Interview with cigarette-Zine Making

Is there an object to live with you for a long time ? It can be everything, you favourite CD, a film, even a pen from your father. In my life, there is an object to live with me since I was born. It was my terrible memory from my childhood, but it became an object that would be brung with me all the time until now.


On October 25, Alexandra and Dominic took us to a special collection in the library. There are many booklets with the delicate cover on the table, they called Zine. The purpose of this project is to personify an object with me long time and interview with him, this object needed to related with my daily life and the interview could include the reflection on my dream, life and future.

In this project, we are required to design a zine with a maximum of 12 pages and size for A5, we also asked to use at least two workshops we have done before. Although it’s quite large amount of work, I still enjoy to work for it.


I firstly read all of the collections from the library, I surprised realised the most of examples were made by hands and the sample layout could directly prove the points of the artist. The first idea come to my mind is that I wanted to combine the digital and hand making together into my work.

 Traditional Book Binding

Explain the meaning of zine

When I considered about which object that I should chose, I was discussing with Mada in the outside of the LCC. I saw there are many cigarette ends on the bin, a fearful inspiration came to my mind. I just realised Cigarette is an object lived with me for a long time. 

When I was a child, I really hate the smell of cigarette. My father always smoke in the car and home, my mum and me always complained with his bad habit. He always said the cigarette was food for his mind, I disagree his opinion in that time and I advise him to give up smoking a lot. The interesting thing was when he quit smoking, I started to smoke by a variety of reasons. I discovered that change is interesting, it also mention the effects of family and the psychology for human being.

I thought cigarette will be a great object to the interview in the zine, it is a good witness to see my changes in the life. I want to make my zine become a way to tell a story about

Experiment process:

•Cover making

I draw a burning cigarette in the cover, and make multiple different layers to make the smoke be different colours. I used the photoshop CC2017 to organised the different pages and make some drawing to digital, it is efficient way to print out.


The cover is the most important part of a book, it need to make reader interested in the zine. When I finished the first draft, I struggle with colour of cover for a long time. I knew the cigarette is an object that people always relate to death and unhealthy, but I still pick the pink to be the background colour. I was not tempted to propagandize the reader to accept the cigarette, I just want to treat the cigarette like an old friend, with the usual mind to face him.

  • content 

In this project, even though I tried to use different materials and medium to tell my story, I still want to make it looks as sample as possible. It would help the reader to catch the key words from the page in the first time.

In the introduction, the cigarette was a my bad friend personified. The trick hide behind of the words, the black background was not made by photoshop. I spend my independent study time to photography workshop for studying how to take a which black picture like that in the darkroom. I metaphor the lighter is the last bullet, when the cigarette is burring, the bullet would zip past my body to became a wisp of smoke.

Before the interview, I use four pages to explain the relationship between the cigarette and me. These pages all mixed from different materials, hand drawing, digital, and the real cigarette.

(I met my best friend in the first time)

In the page 7, I list six situations that I would meet with my“best friends”. I made these situation to become the stage of the interview in the next, each page I had drew a storyboard for that situation and I put the content of the conversation in the rest of the white page.

  • Analysis

    During the process, I liked to try different telling methods to illustrate the relationship between the cigarette and me. As a smoker, I would like to explain the reason I had contacted with the cigarette in some entertaining approaches. The four scenes related with the six situations why do I might want to smoke, it might help the reader could understand my feelings to the cigarette. The interview presents cigarette with a personified my best friend, it could also make me to rethink why do I need it in my life. 

    A vanity of colour have their own power for design, I chose the pink, black, red and white are colour fundamental key of the zine. I would like to use different colour to express the feeling with different situation I met my ‘best friend’.  

    • Reflection

    “Every coin has two sides,” I know he’s not a good “friend”. As a smoker, the cigarette is an object with me for a long time. But I don’t want to take a critical look at smoking through my zine. When I went to London, I discovered all of the cigarette packs were designed “disgusting” which are big different with China cigarette market.    

    I agree with that the government remaining ways to shows that cigarette is harmful for people’s health, this “disgusting” design also help the youth to leave the cigarette away. 

  • In China, there are a large amount of cigarettes are used be gifts to adults. If the tobacco companies also change the packets, it will decreases the demand of the cigarette demand in the market. I think it will help people to quiet smoking and realised the disadvantage of the cigarette, it will became free propaganda to remind smokers and others.

    In Chinese cinema and tv industry, we are not allowed to shoot any scenes with the cigarette. It avoids young people to learn smoking from their idols, I also believed the smoking is not the only way to resized the pressure and make fun. I would not show this zine to young people, I hope that would help smokers to think about when will they leave this “friend”.



    Crawford Moodie, Allison Ford, Anne Marie Mackintosh, Gerard Hastings; Young People’s Perceptions of Cigarette Packaging and Plain Packaging: An Online Survey, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 14, Issue 1, 1 January 2012, Pages 98–105,

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