Interview with Michael Pyo ’22, Founder of Living Zine

WAM was recently able to interview Michael Pyo ’22, founder of Living Zine, allowing us to gain insight into his inspiration and creative process in developing his zine.

What was your inspiration for creating Living Zine?

Living Zine started as my creative response to COVID-19 during the quarantine. When my busy personal life came to a halt, I had two choices: to be depressed or to utilize an opportunity to connect with the broader community of young people who have so much creativity in their lives. I believed I could collect pieces created by talented youth and give them a platform to publish their work. I was so encouraged by the response I received from communities, artists, writers, and creators worldwide, from California to Australia. I wanted to give underrepresented voices a platform to share their feelings and opinions through creative means, which resulted in a diverse community of creatives. 

How did you come up with the name?

I came up with the name Living Zine through some philosophical thought: what does it mean to be alive? I reflected a lot about this question during quarantine and wondered if being stuck at home was truly me living life to the fullest. I created this zine to energize young creatives who had no outlet or platform to express themselves. I decided to name the zine Living Zine to highlight the complex nature of young human life- the fulfilling, or not so fulfilling, journey of self-identity, growth, and development. 

What kind of art do you feature and who can submit?

Living Zine accepts all forms of art, writing, and photography, which include: sketches, paintings, digital art, collages, poetry, prose, short stories, articles, and everything else! To submit your work for consideration, you must be in graduate school, college/university, high school, or middle school. Since we are an international publication, anyone from around the world is eligible to submit their work. 

Is each issue centered around a theme?

Yes! Each issue is centered around a given theme that is chosen by the executive team of Living Zine. The theme for Issue 01 was “Retrograde,” which was a fun throwback to the ’70s. The theme for Issue 02 was “Migration,” which focused on topics ranging from immigration to personal development to the migration of animal species. We chose to center issues around a theme to give contributors inspiration and some structure to their work! Issue 03 is currently in the works, and the theme is “Bloom.” 

Where can I find Living Zine and view it?

To view a copy of the zine issues, feel free to contact me ( for a PDF. We do sell both digital and physical copies of the zine on our website. If you would like to follow Living Zine on Instagram (@livingzine), that would be awesome! If you would like to submit your work or join our team of over 200 people, feel free to email me as well! 
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