#SunkiSitDown: Meet Copy Editor & Freelance Writer Zea Asis
In this #SunkiSitDown, we chat with Zea Asis — copy editor, freelance writer, and /that/ girl whose closet we’d love to raid any day. She talks about her relationship with style and consumption, how she stays creative, and Elena Ferrante.
Introducing #SunkiSitDown: our new series where we (virtually) sit down with some of our favorite gals on the interwebs and beyond.
Meet Zea Asis – copy editor, freelance writer, and /that/ girl whose closet we’d love to raid any day. 👀
Hey, Zea. What have you been up to?
Hey, Sunki! Thanks for having me. As of the moment, I’m collaborating with a fine jewelry brand to help with their website revamp and setting up a deck for this new creative project that I’m exploring.
Could you share a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m a copy editor for a design platform by day, but work equally long hours (ha-ha) on freelance writing projects that don’t necessarily pay the bills, but give me room to grow creatively and experiment with my ideas. I’m also pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing.
What's been keeping you sane in this pandemic?
I think the worst part about being cooped up at home is the feeling of stagnation. My friends in the province have more freedom to drive around and meet friends at small gatherings despite the pandemic, and even enjoy brief visits to their favorite coffee shop without that feeling of anxiety we all have these days. What a concept!
Still, I love being in the city. The artists and writers I’ve met here over the years possess a gusto I find nowhere else, their creativity metamorphosing with the times we’re living in — it’s so wonderful and inspiring to see that, albeit just online. It’s inspired me to adapt gracefully too (well, at least, I hope I have), just making more room for that creative energy (mine and theirs), whatever shape and form it manifests itself.
Tell us about your chapbook, 'Strange Intimacies.' What made you want to write about your relationship with clothes and consumption?
I’ve always had an impassioned relationship with clothes way before the pandemic and even attended Slim’s to study fashion illustration at the beginning of 2020. And then the pandemic hit and my studies had to take a backseat and I had to re-evaluate what it was I really wanted to do.
There were these questions of how the fashion industry would adapt, if it would survive or become irrelevant; for the first time we were forced to stop and pay attention to the conversation about the extent of its contribution to environmental degradation and utter neglect of labor (and human) rights. I simply wanted to stake a claim in the conversation about clothes, why they will always mean more than just riding the new trend-wave, or the enterprise of obnoxious excess. There is a sentiment, a poetry to adorning our bodies with garments, and an existential undercurrent to our purchasing habits — or at least that’s how it was and is for me. In a post-capitalist world, technology and the wealth of information available to us have changed the way we live and work, but it’s high time we ask ourselves: How much and what do we consume in order for us and future generations to survive well?
I didn’t want to beat my readers’ heads with answers, or force my morality down their throats, instead I explored these particular questions through the minutiae of my everyday life. Of course, we each have our notions of right and wrong about fast consumption and capitalism, but I wanted more than anything else to capture the complexity of that experience. I didn’t expect for people to resonate so deeply with it.
Describe your personal style in the form of a haiku.
Like Carrie and Cher -
Femme, skirts, colors, and patterns
Have some fun, will you?
How do you stay creative as a writer?
We all know the old adage: inspiration is everywhere. In my case, though, I interpret it as doing anything but writing. I like to bombard myself with a lot of tactile, sensual, visceral, dizzying details - whether it be through films, visual art, and fashion (especially fashion). But more than that, I read. Constantly.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Be patient, keep writing, and start reading Elena Ferrante.