Creative Minds is a social enterprise and arts organisation founded in November 2012 by James Cropper and is based in Guildford, Surrey. For over 5 years our art sessions have had a huge impact on the lives of older adults, people with learning disabilities, adults in the community and children, enabling people of all ages and abilities to explore their creativity.
Our art sessions are delivered by our passionate community of artists across the country enabling the participants to explore their creativity and create wonderful artwork with the support and guidance of an experienced artist. Our nationwide community of artists currently visit over 210 venues delivering 350 art sessions to over 1500 participants a month. 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.
“After graduation in 2005, I exhibited textiles and jewellery in galleries and fairs, and artist-led workshops at museums and galleries, participatory installations with the public through drop-in workshops through to working with rural artisans in India and leading textile jewellery workshops in Athens. In 2011 I was invited to create a hand-stitched paper artwork by the NHS for a breast cancer clinic in a local hospital to meet the brief ‘Serenity’. I thoroughly enjoyed creating this work acknowledging how the sensitivity of colour and texture can affect our sense of calm one of the most challenging times.”
“For my final MA project in 2013, I installed an interactive wall of colourful haberdashery, spices and other unexpected materials that I invited visitors to select from off the wall for a spontaneous creative workshop. The experiences were recorded on notes written by each participant and hung on the wall. I have also gained a PTTLS qualification for my work as a textile jewellery tutor in the life-long learning sector.”
“I believe the encouragement of artistic expression can play a crucial part in the physical and mental healing process as it can help raise self-esteem, inspire hope and encourage a joyful attitude to each day. My interest in therapy through creativity has been profoundly deepened by leading workshops for women survivors of human trafficking, local women’s charities, and running workshops for the inaugural Mental Wealth Festival at adult education college City Lit.”
“Since my first degree course I’ve been a writer, photographer and graphic designer. I started a transition to the fields of arts and crafts a few years ago, running after-school craft classes and working in a gallery. I am also reading for a second degree, in Creative Arts, at the University for the Creative Arts.”
“I’ve always loved anything creative and strongly believe in its importance for well-being and happiness!”
What do you think of the training?
“The Creative Minds training is excellent, it is really comprehensive – James has thought of everything! I felt totally ready to start up my exciting new business venture.”
My love of the arts goes back as far as I can remember! I completed my degree in Illustration in 2001 at Brighton University then moved a few years later to live in Cornwall for a long time. Before starting our family I worked at a GP surgery but continued to create and sell my own artwork in my spare time. I love creating pictures in mixed media; combining print, collage and coloured pencil. I love getting absorbed and often messy! when I create my own pictures and that very much feeds into my sessions as a Creative Minds Artist. It’s a privilege seeing people surprise themselves with what they are able to produce; especially those who have had little opportunity to access creative pursuits.
I have a passion for inclusion and working with more vulnerable members in society. I volunteer weekly for a local foodbank and have plenty of experience working with children, young people and the homeless. I have lived in Wiltshire for the last four years and love working within this beautiful county enabling folk to discover the benefits of therapeutic art and how it can transform their wellbeing.
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.