You’ve seen it on Instagram (I hope), you’ve bought the zine (if you were someone that bought one of the 30 limited copies I could afford to print of issue 1). Now FILLER has evolved to become an online blog platform, too.
This zine began as my FMP during my degree, at a time where I was attempting what I hope was my final go at recovery from an eating disorder. I was devoid of inspiration and couldn’t think about creating anything that didn’t have something to do with what I was currently going through, and therefore basing my project around my battle with food seemed like the perfect option. And it was! I discovered food is something people love talking about – as soon as I told people I wanted artwork and writing about food I was inundated with messages, paragraphs of work about your favourite meals, your own struggles with eating, your own frustrations at how we are told to eat by an array of toned, tanned women on Instagram who always get up before 9am and can survive on a smoothie and a handful of nuts all day, get in from work and go to hot yoga before refuelling with raw spaghetti made out of courgettes.
But there was more to this project than that. I was, after all, studying a fashion degree, and as much as I can rant and rave that I hate the way these ideals force us to think and behave, we all end up being followers of it in one way or another. You are a follower of these “millennial” trends if you’ve bought an overpriced face mask in minimalist packaging, if you practice yoga in your tiny bedsit in London before scrolling through thousands of #selfcare posts of bedrooms lit by fairy lights with entirely matching bedding (a concept I have never managed since moving out of my parents’ home), a flat lay of a white desk decoratively covered in all Muji stationery, plus a Keep Cup next to a solitary thriving house plant (also a skill I have yet to master: keeping plants alive when I struggle to even hydrate myself sufficiently. I also forget to bring my Keep Cup out with me almost every time I want a coffee, and feel the need to tell everyone that to prevent my own guilt).
We all passively take part and follow these trends whether we like it or not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t poke fun at the industry or even share differing views on them. I guess what I’m trying to say, while being very aware of the danger that I might end up going dramatically off topic, is that I want FILLER to be more than something I created when I could see nothing else to talk about but food. I want it to be somewhere that I can talk about everything that passes through my mind, whether that be fashion, lifestyle, an artist I found that was cool, a brand that is doing great new things, relationship woes, mental health mishaps, or, yes, food and eating. Because all of these things fill our minds whether we notice it or not, and all interlink to create our generation as an audience. And this space can include submissions that feature in FILLER zine too. If you have things you want to talk, write, think about or you are a creator yourself that has work to share, get in touch, and FILLER can hopefully become a multi-platform fashion/life/everything space.