Eyeyah, a social enterprise launched by advertising veteran parents, has secured distribution in 15 countries for its first issue and is planning its second, said to be sponsored by a major supermarket brand.
The concept of Eyeyah is to teach children about social issues using creativity, with the first issue on the internet taking the form of an activity book.
According to founders Tanya Wilson and Steve Lawler, the first issue has since been taken up by major distributors in Singapore (AllScript) and UK/Europe (Central Books) and is available in 15 countries including UK, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Wilson explained: “We were discussing the lack of creativity in the education system, and what we could do to address it. We both come from advertising backgrounds and understand the need for creativity in everyone, not just the creative industry. The world is changing and we believe it’s a skill children will need to survive and solve problems.”
In Singapore, where the company has been founded, the issues are turned into worksheets for primary and secondary school children across schools, via partner Kingmaker Consultancy.
According to Wilson and Lawler, the worksheets will be a free resource for schools globally and for every issue of Eyeyah sold, a free copy is given to a school and every issue is co-created with artists from around the world
Lawler adds: “Kids are visual learners and naturally see the world in a different way to convention. We believe artists, illustrators and designers are capable of nurturing this ability. One of the pieces, by Australian illustrator Yeah Yeah Chloe, uses a precise graphic language, bringing together two visual symbols. The iconic image of the hand phone, paired with the timeless image of despair, the drowning hands appealing for help. A universal image which can be understood by young people, no matter their culture or background.”
Another piece in the first issue, ‘EmojiLand’ by Esther Goh, won the ‘professional editorial’ category at the World Illustration Awards.
As for future plans, the next issue is going to be around the topic of food and a major supermarket has signed up for the project, though the pair remain tight-lipped as to which business.