publication itself).
Particular consideration will be taken when curating to include the works of photographers who don't regularly exhibit, as well as those who are part of underrepresented groups. Additionally, guest curators will be chosen on occasion to keep things interesting. Diversity of selected artists is important, as the inclusion of their unique perspectives is crucial to a rich and vibrant community.
Analog black and white is an unexpectedly accessible medium. Film is a few dollars a roll, and development can be done for cents with a small amount of equipment. Professional 35mm cameras and lenses can be had for under $100, and most consumer-level products are equally capable of producing polished, presentable results.
I decided to start this project when struggling to find an output for my own creativity. Trying to separate my life from the internet has led me to more traditional and physical means of entertainment, to which the art of analog photography naturally lends itself. There is certainly something to be said for the wide reach of social media, but Ottawa's increasingly vivacious arts community is worthy of celebration in a tangible form as well.
Production value of the zine will be low in order to allow for large volume printing by myself at minimal costs. Attaining the $300 goal will allow DIFTG to purchase a cheap high-volume printer and enough paper and ink for at least 150 copies of the first three issues. If the funding goal is surpassed, we'll be able to invest in a much better printer and enough paper and ink for a few more issues. Since a small amount from each purchased print will be reinvested in the zine, it should become fully self-sufficient by this point. The publication goal is roughly a dozen issues over the remainder of 2019, and around 20 issues a year thereafter.
If $600 is raised, the DIFTG darkroom will be able to purchase the equipment missing to make enlargements from 35mm and medium format negatives. Prints of all photos in the zine will be available from a professional studio regardless, but offering the service in-house would allow for more proceeds from each print sale to go directly to artists.
If over $600 is raised, it will be reinvested in the community. Ideally, it would be put towards photography education initiatives, a new public darkroom initiative, or (if it goes really well) a launch party or semi-regular event to bring Ottawa's photography community together.
Risks and challenges
The first issue has already been designed - printing is really the last barrier to publication. If response is significantly weaker than what I've heard so far, the zine will simply stop production once we run out of paper and funds are exhausted. Overall, this is such a low-cost venture that there isn't really much at risk. It's not like you're gambling on some ill-conceived island festival.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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