Redefining Renaissance

By Kyla Reda & Isabelle Poirier

Zine 0006 has a story of creative revival, and it all started with a pause.

As some of you may know, we took a short hiatus from producing zines after Zine 0005 - Collaboration came out last year. We needed that time off to rest and get reinspired so we could come back and produce something creative and unique again, at a more sustainable pace for us.

Ottawa Design Club Zine Renaissance

Photography: Maryne Devine from House of Common

We'll admit it, the zine idea was feeling a bit stale. Our trusty design grid, which we pushed to its limits in Zine 0005, had us feeling a tad confined. We were too close to the project and right after launching a zine, we had to jump into the conceptualization of the next one. We couldn’t fully appreciate our work. Hence the pause in our production. But then, something amazing happened—we started hearing from our creative community. They were genuinely excited about the next zine, and that's when we knew it was time to breathe new life into it.

This renewal period for us meant a rebirth for the zines, and what better way to celebrate that than to have a theme that explores the ideas and importance of renewal, resetting, and rebirth? Thus, Zine 0006 - Renaissance was born.

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Photography: Maryne Devine from House of Common

In a way, the zine itself prompts a Renaissance for the very concept of Renaissance. With our call for submissions, we put forward the historical context and implications of the word, but each artwork featured invites new interpretations and brings fresh meaning to the idea.

When we initially put out the call for submissions, we had "repurposing" in mind. But boy, did our community throw us a curveball! They started delving into deep, thought-provoking topics, showing the world the kind of discussions we want to foster at the Ottawa Design Club.

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You see, our zine's narrative is never set in stone from the get-go. We let the submissions inspire us, and this time, they led us on quite a journey. "Renaissance" was always in the background, but it was interpreted in so many diverse ways. Trust us, it was a wild ride to piece it all together design-wise.

The adventure took a fresh turn when we brought in two new designers, Émilie Brunet and Jared Lebel. Their creativity turned our design grid upside down and inside out, resulting in a genuine rebirth. We even dove headfirst into uncharted territory with new design and printing techniques, stretching our creative boundaries. And for all you design enthusiasts out there, we tossed in a brand-new font just for fun.

To give our zine the spotlight it deserves, we decided to try something different this time, and hosted a separate zine launch event, breaking away from our usual speaker events. It feels important to showcase the zine's content in a different, immersive, multi-sensorial format.

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Photography: Curtis Perry November 8, 2023 - Zine Launch at Wall Space Gallery

As we prepare to release Zine 0006 - Renaissance, we know that its creative journey is far from over. We hope to take another step forward in a way that will allow us to expand and touch new creative communities. A step that will enable the zine to travel beyond our borders the same way that stories from beyond our borders reached the zine and helped make it what it is.

Renaissance is reforging your identity in motherhood. It is starting from scratch in a new city, or breathing new life into an old pair of jeans. Renaissance is reclaiming your skin through ink, readapting to life with a disability, or creating art that shifts the focus of classical known pieces to the minorities or subjugated voices in the background.

Renaissances occur all around us every single day, on personal, creative, and societal levels. Each one of us has the power to incite a Renaissance, whether it be silent and internal or disruptive and widespread. We hope this zine inspires you to embrace the Renaissance opportunities in your life, as well as the complicated emotions that may come along with them. Growth and change are never easy, but we know you’ll come out stronger on the other side of it.

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Meet the artists featured in Zine 0006

— Kyla Reda & Isabelle Poirier

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