Beard and Braid is comic artist Toby Morris and photographer Sonya Nagels. Toby will be selling his comics, and Sonya will be releasing her new zine ‘Flowers My Sons Have Brought Me’. Together they sell their artwork, comics, jewellery and photos at the web shop Beard and Braid, but they’ll be at Auckland Zinefest in person!
AZF: What is Beard and Braid and how does it relate to zines?
T: Beard and Braid is my partner Sonya and I making work – sometimes it’s comics, sometimes jewellery, sometimes zines, sometimes art prints. All sorts really, but I think Zinefest is exciting for us because even the non-zine things we do all still come from a very DIY place.
AZF: Sonya- can you describe the first photo you ever took that made you realise it was your thing?
S: I think it was in my 6th form photography class. It actually may have been a photo I took in a graveyard (which is compulsory subject matter for photography students.) I’d always thought I’d be a painter, but then when I started taking photos, suddenly it all just made sense. I loved the darkroom. I still miss the chemicals.
AZF: Toby- who is the coolest band or musician you’ve done a gig poster for?
T: Man, that’s tough. I try to only really do posters for bands I love, it’s hard to do them otherwise! And the artwork in inspired by the music, so they can be really different. Doing posters for Liam Finn always ends up being fun, and then I always enjoy doing Beastwars artwork too.
AZF: Do you guys have very different politics?
S: Toby is the political one. One of the first things he made me do when we first got together is vote. But we are pretty much on the same page.
AZF: Toby, if you were to make a piece of jewellery what would it look like, and Sonya, if you authored a comic what would it be about?
T: Ha – yeah would be fun to make jewellery, Sonya and I have discussed it a bit. I’d either go super clean and minimal or go full crazy. Actually, I want to bring back the style of the chain between the nose piercing and the ear.
S: I have written comics! But they are normally funny ones just for Toby. I make comics with my son Max sometimes. We wrote one called Onion Head recently. It was about skateboarding and Dad and the ending was “I like popsicles.”
AZF: Are you bringing your kids to Zinefest and will they sit quietly at the table with you? (There are lots of weird and wonderful rooms in the Pitt Street church to explore!)