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  • Nic F. Anderson

Representation Matters: Pigmentó Zine

On Aug. 18, 2017 Pigmentó zine was released and available for purchase at The Dirty Castle in Logan Square. Pigmentó, created by Carla Perez and Michael Bonilla is a zine curated by and for people of color.

“Our goal is to be able to highlight and bring more attention to artists whom are people of color. To be able to show our personal form of expression through our different art forms. Ultimately, we want to create a space where artists can also find themselves connecting and engaging to other artists of color.” – Carla Perez

Perez had been stewing this idea for a zine for over 4 years, but did not go through with it because of life’s responsibilities and the lack of being organized due to youth. Perez conceived the idea for a zine made by people of color for people of color 4 years ago when she lived in Austin, Texas and submitted a lot of her own work to Texan zines. However, in late July the time was right – Perez was ready, abled and organized. Thus, Pigmentó came to life.

Michael Bonilla, another Pigmentó collaborator commented, “She [Carla] took so much initiative and really made sure the vision we had in our head came to life.” They both heavily relied on another throughout the layout process; helping with visual aesthetics, finding artists to submit their work, putting out the word once Pigmentó was printed and hosting the release party at The Dirty Castle.

Perez says that the basis of her inspiration is, “having a collective group of artists, specifically people of color, come together into one zine. I thought it would be a beautiful idea to be able to elevate artists whom are people of color and be able to see those artists work into one collective magazine.” Perez and Bonilla sent out the call out for artists the first chance they got. The response was amazing – the artwork poured in and everything else fell into place.

Once work was submitted, layout was finalized, it was time to turn Pigmentó into a physical zine. This is the part that was the hardest for Perez and Bonilla; they found that the cost of printing was outlandish and the quotes they were getting were absurd. Bonilla commented, “It wasn't easy. Especially the days leading up to the release of the zine. We had a few technical issues and had to keep reediting the zine. Thankfully, everything was resolved in time for our release party.”

Perez and Bonilla pushed through and printed Pigmentó, and the outcome was beautiful. Perez commented, “It was fulfilling and a rewarding feeling to see the reactions from people with Pigmentó, especially from the artists who submitted their work. It made me so happy to be able to see all of these different artists' work in one flip book. It was incredible how none of it was intended to ever work together, but in an effortless way, Pigmentó has managed to make all of them mesh beautifully.”

Pages were filled with vibrant colors used in beautiful and intricate artwork, high-res photographs from photographers, poetry – the list goes on. Bonilla said, “It was so beautiful to have this zine with just artists of color. Then to hear such wonderful comments from people who saw the zine was up lifting. I'm glad we are able to put POC artists on this platform where people everywhere can see their work.”

The whole zine is jam packed with different mediums and talent. Artists like Morgan Durrah (@morgandurrah) and Suga (kawaii.suga), writers like Lady J (@ladysmokeone), and well-known photographers like Toni (@antoniaamir) are just some of the many incredibly talented people with featured work inside the zine.

Pigmentó’s collaborators say to expect issues every 2 months and are currently working on November’s issue. In the meantime, you can purchase a copy by messaging the Pigmentó account on Instagram (@pigmentozine) or visiting Quimby’s Bookstore in Wicker Park (1854 W. North Ave).

For more information or to submit, please visit Pigmentó zine’s Instagram: @pigmentozine or email the collaborators at for more information.

To learn more about the collaborators, please visit their instagrams:


Michael Bonilla: @CMPOWNS

#chicago #chicagoculture #chicagoartists #chicagowriters #ladyj #morgandurrah #suga #art #bypocforpoc #zine #literaryarts

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