How long have you been a Creative Minds Artist?
Just over three and a half years. I started in October 2015, and have renewed my franchise for another 3 years.
Tell us what you have been up to today?
I like to start early so by 7:45am I was enjoying a coffee, listening to Classic FM in my PJs whist beginning my prep work for today’s art sessions. I had two floral-themed sessions planned, so cut out templates, created a prototype and prepared some musical playlists to take along to the sessions. This took around an hour. I then got myself dressed and ready to leave the house by around 10:15am. I’m lucky because all of the Care Homes where I am based are all close to where I live.
I arrived at St Dominics Care Home in St Leonards-On-Sea and started the session around 10:30am. I worked with eight residents to create their own tulip collages. I got them to paint the flowers using watercolours, demonstrating different techniques for them to try. We then mounted the tulips onto card adding the vases to create a collage. I love engaging with the residents and chatting about memories that may stem from the theme of the sessions. There’s often lots and fun and laughter.
The session finished around 12pm, and all were thrilled with their work. I drove home for lunch and an hour of downtime before I headed out for the afternoon.
I arrived at Whitebeach Care Home in St Leonards-On-Sea around 1:30pm. The home had booked an extended session with me, as work was being carried out on the building. A group of residents worked on a collaborative “funky flower’ wall display. They all enjoyed painting the backdrop using acrylics, then each created their own 3D flower out of paper plates. The music I prepared was playing in the background, and it was all very upbeat and fun. Once the completed piece was up on the wall, one lady who took part came and hugged me with a tear in her eye. She was so thrilled with the outcome. It’s moments like this that make me really love my job!
It is great when homes display the artwork that the residents create. Not only does it brighten the surroundings, but relatives and visitors always appreciate seeing their creations when they come to visit.
I arrived home by around 4:30pm to finish my working day, and grabbed myself a cuppa whilst popping onto the Creative Minds Community Facebook group to share a few pics from the day. The support from the artists is incredible, and it is a great resource to tap into for ideas and advice.
What would a typical week look like to you?
I’d normally run on average around five-six sessions per week. Sometimes weeks are busier but that is around how many sessions I’d aim for.
How many hours do you normally work in a week?
Including prep time, around 23-24 hours per week.
Where do you get inspiration from on how to carry out your art sessions?
Previous artwork that I’ve created, other artists, exhibitions I have visited, the fact that I live by the sea! I can base my sessions around nature, seasons or topical themes. Anything that is happening in the wider world. I also tailor themes of sessions to client’s interests and hobbies. I tap into the Creative Minds Community who share great ideas with each other. I also like to work with recycled/up-cycled materials.
What first attracted you to the Creative Minds franchise opportunity?
The opportunity to run my own business with full support. I wanted to be able to get creative again with a care group that I am passionate about having lost both of my parents to dementia.
I was also attracted to the opportunity to be able to work flexibly, and work hours that would fit in better with family life. I wanted to be around for my daughter more and being a Creative Minds Artist offered a working solution that would let me choose the hours I wish to work.
What do you like best about being a Creative Minds Artist?
The job satisfaction I gain.
I love to see the reactions from clients and pride at what they can achieve. It’s so rewarding to see how pleased they are to see me when I arrive. This type of feedback is the best motivation anyone could ask for. Knowing I’m making a difference to people’s days.