John Porcellino on artistic freedom

“Punk rock, for me, was just the freedom to be yourself, even if that was not pretty. I think it had nothing to do with whether or not you had the right haircut, or listened to the right bands, or wore the right shoes. It was a kind of newly discovered freedom. It was all tied together with the other things I loved. It was music and zines and comics. And living life and being yourself no matter how stupid anyone else thought you were and just doing your thing. That’s what it was all about. I loved it. I was playing in bands and making my comics and going to shows and folding and stapling. And there is no doubt that it had a huge impact on me. It’s changed, in incomprehensible, strange ways, but it’s still my core motivation, that freedom. It’s still what inspires me. […]

Being in your own band and making your own music, or making your own zine or drawing your own comic and putting it together yourself in this day and age really is a revolutionary act. I truly believe that. The way things are designed now, you are supposed to give up your self-power, to give up your choices, your freedom to act, to make your own decisions or to do things for yourself in the way that you want to do them. And it’s because – ‘Look! There’s all these options here for you that are already prepackaged, and they’re very convenient. I’m sure you can find one that will fit you just fine.’ Well, no. I really believe that just the act of saying, ‘I’m going to do something myself,’ is revolutionary. It goes against the grain, in a very real way. That continues to be where the excitement is, for me. It always has been and a lot of people don’t understand that. I agree, it is getting rarer every day … I don’t think it’s always been this way, or this bad, but it’s just the way society is right now, you know?”

— John Porcellino (via)