Hi! My name’s Arya, and I’m very excited that you’re here. Welcome to Filter Feeder, a biweekly-ish newsletter about connecting deeper with the nature and community that can be found right where you are, which in my case currently is California (and spoiler alert, I’m trying to figure out those very things for myself, too, so we’ll definitely be on this journey together).
Why “Filter Feeder”?
The term “filter feeder” refers to animals that strain their food out from water in a special way — imagine a big blue whale sucking in water and catching tiny krill on its brush-like baleen, or a barnacle extending a feathery, modified leg-structure on which to capture floating food particles. I often feel like a filter feeder as I move through the world, trying my best to strain out the most joyful and useful pieces I can from the waves of media, conversations, and interactions that flow through my days. This newsletter is where I make sense of how those pieces may come together, particularly when related to science, art, and social and environmental justice.
You’ll probably like it here if you:
are a fan of colors & illustration (I use a lot of them)
have ever considered starting a project — home, garden, writing, art, pickling, kazooing, literally any kind of project — just for fun
are at least a little interested in nature (if the answer is no, hang out for a bit & I’m hopeful we can get you there)
want to learn more about zines & their history
read a book here & there (a single book, even)
are related or related-adjacent to me & want to see what I’m up to while I procrastinate catching up on my text messages (hi, very wonderful family, thanks for your patience, sending love your way)
I’m a science communicator and zine-maker based in Los Angeles. My most salient core-memory of nature is when I saw a hermit crab for the first time as a child, and it’s what sparked my love for science … probably (if we forget about the driveway rollie-pollies).
Most of the things I write and draw about are related to nature in some way. Whether dispelling snail-myths, compiling book-recs, or spending a full month raving about frogs, I’m pretty consistently stumbling into and sharing about new pieces of nature that delight me. I hope this newsletter can bring some of the delight to your inbox.
You can expect me (hi) in your inbox …
Every other Friday with a post about nature, zines, or the many in-betweens! That includes interviews with California-based artists or nature-leaders, low-stakes ways to get involved with community science or climate action groups, illustrated stories about striking and/or criminally underrated animals and plants, and so much more. All of this is entirely free.
Want even more Filter Feeder?
For $6/month or $60/year, you’ll get all of the above, plus a couple extras …
Automatic access to all installments of a natural list, aka an illustrated mini-series released here on Filter Feeder that, through a personal lens, explores the most surprising and delightful things to know about the immense expanse that is native plants, animals, and fungi of California. This series was inspired by the common tradition of naturalists keeping “life lists” that document the species they’ve seen throughout their lifetimes, and it’ll run as long as it takes to get through every California native species (which is to say, buckle in, because there are over 6,500 plants alone). In other words: It’s my unfiltered commentary on iconic California species.
Opt-in access to the Filter Feeder Zine Club, in which you’ll receive a physical copy of a new, original mini-zine (containing something wonderful or important-to-know about nature, community, and/or how humans interface with both) in your mailbox in the middle of every month. Y’know, right when the month is beginning to feel like it’s both never-ending and disappearing unimaginably fast. You can expect more info on the logistics of how that physical mail delivery will happen safely and securely to be delivered to your email inbox if you become a paid subscriber.
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