Kate Bingaman-Burt

RECAP—Zine Workshop with Kate Bingaman-Burt at IPRC

We had a great time learning all about zine making with Kate Bingaman-Burt last month. This was a community workshop in partnership with the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). Not only did we learn all about the history of zines and how to make them, Kate shared her huge zine library with us, and lot's, and lot's of books on typography. There was about 36 of us that made zines on the topic of our favorite snacks, then we traded with everyone who attended. It was a great start to my new zine collection!

IPRC was the perfect place for the workshop. If you haven't been there you need to go! They had everything we needed to stamp, xerox, draw, and assemble. Beyond what we used to make our zines,  the place is a publishing play house with an assortment of letterpress machines, typewriters, and other other book binding equipment.

Of course Kate was an awesome teacher, and as always a pleasure to learn from!

Check out more photos from the workshop here!

Discovery Workshop—Making Zines with Kate Bingaman-Burt & IPRC

Written by Chloe Miller

An affable, colorful and hardworking force in Portland’s design community, Kate Bingaman-Burt needs little introduction. In addition to her work as a graphic design instructor at Portland State University and an integral member of Design Week Portland, she also finds time for client work and personal projects. Her daily drawing project, which ran from 2003-2013 resulted in the book Obsessive Consumption, and she is most recently drawing other people’s plants. Kate’s illustrations have been commissioned by Chipotle, Bedsider, car2go, Good magazine, and The New York Times Book Review.

We are thrilled to have Kate lead us in our final workshop of the year, with our community partner the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). Come spend a Saturday morning exploring zines as a medium and create your own using IPRC’s tools and resources. Kate will also be bringing a selection from her personal zine collection, and we will be able to peruse the extensive zine library of IPRC as well. If you are a designer, illustrator, doodler, writer, printer or otherwise, this workshop will be a great opportunity to explore how you can print and publish your work in this small, easily shareable format.

When: Saturday, November 15th, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division Street

Price: $20, includes supplies, a zine from Kate and coffee (generously donated by Stumptown)

Registration is open now.

Kate answered some questions about zines:

Wikipedia describes a zine as “small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier”. What would you add to that?

Zines give you a platform for your ideas. You are the author, editor, art director and publisher. BOOM! the power! (use it for good, not evil, please).

What sparked your interest in zines?

I have been a paper hoarder from WAY back. I grew up in a super small town, but I traveled quite a bit with my parents. When I was 13 I visited my first independent record store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There had a rack of zines and I was hooked. I don’t think I knew they were zines though…they were just really interesting and super affordable books and I wanted to buy them all. I didn’t make my first zine until my second year of college, however. I started making zines on the regular when I started my Daily Drawing project in 2006 and I haven’t stopped. I am planning a big monthly zine project for 2015. I AM ADDICTED!

Why is a zine a great platform for an illustrator or designer? What makes them accessible?

It’s an excellent way to share your visual work, writing, fully formed drawings, beginnings of ideas, half baked ideas and possibly even BRILLIANT ideas. I hand out zines instead of business cards…more fun to share and less awkward than being like, OH, can I give you my card? It’s more like: OH, hey! I would love to give you my zine. Everyone wins.

Our partners at the IPRC answered some questions about their space.

What makes the IPRC a great resource for illustrators and designers who want to print/publish their work?

The IPRC is a truly unique organization in that we provide all the resources, tools and materials for making print media. We have a letterpress print shop, a screenprinting shop, a bindery and a Mac computer lab with all of the latest Creative Suites Design software. We are also a 501(c)3 nonprofit so we are accessible in terms of pricing and offer outreach to various groups.

Tell me about the IPRC’s zine library.

Our zine library was started in 1998 and we have over 10,000 catalogued and circulating. We have another 15-20k zines that are not yet catalogued. Our library is the largest zine library in North America and second largest in the world (there is one larger in France)

The IPRC maintains a library of self-published and independently produced materials. Items are available to the public for circulation and for reference use. The library contains materials that are not otherwise represented in public libraries and that may be lost forever without our efforts. Located on the shelves are comics, chap books, novels, catalogs, zines, artists’ books, and more. A comprehensive reference section includes artists books, guides, criticism, history and how-to information available to examine and use in the library. Additionally, all materials produced in whole or part at the IPRC are archived as part of this collection.

