Zine it all

Ron Rash

PHOTO/Brad Bynum

Mixed Message is the name of a new zine and small press bookstore within the Never Ender Boutique and Gallery, 119 Thoma St. The proprietor of Mixed Message is Ron Rash, a popular painter and tattoo artist who works out of Aces Tattoo, 681 S. Virginia St. For more information, visit www.mixedmessage.org.

Tell me about Mixed Message.

Well, basically it’s a little zine and small press book shop. There’s also art and prints and things like that. That’s one of the future goals of it. It’s an idea I’ve had for a long time to have a little place to sell people’s zines and small press books and things like that. It’s something Reno doesn’t have, and I always seek out when I go to bigger cities, so I thought why not do something like that here?

What are some of the books and zines you carry?

Right now we’ve got some stuff from local people, handmade photo zines, zines about feminism. We’ve got stuff from out-of-state, handmade books, basically, about whatever the person is into that’s making it—art, anarchy, politics, cats. That’s the thing about zines—you can make one about anything. If you have some sort of passion or information that you want to share with somebody, then that’s the power of a zine. You can just put it together, and it can be crappy or it can be super well put together. It doesn’t matter. It can be $1 or it can be $20. It’s really just about sharing information and ideas or sharing your heart or sharing your photographs or sharing found stuff. There’s just no limit of what a zine can be.

Who are some of the local artists and writers?

Off the top of my head, of course we have Denali [Lowder]. … She caught wind that I was doing this and just said, hey, let me be involved. It was really perfect because not only does she make stuff that’s incredible, but she’s also very connected with that whole genre. I’m definitely not as young as I used to be, and I’m not out at shows, and I’m not out at a lot things where you meet people who are making this stuff, so she’s got a great network already established and knows a lot of people. So it was a no-brainer to say, hell yeah, come help me out. And she’s been doing great.

The shop is in Never Ender?

Yeah, in Never Ender. That’s kind of what sparked it. I’ve had this idea for a long time, but I’m busy. I work a lot—doing tattoos and doing art. So it’s not something that I was just able to come out and start. But this space became available in the Never Ender and Melanie [Crane, owner of Never Ender] approached me and said, “Hey, do you have any use for this space?” and I thought immediately, yeah, I do. It’s just a perfect fit. I don’t have to be there every day. I can still do my day job. … All of the zines and books can get rung out through the front register at Never Ender. It’s great, just like a little side project. It’s fun to go out and research new zines and books to bring in.

How’s the tattooing going?

Better than ever. I’m always busy.

Any other art projects?

I’m getting back into painting. Painting is something I’ve been doing for the last 25 years or so, and it took a back burner to tattooing the last six years. I’ve been doing nothing but tattooing. But I had a desire to get back into painting, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I have a piece in a group show at the Holland Project [All In on Sept. 19]. And I'm working on some other paintings that I hope to get some prints together and start selling some prints online as well as in Mixed Message. That's the other part of the Mixed Message concept—to have it as a press publication type thing, not only for myself to get prints and stuff made and sold through that outlet, but also do it for other people, like Denali, doing collaborative things and selling it through the Mixed Message brand.