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 did my B.A at Staffordshire University and graduated with a 2:1 in graphic design and illustration which I never really used properly. I was probably more of a cartoonist than anything else, enjoying humour and creativity. I got some cartoons in various magazines and joined the cartoonists club of Great Britain but my working life has been very varied. I’ve worked in art and copy shops and done a stint self-employed as an antique china restorer with the help of the Princes Trust. I’ve also done a lot of supermarket work and worked printing photos too.
In the middle of the supermarket work I took myself off and did an M.A in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it! I’ve joined the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators so I can keep up with the news. I have cartoons printed in the magazine The Showing Journal and I have been looking seriously for a more creative job where I could express my artistic side since my last stint at University.
Creative Minds is a fabulous company which gets everyone involved in art and the enjoyment of creating. The training is thorough and involves how to run your business in a practical way. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to my time as a Creative Minds Artist.
“I work part time as a manager for Age Concern and love working with older people. Over the last few years it has become evident to me that older people living in rural isolation really benefit from participating in art based activities. I find art therapeutic and relaxing. In my spare time I enjoy painting (acrylic and water colour), creating images with chalk or oil pastels, and textiles. I have recently had work displayed in art competitions (Sherborne and Chichester). I am very excited about joining Creative Minds and facilitating art sessions in rural Dorset”
I feel privileged to live in a vibrant and creative city such as Brighton, especially with my background in fashion. I attended the London College of Fashion many years ago and have designed, made and sold clothes for children and adults over the years.
Recently, I became interested in how art could promote personal well being and started working as an Activities Coordinator helping people with dementia and learning difficulties. I noticed the effect that all forms of art made to their sense of personal happiness and self confidence. This includes dance, music and the visual arts.
As an artist myself I love to explore all media and feel I have only scratched the surface of what is possible with the materials I currently use. I enjoy working with acrylics because they are so versatile. I also love the depth of colour when working with ink and for quick sketches it’s convenient to use watercolour. I attend a weekly art group and also love to attend exhibitions.
I have not long since returned from a trip around the Caribbean and was fortunate enough to visit Cuba. I was astounded at the creativity and the focus on the arts. It was incredibly inspiring.
I am really excited about joining Creative Minds and making art accessible to the vulnerable in the Brighton & Hove community. In doing so, I hope to do as much as I can to promote their personal sense of well-being.
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.