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Kristyna Baczynski


Page 45 Review by Jodie Paterson

Krystyna Baczynski, the queen of zines, is here to drop some knowledge and ignite imaginations with a gloriously engaging activity book.

With pull out pages and easy to follow instructions, this book is ready and raring to go! Whether you're out adventuring in the sunshine or stuck on the sofa during a typically British rainy day, all you need is a pen and a bucket load of creativity! Though if we want to get really into it, some scissors and glue would go a long way to making your zines super extra special.

With ten zines on different themes, there is bound to be something to tickle your fancy and spark some imagination. Ranging from a week in the life, to a dream journal, to a magnificently made-up menagerie of monsters. But as everyday as some of the themes may be at first glance, they really are a fantastic base to have some fun with. Who says the food zine should be about how to make marshmallow topped rice crispy squares? Why shouldn't it be a how-to of your best recipe for purple flavoured grumwumple cake, filled with Inkleberry Jam and topped with a mountain of chocolate sprinkles so high that you would need a Sherpa to help you scale to the top! Suitable for both the realist and the fantasist, everyone is bound to get a kick out of these colourful zines.

Speaking of colour, Krystyna has gone full on-trend with the contrasting, highlighter colour aesthetics of risograph printing. Combo that with a lavish use of pop-retro stylings, eye-popping patterns and, of course, her charming illustrations and characters, you're in for playful feast for the eyes so enticingly delicious that you won't be able to stop those creative juices from flowing.

Off-white, soft textured paper not only adds to the home-made, design-trend look, it's also particularly great for pencils and crayons! And pretty much everything else, though I maybe wouldn't go too heavy on the markers.

As a kid, I know that this book would have been an absolute favourite of mine. Packed full of tutorials from lettering (dotty lettering was always a staple), to character creating from old magazines and newspapers (pro-tip, give old birthday cards a try too!), this book is bound to keep any creative entertained for hours, even days on end! And what is great is that this is only a starting point. Once you're equip with the know-how, you're encouraged to keep on making, drawing, cutting and sticking, to make the best zines you can think of! And what's more there's an option to get collaborative. So for all you parents itching to join in on the fun, you can! Get stuck in! Get the friends involved and really get fun going.

As an adult (lol), I'm gonna get stuck in anyway! Now, if only I can remember where I kept my best jumbo Crayolas…
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