Creative Minds is an arts organisation and social enterprise and was founded in November 2012 by James Cropper and is based in Guildford, Surrey. Over the last 4 years our Art Sessions have had a huge impact on the lives of older adults, people with learning disabilities and adults in the community enabling people of all ages and abilities to explore their creativity.
Our Art Sessions are delivered by our community of Creative Minds Artists across the country and enable the participants to explore their creativity and create art and crafts with the support and guidance of an experienced artist. As a community we currently deliver over 250 Art Sessions a month to over 1300 participants and these figures are climbing. As a social enterprise we have 2 important social aims which are key to what we do…
Our social aims are:
To empower and enhance people’s lives through art and creativity. We want to empower the individual and improve their well-being.
To make art accessible to everyone. We want to encourage as many people as possible to give art and crafts a go.
We are continually striving to achieve our social aims ensuring that as many people as possible can benefit from our services and access art. Every artist who joins Creative Minds believes passionately about the arts for health and well being and is aligned with our social aims.
My art journey began 17 years ago…when I started taking various weekly classes with some amazing teachers.
After having home-schooled my two teenagers to GCSE level, I returned back to work a year ago. Being in the corporate world has made me increasingly aware that I wanted to be in a more caring role incorporating my love of art. I have enjoyed teaching and creating over the years, so when I found the Creative Minds website, I was so excited about the possibility of becoming part of this wonderful community.
Over the years I have given many art lessons and craft sessions and it has always amazed me seeing people’s faces light up when they realise they can create something beautiful…
Art is for everyone and Creative Minds reaches people in a wonderfully encouraging, engaging, caring way.
James has developed comprehensive training to equip the artist to go into homes, schools and communities with confidence. He has also thought of everything that we would need to consider about the business right through from the set up to the execution of the art sessions.
To me, Creative Minds is a perfect fit as I am a strong and passionate believer that Art is accessible to everyone and that art is therapeutic for many reasons.
Discovering this opportunity to join a community of like-minded artists who want to make a difference was an instant decision. To have the opportunity to offer all sorts of creativity to people makes me very happy and excited.
I have always loved art and was fortunate enough to have a supporting family that allowed me to ditch the desk job and venture…I have been there for my family to grow and now looked for a new experience.
My first love was clay, then painting and then photography and the past 3 years have seen me picking up my own tools again making and I am always experimenting with how to cross over techniques and applications.
There are so many mediums to use, whether on their own or together, watercolour, pastel, clay, collage the possibilities are endless and there is no such thing as wrong and that is why art makes such a difference….
What did I think about the training?
The two days that James provided were enjoyable, informative and built up such a positive start to this venture. There were answers to our questions and great insight into running the business. The start-up pack is brilliant and the support he and Sarah have given me is amazing. There is so much information available and the Creative Minds community is so welcoming. If any artist is looking to change their life and make a difference….do it!
“As a child I loved to draw, paint and be messy, and not much has changed. I followed a traditional art education journey achieving a diploma, and then I pursued a love for creating characters as a Professional Make up artist for TV and film. After qualifying I worked on low budget projects around the country, developing my understanding for 3D design, mask making and sculpture.
What has always interested me as an artist is expression and process, interpreting ideas and emotions visually. I have always been drawn towards mixed media merging traditional techniques to create something with depth and texture. I love to be tactile and repurpose tools like painting a portrait using glue sticks or old credit cards.
Recently my inspiration has shifted after having my son. He made me realise how accessible art is – there are no rules or restrictions. Watching how much fun he has discovering new skills is hugely rewarding.
The training Creative Minds has given me has been so beneficial. I’m so happy to be a part of such a welcoming community of Artists, who share the same values. The shadowing session was fantastic. It really gave me a great insight into what being a part if Creative Minds is all about. I felt in my element and excited to get more involved.”
“I truly believe that art is therapy for the soul and that it should be accessible for everyone. I cannot remember a time when I’ve not been doing, thinking about or teaching it.”
“I have trained in Graphic Design/Illustration and am currently studying part-time for my BA in Fine Art. I continue to paint for myself, and also for some commission based projects.”
“I had the privilege of teaching art in a secondary school to pupils with complex needs and it was fantastic to witness them becoming more confident, courageous and experimental as they explored new mediums and ways of working.”
What led you to join the Creative Minds community?
“Creative Minds ticks all the boxes for me as it combines my passion for art and my desire to support and encourage people within a community of caring professionals.”
Our vibrant community is growing and we are always looking for artists who are supportive and compassionate to join us enabling people to explore their creativity.