Last week, Sketchbook Skool co-founder Koosje Koene taught students in our Imagining kourse a “Red Thread” drawing exercise—weaving a common element through five days of drawings. Sketchbook Skool Community member Helen Leigh-Phippard was so inspired, she took the exercise a step further, making a zine from her red thread drawings!

The SBS Community went wild over zines (homemade magazines) during Sketchbook Skool fakulty member Brian Butler’s klass in our Exploring kourse, and they’ve been making them ever since. With the Red Thread exercise, Helen saw a great opportunity to combine lessons and make something amazing out of her homework. Let’s hear from Helen about how she did it:

I loved creating my concertina sketchbook in last week’s Imagining klass with Koosje. I adopted Koosje’s idea of weaving a red thread through the book, whose subject is a simple rabbit character called Jojo. I started off by just doing a scribble on each page and building a picture around the scribble, but by the fourth page I had a clear idea on each page of what I wanted to draw.

I used a triangular shaped concertina sketchbook a friend gave me recently to draw in. It’s called an Awkward Sketchbook: Each double spread becomes a convenient square. When I finished my 5 days, I had 3 squares left in the book, so I decided to carry on and finish those. I completed all of those on Saturday and then it occurred to me that I had enough squares to make a one-page mini zine!

So I set off researching how to make a mini zine, and once I found a template, I scanned in all my images and used Procreate on my iPad Pro to make the zine. I used a layout template from Umami Design Studio and imported it into a layer in Procreate. Then I added all my scanned images one by one into different layers in Procreate, rotating them and moving them into place on the layout template.

If you decide to have a go at this, it’s important to use different layers because then you can move your images about independently until they all line up properly. Once I had all the images in place, I drew in black marker lines to show where to cut and added some instructions, and then I saved the whole document as a PDF. Then I just mailed it to myself on my laptop from my photo album on my iPad Pro, printed it out and cut and folded it.

If you’d like a copy of the mini zine, the PDF is available in the SBS zine group along with folding instructions and links to the layout template on the Umami Design Studio if you want to make your own.

I didn’t think I could draw from my imagination before last week. Now I know that I can, and in a single week I’ve drawn a whole story and have ticked something off my bucket list—I’ve made my own zine from start to finish. Thanks, Koosje!

Detail from Helen’s “red thread” zine. Art: Helen Leigh-Phippard

“Now I can check something off my bucket list—I’ve made a zine from start to finish!” says Helen. Art: Helen Leigh-Phippard

A look at the zine in PDF. Art: Helen Leigh-Phippard.

Filed under categories: Community, Inspiration