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March 20, 2018
Mallory Lance is the founder, editor-in-chief and creative director of Ravenous Zine, a printed magazine for women to connect with the wild within. With an emphasis on activism and self-care, Ravenous Zine contains visual art, feature articles, and interviews. Throughout it's wide scope of topics and contributors, Ravenous Zine explores the archetype of the "wild woman" put forth by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves. In a digital age where so many are glued to screens, Ravenous Zine is a manual for face-to-face, in person gatherings, and for reconnecting with the earth.
I spoke with Mallory about her journey and what led her to creating this zine, what's on the horizon, what sisterhood means to her, and more.
What inspired you to create Ravenous Zine?
I started my career in film, working for a film festival in New York. I loved it, but I was a workaholic. I started to feel a little burnt out, sitting behind a desk over 60 hours a week at a computer. That’s when I got interested in making things with my hands. I started what I called Craft Coven - me and some friends would come together every full moon and craft. It helped us engender a sense of sisterhood and community. I invited friends, some of whom I knew were going through difficult times, or feeling similar about their work environments and it was a place for us to share our struggles. With social media it’s easy to think everyone has a great, full, perfect life, but this was a place to be raw and real. Each of us is going through something.
During the course of the Craft Coven I switched careers and started working in publishing. I had the hopes of one day making a book central to some of the ideas around Ravenous. I had already started an Instagram page for it. I thought it would be cool to make a guidebook too. The new job was very demanding and there was a lot of toxicity in the work environment. I read Women Who Run With the the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes because my friend Holly gave me a copy, and it just blew me away. It gave me motivation to work more on the Ravenous book. So for a while I was focused on making the book, and got overwhelmed by it - I didn’t feel like I’d lived through enough to write this. In May of 2016, I had a major nervous breakdown. I lost a lot of connection with reality, and ended up being hospitalized and was in a psych ward for a month. I had lost my ability form sentences. It was a massive depression and I was incapacitated by it. It took a while but I got help, and over many months I recovered. And after some time it became clear to me that this wasn’t a book, it was a magazine made up of a litany of interviews, pieces, and stories recognizing the movement that was going on around me. So many others were an inspiration to me and were a part of it.
In the summer of 2017, I started a new group to get through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a book about how to harness your creative potential. Cameron believes everyone is creative and recognizes what blocks us. I had no prior experience working on magazines or doing photoshoots but this book prepared me to put one foot in front of the other and begin creating the magazine, and realizing my dreams, step by step.
How did you connect with the amazing women featured in this issue?
I started thinking about who I had met or known online that would be able to embody or describe all the elements that I wanted t touch upon. It was these people I had known from all different places. Something about their energy and the work they were doing attracted them to me. For example, there’s Danise, the dancer who, in Ravenous Zine, talks about dancing as a form of therapy for her. I reached out to her because of this post she made online after Trump’s election, about how she feels being a queer woman of color. The way she wrote it was beautiful. I initially wanted her to write something political and evolved into this other piece. The way it happened with Claire, who wrote the The Crone, is really interesting. I was experiencing my own paranoias about aging and our youth-driven culture, and I wanted to explore the idea of aging. I had a hole in my outline and needed a piece to discuss this topic.
The same day I was going over my outline and racking my brain trying to figure out what this piece would be, I saw Claire’s Instagram story in which she talked about how she wanted to know more about being a rad old lady, and rejecting the youth obsessed culture. I set up a call with her, and she interviewed this seventy one year old woman Earth Thunder. When I saw Claire’s piece, I felt it was just perfect. Since then, so many people have been touched by that piece.|
What do you see as the connecting thread for Ravenous Zine on the whole, and what scope of topics would you like to explore?
To me, the central thread for this zine and all upcoming issues is the archetype of the wild woman, which can take many different forms. It includes anyone who identifies with the wild feminine energy. The first volume is all about Craft, and how to reconnect with your creative energy. I have my themes for the upcoming three volumes planned out, with the next one being sisterhood. I’m interested in reclaiming that word. Hearing that word always made me think of cutesy, stereotypically girly stuff, sorority sisters. I’ve always identified with being “other,” or alternative. But the more I looked into it, that word is really fucking powerful. It’s about uplifting and supporting one another. The next volume is going to be so rad. It’s going to be talking to women about gathering and how to create your own circle. The interviews include topics like women in tattooing, skateboarding, farming, motorcycles. Sisterhood is alive and strong and should be for everybody, from traditionally feminine modes of expression to those that are less conventional, especially in an intersectional way. It doesn’t just look like one thing. It’s all kinds of women reclaiming their ancestral history.
You say you want this to be a manual for physical meet-ups. How do you see it as bringing that atrophied tradition back? What's significant about this being a print book in such a digital age?
I’m guilty of being on my phone for hours. It has been a great tool to connect with other people, but social media does represent an edited form of our lives. In person gatherings are so important. Having that tangible connection is so important, printing it was important. I was able to find an amazing printer in Minnesota that offers 100% recycled paper. A printed zine may take more of an environmental toll than an online blog but it’s more tangible. It allows people to have some quiet time somewhere, maybe in the woods, to read, and it might stick with them more. Do you remember all the things you read online yesterday? I don't. And as for the “manual for physical meet-ups” - it’s no longer as ingrained in our culture to gather at people’s homes. I feel many of us, in New York City at least, gravitate toward meeting for drinks at a bar or going out to dinner. The next volume has an entire chapter about setting the stage to host your own gathering, how to effectively lead an intentional gathering, and what it looks like to make a dinner party that appeals to all of your senses. It’s when we gather in person that the magic in harnessing our own creative potential really begins.
Learn more about Ravenous Zine here.
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