it’s me, renee! remember? we went to school together. did we? mangapapa? lytton. or wait, was it footy - nooo, ilminster surf club! nah nah nah, I was flatting with your cousin like 9 years ago, right? ah shit sorry man, i don’t remember how I know you, ‘cause damn, Gisborne is so small ain’t it? but how you been anyway?
what am I doing with myself these days? uhh sheesh I dunno man, what am I doing with my life? well, existential questions aside, long story short I used to be graphic designer but that kinda sucked so I packed up my life and moved into a van and now yada yada yada, happiest I’ve ever been, and all that.
yeah I guess the nine to five designer thing never really worked out since my creative process is kinda like, stay up late, sink a few beers, crank some jazz and let some wild abstract ideas germinate in a tiny moonlit bedroom. plus my greatest fear is living a boring life. so now I work in a carpark on a ski field hahaha. up at the crack of dawn to fight the wrath of blizzards and deal with sassy karens in landrovers. makes for a refreshing change to staring at the same patch of ceiling in an office building, day in and out.
I still rustle up a few projects on the side from time to time, though. I ‘spose my style is as much defined by circumstance as it is sensibility. bored but broke. hyped but short on time. sleepless adrenaline. clean cut grunge. pre-internet nostalgic. humbly subversive. deliberately vague. deep thinking wrapped up in fish n chip paper.
but it’s all about the ‘zines for me now, man. zines? it’s like short for ‘magazines’. zeeeeeeeen. it’s basically like when you’re too skint to produce a proper professional magazine with a publisher so you just do it all yerself. DIY culture, baby. but they’re pretty sick, no ads, no consumerist bullshit. a little punk, super creative, fully independent, subcultural, underground kinda stuff. yeah clearly still shamelessly hanging onto my youth, you know! the good old days, remember? when phones didn’t exist, scabby knees, bruised shins, salty hair and a sunburnt face was kind of the most of your worries and print was king, magazines were the tits, siamese dream was on the radio, and your bedroom walls were plastered with spreads you’d pulled out of skate mags and inserts from your favourite CDs that dad had blown up with the photocopier at work. that was the stuff that got me super juiced on design and still does.
actually dude, I just started up this thing called subzero. it’s basically a collective made up of a few homies who make dope art which we put together into zines and photo books and what not. You know, skaters, muso’s, poets, snow bums and all that jazz. the whole magic mustard thing is part of it too.
yeah, people are pretty curious about magic mustard. apparently there’s some kind of intriguing mystery to it. so naturally I try not to answer too many questions about it. but what I can tell ya dude is that a brand spankin’ new issue is popping up all over the country right now. and if you’re fast you might be able to nab a free copy from Zephyr out at Wainui, or grab a whiskey from Sam at Siduri and he might let you have a read of his.
so yeah that’s me, man. same old. if i’m not pottering around my parents’ house covered in spray paint and spilt beer i’ll probably be behind the wheel of my boy Fargo, camera close at hand, heading somewhere remote for a few kumbayas around a campfire. Either that or I’m eating shit while pretending like i can still surf, skate or snowboard.
ya know it’s funny, when I grew up here as a kid I kinda had this idea in my head that gisborne was a bit of a lame place to be and that nothing was really gonna happen for me until I got outta here. but the more places I go and the more people I meet the more I can start to appreciate the perspective you get from growing up out east. there’s definitely a vibe here that breeds very mellow and humble people.
shit my bad, I feel like I’ve just talked about myself this whole time! anyway dude, I gotta go but good seeing you bro! keep in touch!
keep it weird and keep it wild! yeeeewwww!
Words by Renee Pearson Photograph by Tom Teutenberg
Instagram: @8192rpm @subzero.distro