“Working with kids is such a joy”: Mishou Magazine highlights art from children aged 15 and under
A magazine for adults and kids alike, 50 per cent of each issue is donated to schools, teachers, non-profit organisations and individual children.
- Joey Levenson
- 15 December 2022
So often we hear about the vital importance of emphasising creativity and artistry in a child’s development, yet so little do we see this coming to fruition. This is where Mishou Magazine enters, a magazine which aims to validate children’s identities as individuals and artists, with 50 per cent of each issue donated to schools, teachers, non-profit organisations, and individual kids. The latest issue has just released, centred around the theme of ‘mystery’. “In this issue, you will find a variety of mystery themed art, writing and activities by artists between ages five and 45,” Milah Libin, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, tells It’s Nice That. “Use Jessica Butler’s poetic clues to discover hidden creatures in a game of I, Spy, or Connect the Dots with Payton Barronian to reveal a mysterious drawing, or play a Memory Card Game with Sara Yukiko Mon’s artwork, which doubles as a puzzle.” This issue, as usual, carries on Mishou Magazine’s mission of encouraging intergenerational collaboration between artists.
On mystery, it’s clear that Milah has put a lot of thought in to the way the theme manifests itself in Mishou Magazine’s artistic and editorial choices. “Humans often have the desire to ‘figure things out’, but with the technological ability to immediately access information, there is not as much left to our imagination,” she explains. “We wanted to emphasise the beauty in the ‘not knowing’.” The idea of ‘not knowing’ permeates throughout the issue, allowing readers to inhabit the kid-like mentality of mystery in everything. “Everyday you discover and learn new things, and it’s so exciting,” Milah adds. “It can also be scary and uncomfortable, which is one of the things we wanted to dispel in this issue, using art and games as a tool to do so.”
The magazine is full of intricate artwork which expands on these ideas and conversations. It’s a thoroughly impressive endeavour in centring juvenile art within a contemporary context. “Working with kids is such a joy,” Milah says. “I feel so lucky to be able to, if only for a moment, reconnect with that childlike curiosity and awe through making art.” Each issue of Mishou Magazine calls for submissions based on a prompt seen in the previous issue, and this issue’s prompt was to ‘create your own puzzle’. “We held a workshop at The Sixth Street Community Center’s summer camp, where kids made the puzzles that appear in this issue,” Milah explains. Milah’s biggest hope for the magazine is that all ages can enjoy and be inspired by the art. “Of course kids learn a lot from adults, but we can also learn so much from them,” she tells us “It’s hard to pinpoint the moment in each of our lives when we lose the vast imagination and openness that kids naturally have. We hope that Mishou Magazine is a space for us grown-ups to tap into that headspace again, and for kids to feel validated and seen as artists.”
Dena Seiferling: Dizzy Dollhouse (Copyright © Mishou Magazine, 2022)
About the Author
Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. He was part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.