Illustration by Jody Lundy
Illustration by Jody Lundy

Imagine That!

Creative Black Country commissioned us to create a commemorative publication to give out free at the ‘Imagine That!’ festival in Sandwell. Rather than take a traditional ‘What’s On’ type approach we worked closely with the local community to develop a custom-made publication that would speak vividly to a young audience.

We worked with respected Wolverhampton children’s author Ian Billings, ‘The Lyng Media Club’ (a young people’s project on the Lyng estate), illustrator Jody Lundy and Creative Black Country. The result was an enthralling story of two local youngsters who go on an adventure across a magical Sandwell. Along the way they encounter talking bees, take a trip in a flying three-wheel van and embark on a wondrous canal trip they will never forget.

"For Imagine That! We wanted to celebrate the outdoor spaces in Sandwell as well as create intimate experiences that offer considered and meaningful opportunities for families to engage with. We definitely feel that this was the case and our research has already found that. 15% of families we attracted had not been to an arts or cultural event in the last 12 months.

It was essential to have a programme that appealed to people who weren’t already disposed to attending arts events. Blue and White worked with us to develop a plan for a children’s story that narrated our summer activity in a fun and inventive way. Families were able to re-enact the stories in the book as they travelled across Sandwell taking part in outdoor pyjama parties, creating ceramic gardens and life-size puppet shows.

We found the process of making the book to be really enjoyable from consultation to print. The enthusiasm of all those involved in developing the publication fed through to a final product that still has pride of place on local people’s bookshelves. The Imagine That! publication received an enthusiastic response from councillors, schools, museums and, most importantly, local children!"
Liam Smyth, Creative Producer, Creative Black Country

We’re very proud of our record in giving opportunities to up and coming creatives. For this project we engaged Jody Lundy, a young West Bromwich based illustrator, who at the time was in her final year at Wolverhampton University. Jody produced some superb illustrations which she included subsequently as part of her year-end degree show artwork. They impressed all who saw them and helped Jody gain a very good degree.