Believe it or not, we have now been in lockdown for over a year! As this grim anniversary approached, I found myself spending quite a lot of time reflecting on how I have handled the past year. From finding myself feeling down with 'lockdown fatigue', to clinging onto the glimpses of optimism that lie at the end of the tunnel, it is safe to say that lockdown has been full of ups and downs for me, and for so many others I'm sure. After all of this reflecting, I reached the conclusion that, thanks to lockdown, I have lost sight of many of the simple pleasures in life that make me happy. With this in mind, I decided to try and create something that would bring some happiness back into everybody’s lives. Three months later, The Sunbeam Zine was born!
A couple of months after I first started writing posts on this blog, I was introduced to the world of Zines. A Zine is a term used to refer to a small body of self-published work, consisting mainly of photography and text, and they are often the result of a collaborative effort; one editor will often compile a series of submissions sent in from other people. I've written articles for, and have been published in, a handful of Zines, and they are such an amazing way to meet a community of like-minded creatives, and to get your work seen by people outside of your immediate bubble. So, when I decided that I wanted to try and spread some happiness, I thought a Zine would be the perfect way to achieve this!
The Sunbeam Zine is a digital magazine, created by me, which focuses on all things positivity and aims to shed some light back into your lockdown lives. It is a labour of love (3 months in the making!) and something that I am incredibly proud to have put together. When I first came up with the idea, I appealed on Instagram and Facebook for people to send in their photographs, articles, poetry and artwork to be featured in the Zine. I have so many talented friends who I knew I could rely on to get involved, but I didn't not expect people from all over the world to reach out to me! The Zine includes work from people in America, India, Australia, Canada, Germany, and so many other countries! I still cannot believe that so many people put their trust in me to execute this crazy idea and help me turn it into a reality.
The theme of the first volume of The Sunbeam Zine is Happiness. Happiness is quite a vague concept to interpret. However, everyone that got involved made the theme their own, and this is what makes the concept of Zine's so wonderful. By featuring work from multiple contributors, The Sunbeam Zine allows you to see the world through the eyes of people you may never typically encounter and, as such, you are able to find happiness in new places. There really is a bit of everything featured within The Sunbeam Zine, and it definitely succeeds in putting a smile on your face.
You can read Volume One of The Sunbeam Zine below. I hope it makes you as happy as it has made me! Please let me know if you enjoy it and keep an eye out as there will be many more issues to come.
For the best experience, I recommend reading The Sunbeam Zine from a laptop or computer. Enjoy!