We continue our interview with Glitter Cat founder T. Ben Fischer and Kat Melheim of the Coffee People Zine about Glitter Cat’s yearbook release.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos by Umeko Motoyoshi
Last week we published the first part of an interview with T. Benjamin Fischer and Kat Melheim—the founders of Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp and Coffee People Zine, respectively—about their collaborative yearbook for the Glitter Cats’ 2018-2019 competition year. Today, we wrap up that interview! And if you’re interested in snagging your copy of the yearbook, you can purchase it here.
Katrina Yentch: How did the both of you curate what would be in the zine?
T. Ben: The Glitter Cats provided content and Kat organized the zine. Kat did all the groundwork. She is incredible at the level of detail and intentionality put into the zine layout and organization, and constantly thought of more ideas to make the zine even better. I can’t wait to keep working with her in the future! I mostly just hounded folx to keep to the deadline, haha!
Kat: Oh, T. Ben. That is really too kind. I think wrangling people and keeping them to deadlines is the most difficult part! So yeah, T. Ben did all of the really hard people stuff—making sure the Glitter Cats got their photos, bio info, senior quotes, and artwork in on time. Then I took the raw materials and put the layout together. Honestly, that’s my favorite part of any zine, so it’s super fun for me. I’m definitely looking forward to working with T. Ben more as well. As long as he keeps people on track, I can do layout all day!
Did any of their work come as a surprise to you? Practically every member has some strong creative talent here outside of their coffee lives!
T. Ben: All of it is sensational. I am so thankful to be able to get that kind of insight into their personal lives. Sharing art and writing and photos is so personal, and I feel even closer to each of them. I cry every time I peruse it. I’m so damn proud of each of them.
Kat: Honestly, all of it was a surprise to me! I don’t know most of the Glitter Cats on a personal level, so I had no idea what kind of stuff they would turn in. But you’re totally right. Every member has strong creative talent and passion. From Becca’s amazing ceramic work to David’s stunning photography to Anthony’s powerful, heartbreaking, raw poetry. I could go on and on. Honestly, all of the Glitter Cats’ submissions were so creative, varied, and unique. It’s amazing the diversity of creative powers in such a small group. But that just shows the excellence of the group, I think.
Will you continue to take this format for the upcoming Glitter Cat series or test other creative outlets too? Or is that too soon to ask? 😉
T. Ben: We are hoping to make this an annual thing, but ya never know. A couple other shout-outs: Glitter Cat’s FABULOUS designer, Kelsey Maccombs, made the cover art, and Eric J. Grimm, Glitter Cat’s purrfect editor, wrote all of the bios. Finally to the Glitter Cats themselves and the instructors for investing in the current and future generations of barista competitors.
Kat: Yeah, the plan now is to make this a literal yearbook, to have a new issue every year, showcasing the Glitter Cat participants of every season. It’s hard to truly predict, though. Both Glitter Cat and Coffee People are still so new, who’s to say what could happen? Plus Glitter Cat is including roasters, brewers, and CIGs competitions for this upcoming comp circuit, which is AWESOME. So the next yearbook will automatically quadruple. We’ll keep you posted! And I second all of T. Ben’s shout-outs! The zine wouldn’t look so great without the illustrative powers of Kelsey Maccombs, and those bios are fire, by Eric Grimm. What a great and talented team!