On the Record with Founders of New Campus Zine ‘Treasures’

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

This week, College juniors Sadie Oliver-Grey and Katalina Cabrera spoke with the Review about their new zine publication, “Treasures.”Afterasuccessfulfirst printing, Oliver-Grey and Cabrera are on the lookout for fresh creative talent and welcome submissions in the effort to expand and develop their enterprise.

Could you introduce yourselves?

Sadie Oliver-Grey: My name is Sadie Oliver-Grey. I’m a third-year Psychology [major]; I’m from California. [Cabrera and I] went to high school together, and now we go to college together.

Katalina Cabrera: I’m Katalina. I’m also a third year, and I’m a Cinema Studies major.

Tell me about “Treasures.”

KC: I guess we were frustrated that there weren’t more free-form publications on campus. There are options like The Grape or the Review, but they all have a certain prestige about them, or a certain voice or brand. So we were interested in making something that was more low-pressure. We’ll accept anything that people think is worth sharing.

SG: Yeah, obviously there are plenty of small zines on campus, but a lot of them are very specific, which is charming and fabulous, but we really liked the idea of just getting to hear the things that people are interested in — the little tiny grains of something that a stranger is interested in that you don’t necessarily get to experience.

KC: Or even something that’s on your desktop that you’ve shown to three people, but you don’t think anything would accept or pay money to print. What’s hard about making it is that it’s so open-ended that I think people feel a little bit confused because there are so few guidelines. But literally, we’ll take any visual thing that you put time into, enjoyed or even just found. You could find a weird thing online and take a screen shot or find three Post-it notes on the ground and give them to us. It’s very open-ended.

Can you talk about some of the pieces that you’ve run?

SG: So in the last [issue] we had people submit little stories, fiction pieces and also personal anecdotes.

KC: One girl gave us quotes that she’s heard from her window in a kind of artistic format.

SG: Something that we’re having in the next [issue] is someone’s series of Yelp reviews. Just weird things — collages, comics, pretty standard stuff so far. We’re really hoping to branch out a little bit and get some stuff that’s a little more outside the box.

SG: I think that definitely for the first publication, it was hard to convince someone to trust [us, since] this sort of thing has never happened before. We want anything that you have. I think that was a bit too much, and so we got a nice variety, certainly, but it was artand writing-based.

Where did the idea for “Treasures” come from?

KC: I’ve always been someone who puts little scraps of things in a folder on my desktop, or I keep little ideas on my iPhone notes. Things that aren’t necessarily fleshed out, but are just little units of ideas. I thought that more people must have small, simple things that they could share.

SG: For years, I’ve had [a] “good things” album, and they’re things that bring me so much joy when I’m having a bad day. I’ll look through the album, and it’s just a collection of things from through the years that are just pleasant to me. That kind of stuff is really nice, and I’m always picking up trash in hopes of finding just a little scrap, and 90 percent of it really is trash, but then there’s that 10 percent of really interesting stuff. It’s really hard to engage someone, especially someone you don’t know very well, and to get the small details, and to find out what stimulates them, but maybe isn’t “noteworthy.” But those are the best parts.

KC: Things that are really informal that happen in a conversation, like, if you and a friend were talking and you were trying to figure out what food celebrities would be, then you have a whole set of things you came up with. That might be really interesting to someone, but you can’t just have that published.

Where do you envision “Treasures” going?

SG: At this point, part of what we struggled with was, yes, it’s very possible that we could just go to our friends [for content]. In that way, it’s something we could push out pretty quickly, but what’s much more interesting is trying to get more people that we don’t know and that we wouldn’t normally engage with, and that’s hard, so it’s been a slower process because strangers are weirded out by it. Ultimately, I think it’s something we’d like to be able to put out twice a month or something, but it really depends on how much traction we can get.

KC: If it’s able to circulate more widely and people get a better sense of what it is, we would like to have it be a regular thing. But right now, we’re just focusing on getting out issues at whatever pace that we can.

SG: If the piece is in black and white and fits on an 8-by-7 [inch] space, then we’ll take it. Also, part of it is that we really hope that people feel comfortable with the idea that whatever they send to us, we’re going to [print] as is.