EYEYAH! App: A Sit-down With Steve Lawler
This time last year, I was walking along the streets of Auguststraße in Berlin, winding down a month’s holiday and torn between wanting to stay forever, and seeking for a taste at home. I see a bookstore very cheekily named do you read me?! and enter. Of the many titles that caught my eye, there laid a magazine, multicoloured and screaming out for love and attention. EYEYAH!, it was, and a taste of home. I picked it up, found myself a makeshift stool, and smiled the rest of my afternoon away into the zine – it was enchanting as it was enriching!
The publication aims to be a visual platform and publication, using art and design to teach children about social issues. It’s also completely ad-free, but they’re on the lookout for brands and institutions looking to be aligned with education and creativity. And their latest venture, the EYEYAH! app is their vision materialised – a free app released in collaboration with Kingmaker aimed at parents, carers and teachers concerned about their child’s use of devices.
We caught Steve Lawler, Creative Director at EYEYAH! for some quick questions on their brand, their app, and their future!
Hello Steve! First things first – your slogan reads Celebrate The Unusual. How did that come about, and how does one celebrate the unusual!
We have always worked with artists to try and capture people’s attention and imagination. The Unusual is the name of our artist network. It is a mantra we live by in terms of making creative work. We find that the more unusual it is, the more intriguing it is. In a time where everyone has seen everything before, how do we try and cut through the noisy visual landscape? We are trying to influence change by working with artists, so impact and getting noticed is crucial to our strategy.
· We’ve had a go at the Eyeyah! app, and it’s as colourful as it is enriching even for adults like us. Could you tell us the concept behind the app, and what pushed you to create it?
The app is a digital version of our first issue of EYEYAH! We originally created the print version last year and felt it needed to go International and reach more kids (and kidults). It’s using a language they understand in a medium they are native to. It has been a 5 month journey to make the app and it is online here. We were supported by IMDA to develop the app and encourage interest awareness.
· How unsafe is the internet for kids, really?
It doesn’t take 5 minutes to work out most of the internet is trash. There is such evil stuff on there and a lot of weirdos. I have an 8 yr old who is on forums for games, watching youtube tutorials and encountering all kinds of things not suitable for children. Like adverts for war games and big breasted Chinese dating apps. Total garbage.
· Tell us about some of artists you got onboard!
We have a large network of creatives who we work with for both cultural and commercial projects. Some of our artists are as young as 17 and older than 50. Age does not count, but just their amazingness. Lots of the works we have produced have won International creativity and illustration awards, and our publication is availbable in the Design museum in UK. It is gaining credibility in a crowded marketplace so we need to keep innovating, and artists are key to that innovation.
· What’s next for Eyeyah!
We are opening an Eyeyah! restaurant in Parkway Parade to promote healthy eating for kids. We are about to print our 3rd publication on TRASH and we are launching a new T-Shirt collection. Always lots of things to do when going a brand!
Get on the EYEYAH! app and you’ll find that you too could learn a thing or two about Internet safety. Download it here!