Why did I start publishing CHMPAN zine?

gif showing chimpans zine's pages
chimpan zine #01

You can see the zine on its website or instagram.

At the time I’d been in London for one year and a half years, and my friends back home were constantly asking me what was I doing.

“Zé you never post online, so lazy. How are we supposed to know what you’ve been up to?”

Just so happens that I was reading this street art magazine and Dave The Chimp was talking about his own published zines, ones that he’d send to his friends. So I immediately thought “I’ll do one too!”. I love designing, all things printed, those geeky design and magazine stores… and hey! Crazy new adventure of a project! Equally important, great excuse to meet new creatives and include them all in. Why not? You can see it here.

two copies of the zine, first issue
CHIMPAN zine, first issue

I wanted the zine to be just like a “let’s catch up over a coffee” conversation.

A long coffee at that, please. Some design magazines are so established and serious that you feel there’s a distance between you and the presented folks or projects. I wanted the friendliest and closest approach – proper of a zine. I want to introduce a new cool friend to the group.

So this making-a-zine idea was set in stone now! I gathered what I’d been up to and what I’d been looking at for. Luckily, I was able to throw an interview with a great artist I was dying to meet – Hedof. And I thought, you know what, it’d be awesome if I could get my brother Nando to participate as well and have a whole spread with one of his illustrations. The guest illustrator section was born. I didn’t want it to be completely about me, no fun there.

And as any foodie with a passion project would do, I had to include something food-related somewhere. Then it hit me, I snack a whole lot, maybe the majority of the people do. Snack reviews! Again, all of it sounded like stuff I’d talk about with a friend anyway. Off to making the first zine!

cover illustration, depicting fruits, blue background
Cover illustration detail

Curious about the CHIMPAN name?

Once upon a time, my brother used to call me chimpan just to annoy me. You know, because my name itself would complete the chimpanzee name calling. Brotherly love is the best. This cheeky zine started as a personal project, so it deserved a cheeky personal name!

Lastly, this project just made sense to me. I understand why you’d read a creative magazine. I surely love the ones I can get my hands on and treasure my time in design and magazine stores. Annoying and boring to death any friend that humoured my idea of “Oooh, let’s go in for just 5 or 10 mins”. I remember that happening in Amsterdam. I came out of Athenaeum Boekhandel with a huge smile, only to see my supportive friends all sat down outside with that kind of posture you have when it’s the tenth time you adjust your sitting position out of boredom. Love’em.

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