A NEW magazine aimed at children hopes to highlight the blossoming creative community in Shrewsbury.  Rob Bellis found out more.

Shrewsbury’s creative talents are set to have a new outlet in the form of an innovative magazine for children.

The new publication, which is aimed at younger children, represents a collaboration between some of the area’s brightest artists, illustrators and designers.

Plans for the magazine are in full flow and it is hoped the pilot issue, available later this year, will lead to it becoming a regular quarterly release.

And the youngsters who will read the magazine are being urged to contribute by helping to design the cover.

Art student Sam Pooley, who runs I love Compost and the Compost Kids workshops at the Market Hall, is at the heart of the project with artistic director Carla Boulton and design students Matt Clough and Hamish McKeown.

Sam explained: “The whole thing is about collaborating, bringing together Shropshire’s creative community and giving them a showcase of the amazing art we have in this area but in a fun way.

“It seems there’s quite a lot of younger people coming back to the area, in their late 20s early 30s – artists, illustrators and designers but also some great craftspeople.

“It’s not just people who are creative though, it’s people who are professionals – there’s a real difference between people doing it as a hobby and people bringing in professional practice.”

Sam, who is currently studying a fine art degree course in Birmingham, knows her target market well.

Not only is she a mother-of-two, but she also runs the increasingly popular Compost Kids workshops at the Market Hall.

These are parent and toddler art groups that run throughout the year, currently on a Tuesday and Thursday morning.

As well as providing a fun, creative outlet for budding artists, they are designed to be educational, teaching youngsters about art history.

She is hoping the magazine can be just as fun and informative and that it can become a regular must-have read for children and parents alike.

“If this one succeeds, and I’m sure it will, it will become a quarterly magazine, one for each season – this one being summer,” she explains.

“If not, it will be a lovely one-off showcase for artists in Shrewsbury.”

For the first issue, Sam is asking youngsters to contribute a picture for the front cover.

“I’m inviting kids over the next couple of weeks to draw a nice summery picture that we might use on the cover.”
All they have to do is pick up a form from Compost Kids studio in the Market Hall.

Sam is currently on the lookout for a financial backer for the project – a local businessperson or somebody who is interested in the arts.