Nichole Shinn Answers...
Share 1-3 things about your technical process. (ie. how do you color separate?, how do you decide which colors, binding method, or paper to use?, is your process traditional, digital, or both?, if it's collaborative what does the back and forth look like?)
For my technical process on my self publications (outside of TXTBooks projects) I almost always lean into CMYK and stay away from 2 or 3 color separation methods. This is because a lot of the time I'm working with digital drawings that have been collected over time, and not made specifically for a project in mind. So it's just easier to go with a CMYK to process the many colors I use. I have a lot harder time planning ahead for projects that use 2 or 3 colors. This makes it hard since most of my projects end up being more complicated than they necessarily need to be but it has helped me get good at doing the CMYK on Riso. I would say my process is pretty digital focused when it comes to bookmaking. I solely use digital drawings made in Photoshop or material pulled from games or the internet. My favorite paper is French Paper speckletone for CMYK as it shows the most clarity on the colors. For 1-3 color projects it's fun to experiment with random extra papers we have lying around and see how the paper takes it. I like spiral binding but it is a pain to do so I only do it on longer page counts (42+). Also recently I've gotten into sewn binding.
Share 1-3 things about your creative/conceptualizing process.
For a lot of my research projects I go into with a goal in mind and sort of harvest a lot of content pertaining to that topic and then respond to it directly. While conceptualizing some of my drawing focused projects, I usually jump around topics over the course of a few months and when I see a trend, like "oh these all have a similar palette and theme" I then will start to conceptualize how I can make a zine/book out of that material. Layout of the books is usually a response to the dimensions of the collection of drawings I have or if a research focused project, a response to the content aesthetic.
What did you have on your mind when you were working on this project/piece (or in general)? (ie. Does your work (this or other) relate to a particular current movement or concept?)
Days Like Pronoia is a collection of work throughout a year so the concept is more of a cataloguing mindset and less of a direct messaging tool. Loosely a lot of the imagery pertains to a broader exploration of fantasy and feminine representation in fantasy. The poetry is either personal responses to trauma or broader feeling about climate change and existential dread.
Do you have any risograph-related tips and tricks you'd like to share?
I think for RISO if you are just starting out, you get really inspired by these really complicated projects and a lot of people aim really high for their first projects. Like 4-6 colors, many pages and intricate binding. But approaching it this way is setting yourself up for frustration. Riso is hands on and takes a lot of trouble shooting and starting off with high goals can set you back from the beginning. I highly recommend starting with short, fun and experimental projects that are 1-3 colors and made with the intention to learn the process. It seems intimidating and like a pressure to make something super nice since the Riso community has popped off in the last 5 years, but it's going to be way more fun and rewarding to achieve small goals first so that when you try for the larger concept it will be easier and more fun overall (less stress on the troubleshooting side). Also for CMYK always remove the black layer from the other 3 color layers ☺