One Stop Shop for Artists and Zine Makers, Dizzy Ink Talk the Empowerent of Print

Words: Lizzy O'Riordan
Friday 06 January 2023
reading time: min, words

Creating high quality prints for creatives around the city, Dizzy Ink is the one-stop shop for zine makers and artists in Nottingham. But what is it about physical print that is so important? We catch up with Craig Proud from Dizzy to talk about the history of print and empowerment, Zine Fest and how activism is central to their business…


Can you start by explaining what Dizzy Ink is? 
Dizzy Ink is a design and creative print studio. We combine specialist print mediums to be able to achieve really high-quality, interesting printed products, whether that’s for books that are being published, artist prints, zines, or exhibitions. It takes many different forms, but really we are all about any creative way of using print. 

You’ve just had your Zine Fest. Can you tell me about this?
Yes! So, this is the fifth year I’ve organised Nottingham Zine Fest. It ran consecutively each year from 2015-2019 and then there has been a break because of COVID. This year, it’s been organised by myself, Hannah Whitlow, Matt Gill and Kat from Moan. And basically the festival is an opportunity for us to organise an event to celebrate all our local creators, so it’s a market that allows people to sell their things and make a bit of money, while also inviting people from outside the city to meet our creatives and collaborate. 

You’re also in the process of relocating your zine library? 
Yeah, the library has been going for about four years. It started in Lee Rosy’s and then when they closed we became the artists in residence at Nottingham Contemporary and for a while we were located in their Gallery Zero, which was their way of reaching out to local artists. But now we’re going to be moving down to the Blend Cafe in the Contemporary. I’ve always thought that zines need to be in more recreational spaces rather than being studied or in galleries, so I’m hoping that they can be enjoyed more casually, and that people will read through them at their own pace. They can enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake.

Throughout history we’ve seen print used to communicate messages of activism, rebellion and change

This interview is going to be part of our empowerment issue. Do you think there is something inherently empowering about print? 
One hundred percent. It’s almost cliche to say print is powerful, but the two do go hand-in-hand, and throughout history we’ve seen print used to communicate messages of activism, rebellion and change. That’s something I deeply resonate with, and some of the first instances of me being involved in print were through an activist perspective. We still use a lot of the print methods that have been used for activism for a long time - whether that’s the Risograph, which has loads of connections with politics, or our screenprinting, which we’ve used to support all kinds of groups around Nottingham like Black Lives Matter or refugee forums. 

It sounds like activism is actually very central to what you do…
Absolutely, we see that we are the means of production and that’s really powerful. We want it to be one for the people. We have also tried to raise money for different charities or organisations. Last year, for example, I taught Nadia Whittome how to screen print and we produced a run of posters which we sold through our website and raised £1,000 for Safe Passage, who work with refugees under the age of eighteen. So, that was really successful and we’ve just done it again, this time raising money for food banks since we felt a lot of people right now are going to need access. 

It seems like there is an amazing community of artists and activists and zine makers. It must feel great to have contributed to that?
The Nottingham scene is really amazing, and though I know we’ve done our bit, we aren’t the be all and end all. That’s what’s really special about Notts Zine Fest, for example, because I get applications from people who I’ve never met before, and they’ve started these zines and grown and grown and now they have a table at the Zine Fest. The print community goes so much further than us; there are so many people learning, and that’s something I love.

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