Galapagos Trip Prize for Young Doodlers
20 Nov 2023

The Doodle Boy and local superstar comic book artist Charlie Adlard teamed up to launch an international doodle competition at The Soden Collection in Shrewsbury at the weekend - with a huge prize!

Two world renowned artists – Doodle Boy Joe Whale and legendary British comic artist Charlie Adlard (of The Walking Dead, Batman and Judge Dredd fame) - have joined forces to launch an international children’s art competition linked to the Darwin200 anniversary project.

A collaboration between The World’s Children’s Parliament, The Shrewsbury Arts Trail and The Darwin Centre Wales, The Global Darwin Art Competition aims to encourage youngsters across the globe to harness their creativity for the good of the environment, paying homage to the legendary naturalist Charles Darwin.

The winner and their adult carer will have the opportunity to embark on a trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands – following in the footsteps of the famous Shrewsbury-born naturalist.

Doodle Boy and local schoolchildren at the launch of the doodle competiiton for Darwin200

Pictured front row (L-R): Lewis (Coleham Primary School) Joe Whale (The Doodle Boy) Elvie, Soren (both Weston Lullingfields Primary School) and Alora (St. Winefride's School). Middle row (L-R): Flynn (Coleham Primary School) Eva (Oakmeadow Primary School) Amelie (Priory School) Sophia and Rosa (both Coleham Primary School). Back row (L-R) Clare Bear (Lovelyland) Jonathan Soden (Soden Collection) British comic artist Charlie Adlard and Jess Richards (Shrewsbury Arts Trail)


Doodle prodigy Joe Whale, aka The Doodle Boy, a passionate advocate for environmental awareness, is spearheading this competition, which is funded by the Darwin200 project and assisted by Wakelet (a tech meets education platform).

Joe Whale says: “I first got involved in the Darwin200 project back in the summer when I created a huge doodle about in front of Shrewsbury Library, where Charles Darwin went to school. I also went to school in Shrewsbury (Woodfield Primary School) and am now an Art scholar at Ellesmere College. A big part of my learning for this project was how much Darwin's theories influenced humanity and our understanding of nature and evolution. I realised to my surprise, that there is so much more that can be done to further understand the power of life. We all need be like Darwin and learn and explore a lot more.”

Under the theme children 'Trees of Life,' (inspired by Charles Darwin's iconic doodle, the 'Tree of Life’) children aged between 4 and 18 years have until 1st February 2024 to enter the competition and submit their doodle.  The winner will be announced by Joe on Darwin's 215th Birthday on the 12th February 2024.

For local children, there’s an additional incentive to get doodling as Shrewsbury’s leading art space Soden Gallery will display some of the entries as a special gallery installation.  The art gallery regularly exhibits works by The Doodle Boy and has collaborated with him recently to produce a Doodle Trail around Shrewsbury - which also aims to celebrate key Darwin landmarks.