Arts & Culture News

Their Week at Zine Camp: Oil and Cotton and the Art of Making an Interesting Youth

Michaela Meyer didn't trace those pictures of famous cartoon cats that you see at right. She drew them "free hand."

"Free hand:" That's a phrase that takes me back to her age. The summer before sixth grade, to be precise. Certain kids just hit an artistic growth spurt, the same way others shot eight inches taller. Talent bulged out all around me in the form of comic sketches and voluntarily written short stories and images drawn without the aid of someone else's lines. These were warning signs, foreshadowing that some in our class would go on to live wildly interesting lives -- as long as they don't surrender their talents by dismissing them simply as "hobbies."

The room where Michaela drew this, a large studio in the back of the Oak Cliff art space Oil and Cotton, has become a youth think tank. It's Friday and the week was spent writing and editing. Drawing and silk screening. Creating poetry and collages and learning abstraction methods of story creation. Now they're putting on the final touch by hand-binding their publications. Their zines.