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Interview—Ingrid Kesa of Homegirl zine
Written by Sinead Stubbins — 18th June 2015

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Homegirl zine is a publication about creative women in Melbourne and the homes they live in. This is interesting for several reasons: 1) Melbourne’s doers and makers often tell very good stories, 2) zines about people’s homes are intrinsically fascinating because we’re all voyeuristic creeps, and 3) jeez, don’t ask me, have a look for yourself. Better yet, read this interview I did with Homegirl founder Ingrid Kesa.

Sinead: This is exciting! A lot of people talk about starting a zine, but few actually do. What motivated you to get it past the ‘all-talk’ stage?
Ingrid: I used to work in print—at Oyster magazine and various other publications—and currently do some fashion styling/photography, so this was really a platform to bring all of my interests together. That was the main impetus: knowing that it would be rewarding to work on my own project. I highly recommend it! I love doing this stuff so it never feels stressful or like a chore. I also have a theory that as soon as you dream something up—whether you tell people your idea or keep it a secret—the universe has a funny habit of manifesting it. So you need to be the one to make it happen! Don’t think, just do. All we own are our ideas.

Sometimes Melbourne’s creative community can seem a bit insular. Is Homegirl zine a way to show upcoming female creatives, like, ‘Hey, it’s not such a scary place’? What do you hope to achieve with this zine?
I moved to Melbourne a bit over a year ago, so I’m still happily naive to negative aspects of Melbourne’s creative community. I’ve actually found it to be pretty embracing and inspirational (ew, sorry). For example, I was a bit surprised when Alice Oehr said I could shoot her for the zine because she is so freaking cool, and I was even more surprised when she wanted to work on the layout and design with me. Homegirl is definitely a way to showcase a whole bunch of girls who are doing dope stuff. By letting us into their homes we get to know them and see them in an intimate or real light, which I think is important (and not to mention appealing to any voyeuristic tendencies). I honestly didn’t have any grand plans for anything too serious with the zine; the idea started as an interior/portraiture project, like a cross between The Selby and Vogue Living, but through working on it, it has turned into something more … I hope to achieve enough momentum to get started on issue 2 as soon as possible!

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Did you get house-envy at all? I have house-envy already, and I’ve only seen a few photos. I just moved into a place and I’m not very good at decorating, you see.
Totally. I had house-envy at the fact that filmmaker Amy Dellar was living at her family home when we shot, because it made me miss having a fully stocked fridge and parent-comforts. Savannah Anand-Sobti from Ladies of Leisure had the coolest apartment, and stylist Nat Turnbull’s bedroom was visually merchandised to perfection. There are some tips for decorating from people such as SUKU Home’s Christine Lafian, so maybe you will get some ideas!

How would you describe the zine to someone who has never read a zine, never been to Melbourne and doesn’t have the internet?
Hanging out at home with cool girls.

Given we sell books, magazines and zines at The Good Copy, can you give me three of your favourite girl-run magazines, websites or female authors?
Berlin’s I Love You magazine (they publish irregularly and I’m not sure if they’re still going but they’re great), the Rookie website (is there anything else?) and I’d have to say Mindy Kaling—whom you might know as Kelly Kapoor from The Office, a show that she has written, directed and executive-produced for. She also has her own show, The Mindy Project; has written a New York Times bestseller, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?; and is releasing another collection of personal essays later this year.

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Homegirl zine is launching at The Good Copy on Thursday 25 June.