CWLA Instructor Spotlight – Fall 2014

Ms. Osa

Zine Instructor at CWLA’s Afterschool Program at the International School of Louisiana. Osa has been an instructor with CWLA since 2013.


Tell us about you?

As an artist, I might be considered a jack of all trades.  I am a musician and a potter.  Making zines is just another thing that I do.  Zines are self-published magazines that, for the most part, focus on subcultural topics.  I found zines through punk rock and have read them since I was a teenager.  I’ve been making my own zine (turned blog) “Shotgun Seamstress” since 2006.  Since then, six issues of my zine have been published as a book.  As an instructor, I love combining literacy and visual art.  Aside from the zine making project that I do with older students, I do a book/art pairing for the younger grades.  We read a book together as a class and then make an art project that is inspired by the book.
Tell us about your planned 6-week Curriculum?

Kids who do the Zine Project love it because it allows them to focus on the thing they are most excited about.  It is not often that you are asked to write about your very favorite things in school.  Aside from writing, there is also a visual aspect to zine making.  In fact, the visual aspect is just as important as the writing part.  Students are encouraged to find images in magazines or create their own.  We talk about zine layout and how to combine text and images in a way that is attractive and clear the reader.  At the end of the quarter, each child gets 10 copies of their zine to trade with other students!

What have you enjoyed most about working with CWLA participants?

The Zine Project in particular helps me learn what is relevant to my students.  Because they get to pick their own topic, I get to learn; what music they’re listening to, what actors and actresses they like, who their heroes and heroines are, and sometimes even about personal experiences that have made them who they are today.  I love that I get to share DIY ethics to young people–the idea that they can and should participate in creating culture–and that they get to share their values with me.