Dirt | A Look Into the Zine and Creator, Renee Marino



Currently in its second issue, Dirt is a Boulder-based art zine founded by Renee Marino. This new publication offers a wide range of content including poetry, art, and writing as well as in-depth interviews with local artists and entrepreneurs.  Focused on building bridges within the local art community, Dirt is open to all types of submissions. This new magazine strives to give artists a platform to gain exposure, and connect with others.

Zines are small circulation, self-published collections of work that emerged after the invention of the photocopier. These small publications were born from a do-it-yourself culture and have played a role in subcultures throughout generations. Often times too outside the norm for the mainstream media these publications were able to target specific audiences and served as a method of communication for a wide range of topics including politics, art, design, journalism, and poetry. This DIY model empowered artists, musicians, and writers to find their voice without having to conform to the ways of traditional media.

When asked what the motivation was behind the zine’s name Renee responded, “The name Dirt serves as the underlying metaphor for the project, something from which all things can grow.” A blank canvas at conception, Dirt gave Renee the opportunity to start growing her vision. The concept seeks to function as the base for all things creative, bringing artists from all corners of the community together and providing them with a stage to showcase their talents and speak their mind.


A do-it-yourself venture Dirt has provided Renee with the opportunity to work from the ground up and build the publication step by step. At first, the vision of dirt was inspired by a need to help others, in Renee’s case fellow poets and writers, but although Initially focused on poetry Dirt has started to transform into a broader more encompassing publication.

Growing with the needs of the community, Dirt seeks to empower the artist and promote the creative process by giving individuals a space in which they can reach out and interact. Renee believes that by building a network between local artists she can create a focal point through which she can drive positive impact. Whether it is giving a local artist exposure or fostering a creative collaboration the possibilities continue to present themselves as the publication grows.

dirt4After receiving submissions from all around the world, Dirt’s potential started to become clear. The overwhelming interest Renee received just within the release of her her first two issues proved that this new zine was filling a void that needed to be filled. More and more artists are looking to find ways in which they can show their art to the world. In a time where demand for exposure continues to increase, publications that are in the beginning stages of their growth have a unique opportunity to develop with the ever changing needs of the art community.

So what does the future hold for Dirt? Renee hopes to take the magazine online, and continue to build its presence.  She is always open for submissions and is looking to put together a diverse selection of work for future issues. Dirt is also publishing a coloring-book zine, with art from local artist Emily Hempstead.  Just in its beginning stages, the new zine has already proven to work as a vehicle for artists to gain exposure. madelife is excited to see the role they will play and what the future holds for them!

If you want to find out more about the featured artists check out Dirt on Instagram!



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