writing on it all

New York Happenings – A Q&A with Writing On It All’s Zina Goodall


Anyone looking for a cool art project in NYC might want to stop by Governor’s Island, where the participatory art project Writing On It All is taking place this month.

Writing On It All is both a free art exhibit and installation – and once there, guests are asked to write or paint on the wall of an old house.

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The house will be open THIS MONTH ONLY from 1 to 4 pm on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

On June 18, Laia Sole will lead the “KABOOM” session; and on June 24 and 25, Anthony Rosado will lead the “TestOURmonials” session.

For directions to House 11, Nolan Park, Governor’s Island, click here.

For more on the fun project and its program director, we speak with Zina Goodall.




NAME: Zina Goodall

AGE (if you want to give it up): 27

COMPANY: Writing On It All



PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND: I like to make art with interesting people. Making things with other people is fun, healing, and healthy, as well as good for building communities and positive environments in our brains!


PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE: Equal parts painter’s suits, clown suits, and summer dresses. Functionality and nice fabrics. Good pockets.




1. How long have you been involved in the arts? And what is your earliest design memory?

I have been making art professionally and putting on events since I was a nine-year-old child performer in local circus troupes of the San Francisco Bay Area. Born to two graphic designers, my earliest design memory might be the way my mom determines a meal to be balanced—if there is good variety of colors on the plate.


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2. What has been the best design trend in the last five to ten years? And what has been the worst? 

Best trend > immersive installations

Worst trend > big brands that pilfer aesthetics from struggling artists and communities of color for uncredited profit.


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3. What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve heard? And do you follow it?

“Contracts are how you keep your friends.” Writing out business agreements can seem like overkill, but it is how we protect ourselves and one another from disappointment and misunderstandings. Freelancing can be a boundaryless world, and it’s important to stay clear and safe!


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4. What is your favorite place to shop, anywhere in the world, and why?

The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland, California! They have every kind of strange art material, paper, art supplies, furniture, toys, you name it. Teachers shop at discount, and it’s a great place for any artist or designer to get inspiration, donate old weird things, and reuse materials instead of sending them to the landfill. I wish this business model existed in every city.


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5. What music, movie, book or magazine gets you ready to sketch or brainstorm?

 What It Is by Lynda Barry.


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6. What is the question a person should ask you, and how would you answer?

“What happens to all the writing you do with Writing On It All?”

We paint it over! Writing is ephemeral and temporary! Writing is important even when it is not published in a book, recited at a podium, or chiseled into a rock. We like to write all over a place because it feels good and you never know what words might come out. (We also always take great pictures.)


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7. Tell us more about Writing On It All. Why is it important? Why should people participate?

 Writing On It All wants to redefine writing! We believe that all people are writers, regardless of their education, language, profession, age, or access to a publisher. We want to open up different spaces to be write-on-able, and break out of the confines of lined paper and word processors. We encourage all interested members of the public to come write with us and our exciting calendar of visiting artists on the walls of House #11, in Nolan Park, on Governors Island in NYC.


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Portrait Courtesy of Zina Goodall; All Other Photos Courtesy of Writing On It All


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* Designer Philippe Vergez

* Illustrator Bonnie Pang

* Artist Rafael Lanfranco

* Painter Laura Lancaster

* Designer Nina Dornheim

* Fashion Designer Lan Yu

* Laurel Berman, Founder, Black Halo

* Minika Ko, KOVASKY

* Painter Jaime Poblete Aravena

* Portraiture Artist Tiffany Von Hoff

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