When: Saturday, November 15th, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division Street

Price: $20, includes supplies, a zine from Kate and coffee (generously donated by Stumptown)

Registration is now open.

The Kate Bingaman Burt Interview

by guest writer Micheal Buchino

Last week, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Kate Bingaman Burt, WeMake’s upcoming featured sketchXchange artist. We talked about a range of things, from Portland’s homeless population to the difference between an awesome student and a terrible student. 

But I won’t bore you with that. Instead, here are snippets of our conversation that are sketchXchange related.

Just the hits: 

Michael Buchino:Mike King said something along the lines of “I don’t draw unless somebody’s paying me.” Do you ever sketch, doodle or draw for your own enjoyment? 

Kate Bingaman Burt: I wish I did. But it’s almost always for a project. 

MB: Do you ever draw things multiple times to get it right? 

KBB: No. My Daily Drawings I don’t start over again. But my freelance stuff—if I’m messing up something that people are paying for, I’ll start over again.

But, I just don’t do pencil. I just really like the way pen works. 


MB: What’s your medium of choice. So I got that you like pens, but are you a Moleskine fanatic? Or do you just draw on napkins at the bar? Do you draw on anything?

KBB: I do a lot of my Madewell on tracing paper. If I’m not doing Daily Drawings, I’d probably do most of my stuff on tracing paper. Because I really like—well, all my Daily Drawings have an end game of Maybe Someone Wants to Purchase Them, so I have this consistent 8″ x 10″, single image on nice paper. But whenever that’s not a factor, I do most of my drawings on tracing paper.


KBB: I was thinking about bringing and talking about some of my favorite people who do keep really good sketchbooks. There’s an artist named Candy Jernigan that I was really influenced by. She was actually married to Philip Glass in the 1980s and then she past away and she kept these amazing sketch books. They weren’t just drawings! They were full of trash and bits of papers—those are my ideal sketchbooks, my aspiration sketchbooks.

MB: The ones that are overflowing…

KBB: Overflowing with bits of debris and found objects, and then I would probably add drawings to the things. But I definitely see more of a collage of bits and pieces and taking the page to make a composition out of lots of different elements. 

But I also feel like I’m not that strong of a drawer. I do think I can arrange things very well. So I feel like if I were to do a sketchbook, I would do that. 


KBB: I don’t throw away any of my drawings, so—

MB: Wait, you don’t ever toss anything?

KBB: It’s not that often. I haven’t tossed anything in a really long time. I don’t know why I don’t—this is all scanned! Why do I need to keep all this? There are digital files. I have all of this stuff, I could just throw it away.

MB: You scan every drawing? 


MB: That’s not obsessive at all. 

KBB: I go back and forth between not giving a shit about keeping a paper trail or having an archive and going to the extreme of [creepy hoarder voice] I can’t throw anything away. It’s a weird back-and-forth. 


MB: What do you enjoy drawing. Like, really like.

KBB: …Baby Bok Choy. This is fun. I went to Whole Foods and I really like drawing from life. So I bought a bunch of vegetables and all day on Monday I was like, “I’m gonna draw vegetables bla bla bla. This is so much fun!

MB: What’s interesting to me is that you’ve reduced these vegetables to their simplest forms, but you didn’t actually sketch them a billion times and do a process of reduction…

KBB: I took a couple drawing classes in undergrad. The only thing I enjoyed about the drawing classes was the contour line work and the blind contour stuff. 

MB: I love that shit. 

KBB: I had a terrible, terrible drawing instructor. He was drunk all the time. I just took that class because I had to—I was really more into ceramics and then I did graphic design—I just didn’t get the connection that I liked drawing at all, so I tried to cut corners all the time. But the one thing I loved was contour line drawing.

And then I stopped doing it for several years until I started doing my credit card statements in 2004. Which has been awesome. 

MB: And you’re a natural…

— fin —


sketchXchange with Kate Bingaman Burt is Friday Night, August 10, 2012. And will be held in the studio of Fashionbuddha. It’s going to be awesome and we hope to see you there!

Sign ups will begin at 9am on Monday, August 6th. Space will be limited so sign up early!

rsvp on Eventbrite

Watch this Bingaman Burt presentation at CreativeMornings/PDX. It’s an excellent primer.