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 350 Art Sessions a month to over 1500 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.
“I discovered my love for the arts from an early age, achieving an OND and HND in Graphic Design, followed later with a BA Hons Degree in Sculpture. Working for Aardman Animation and Pangolin Editions helped to broaden my creative knowledge. My employment with Gloucestershire Arts for Schools and Bishop Road Primary School gave me the insight into how art can help, inspire and build confidence within an individual.”
“Discovering Creative Minds was a lovely transition for me to help a generation through the joy of art.”
What would you say to other artists thinking of joining Creative Minds?
“Opportunities to work with your community through the arts are very rare, so if you discover a position don’t delay and take the plunge.”
“As someone with a very diverse set of life experiences across three continents I am passionate about the importance of creativity in everyone’s journey. I believe that ‘doing’ is fundamental to human happiness and that’s why I am so excited to be part of the Creative Minds team bringing art experiences to people who can really benefit from it. Having worked in different creative roles, I found the Creative Minds approach and training a breath of fresh air where everyone keeps the importance of the social impact of our work in mind.”
“I hope to make a difference to all our service users and further strengthen the reputation of the team as a great way to enrich people’s lives. My focus will be to deliver a high quality experience to the participants, to deliver trouble-free service and excellent support to the Activity Coordinators and as a consequence be appreciated as great value by the client. Quality, Service and Value. Simple.”
I have enjoyed being creative for as long as I can remember. I love working in all sorts of different mediums, my favourite being acrylic/mixed media paintings and biro illustrations. I set up a small picture framing business in 2004 called Tyler Studios. I also write and illustrate children’s books. I have recently moved from living on a boat, moored up off Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, to a thatched roof cottage in Wiltshire, to be closer to family.
I think creating and feeling proud of yourself is fundamental to feeling positive in life. I am very happy to be a part of Creative Minds. It gives me great pleasure be able to help individuals express themselves and give them the confidence to try something new.
The training from James at Creative Minds was brilliant. The whole way through the process I felt supported. Everything was very well explained and I knew there was someone I could turn to for help and advice if I had any questions. By the end of the training I had everything I needed to get going straight away, having all the materials and guidance necessary to feel confident to approach care homes and start the art sessions.
I began exploring my artistic flair back in 2001 when I was encouraged to take an opportunity to leave full time employment and return to Further Education. The creative journey has transformed the way I view the world and I have been lucky enough to work in my local Primary School for 13 years teaching Art as one of my subjects, returning to University in 2012 to finally complete my Fine Art Degree on a part-time basis. Having graduated in 2016 I am thrilled to now be working in such a worthwhile creative business, with the network support of a great bunch of professional artists. Being able to explore such a vast range of art mediums and materials is incredible whilst sharing the joy of creativity with others.
I am also continuing to create my own mixed-media conceptual art pieces, currently exhibiting with a fantastic art group in my local area.
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.