In honor of our STEP UP THE SOAPBOX campaign to support our expansion, we’d like to tell you about some of our members.
Katie Haegele sat down with Rachel Korman, a member until her recent move back to Toronto.
What drew you to The Soapbox?
I was new to Philadelphia and was looking for community spaces that I could become involved with and connected to. I wanted to meet new people who cared about similar things, and I especially wanted to share my love of zines with like-minded folks. I also was looking to get more experience creating things since I was a total art baby. I found the Soapbox online, visited once and knew that it suited me immediately!
What’s your area of specialty / background in art?
My first instinct here is to say “I have no specialty or background in art except for supporting it”. Which is essentially true, BUT I learned through my time at the Soapbox and through my more recent creative outlets that I can find artistic notions in non-traditional forms of my creation. I don’t know if this counts but right now I’m working on perfecting my bread-baking (sourdough bread-baking is an art form in and of itself!) and sometimes I make interesting shapes with the dough. I also love decorating cakes and pies. I don’t know if that’s art but I’m telling myself that it is.
Do you have any favorite zines?
One of my favourite zines is “Wild Fermentation: A Do-it-yourself Guide to Cultural Manipulation” by Sandor Ellix Katz. I could tell the moment that I matured as a cook when I finally found Sandor’s approach to recipes- a “here are vague guidelines but do whatever you want” approach- as freeing rather than terrifying and nondescript. I love this zine and am thankful in the ways that it has inspired me to be confident, embrace experimentation, and have a happy belly.
What project are you proudest of that you made or worked on at The Soapbox?
I made a million holiday cards one year using the letterpress which was so rewarding and made me want to produce any and all forms of correspondence using a letterpress. However, the project that I’m the most proud of is a print I made for my mom a couple of years back that I sent to her for Christmas. I had never screen printed before and even though I had been helping out in the Soapbox studio and watching others print, I was nervous to do it myself. Fellow Soapbox members were so supportive, helped me throughout the project and completely demystified the process for me. It was a very fulfilling project even before I sent it to my mom!
The print is a picture of a starfish with a quote from her favourite Donovan song that we used to listen to a lot together when I was young. She loved the print so much that she cried. Making your mom cry happy tears is the ultimate source of pride so this definitely takes the cake.