Join our Community in 2021!

May 26, 2021

We’re happy to announce that Creative Minds is back and ready to rock and roll!

It’s fair say that the last 18 months have been a bit of a disaster for Creative Minds (as it has been for many small businesses). Last March our CM Artists and their sessions were cancelled with immediate effect as the care sector and then the whole of the UK (or world for that matter) was plunged into Lockdown as the pandemic started to take hold. Fear, uncertainty and despair started to take hold and was further compounded when we all understood what was going on much more clearly, and thus realised that this not going to be a quick recovery. There is however the promise of recovery and the light at the end of tunnel certainly feels within reach now due to the fantastic vaccination rollout.

Creative Minds is a wee bit smaller in size than it was prior to the pandemic, but we still have some wonderful artists that have stuck by the organisation, me, Sarah and the community and we’re really thankful that they’ve stayed! Creative Minds wouldn’t be here without – you. Like many people throughout the pandemic, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect an think deeply about what has happened, what I could have done better and what can be changed to improve Creative Minds for the future and as we move into this ‘new normal’ (that people keep harping on about 😉).

For Creative Minds to grow, prosper and scale, which has always been my vision for the company, it’s model will need to adapt to this new digital landscape we’re in. Gone is the Franchise and in is the Membership. This is part of my new vision of what a franchise is or can be, something that’s much more affordable for people, therefore much more accessible but yet retains some of the fantastic elements that made Creative Minds great – the community, and that support network. One of the key differences is that artists can become ‘members’ i.e. Creative Minds Artists, across the world and can leverage the Artsflow platform (booking and payment system) whilst they build their creative businesses.

So without further or do, I’ll go into the details of the Creative Minds Membership

Our Training Costs £250 and will be delivered by Sarah, Head of Community Development.

In our online training you will learn how to:

  • Build your Creative Minds business.
  • Market & Sell yourself to prospective clients.
  • Learn about best practices when delivering your art sessions.
  • How to diversify your business by approaching and working with different clients.
  • Learn about the various marketing tools & means to build your business.
  • Learn about the Artsflow platform and how to onboard your clients.
  • Administer your business using the various tools & templates we’ve created.

Our monthly Membership fee is £25 & includes our Membership Pack:

  • Creative Minds Email Address (via Google Workspace)
  • Bi-weekly calls & messaging support from Sarah for first 3 months (conference/video calls)
  • Access to files, docs & templates (via Google Drive)
  • Access to our two Facebook Community Groups
  • Branded Apron & Name Badge

Marketing materials will need to be ordered separately by artists, and all of our templates will be available in Google Drive.

Business cards, facebook profile & cover images can be ordered separately by artists and are designed by a freelance graphic designer.

Our first training of the year is on Thursday 1st & Friday 2nd July and if you’d like to join us and the other artists please get in touch by completing a ‘Membership Application Form’ on our Membership page (this page and the form will be changing soon to reflect the above changes).

We really look forward to hearing from you and helping you to start your creative journey with Creative Minds!

Thank you for reading. 😊

James.

A message from Creative Minds re’ Coronavirus & Art Activity Boxes

March 19, 2020

Dear clients,

As the coronavirus situation escalates we want to reassure you of our full support and understanding during this difficult and concerning time. As many of you are aware, immediate steps have been taken by our clients, especially the care sector to restrict visitors in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. These measures are absolutely necessary to ensure the protection and safety of our vulnerable population across the country.

However in times of restriction and isolation the importance of activities and stimulation becomes ever more apparent. Their importance to peoples health and wellbeing cannot be understated, whether it’s music, arts & crafts, poetry, sowing, other crafts or forms of entertainment.

In light of the restrictive measures implemented across the country, in particular in the care sector we as a community of artists have been working hard to develop ‘Art Activity Boxes’.

Our Art Activity Boxes contain accessible pre-planned sessions with all the art mediums, materials and equipment required, which can be delivered straight to your doorstep.

The Art Activity Boxes are priced at £35 each (based on one session plan) and can be delivered on a monthly/weekly basis.

Example Art Activity Box by Judy & Caroline, CM Artists based in Salisbury

To find out more and enquire please click below…


*Please be aware that this is dependent on where our artists are located and we may not be able to deliver to you if you are too far away*


Thank you for your support and we wish all of our clients the very best. We’ll get through this together!

Creative Minds.

Creative Minds Regional Meetings!

March 5, 2020

Last year we started organising Regional Meetings for the community, which have been a great opportunity for the artists to get together, discuss their business, share ideas and support each other in addition to our twice yearly Community Meetings.

Artists have enjoyed discussing opportunities in their localities and the potential of collaborating with one another on the delivery of projects. We have a buzzing online forum where our artist community regularly chat and share ideas, but nothing beats a face-to-face catch up!

So far we’ve had Regional Meetings in the South East, South West, Midlands and Northern England, and we will be organising more over the coming months.

Leicestershire based CM Artist Alison described the Midlands meet up that took place on the 15th Feb; “Four of us met in Leicester at The Van Gogh Immersive Experience. Only two of us had met before so it was a great way to feel comfortable in each other’s company, talking about what we all love, art!”

regional meeting

“Afterwards we found a small cafe to have lunch with some comfy seats, as we wanted to get to know each other better and discuss our businesses. We shared many ideas and positive experiences and soon realised that we all had different skills and expertise, which could help each other with in areas of our businesses. We plan to meet up again and have remained in contact.”

“It can be quite isolated at times being self-employed and this arranged meeting paid for by Creative Minds, has helped us to realise that friends are not far away and we are all there for each other.”

On 7th December, 6 CM Artists based in the South East had their Regional Meeting at the Woods Restaurant in The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells.

regional meeting

CM Artist Sarah Ackroyd commented; “It was a jolly festive lunch and we all listened to each other’s news and shared tips and techniques. Lots of chocolate tart was consumed and I really enjoyed the meeting, putting names to faces!”

Up in Leeds, 4 Northern based CM artists had their Regional Meeting on 25th November at the Tetley Gallery, where they enjoyed lunch and then went on to explore the exhibitions.

regional meeting

CM Artist Sarah W, based in Cheshire said; “We spent a few hours chatting and getting to know each other. I felt a real sense of community, it’s great to meet our “colleagues” and chat face-to-face so even though we work for ourselves we are not alone.”

CM Artist Caroline & Judy based in Salisbury, Wiltshire attended the South West Regional Meeting on 9th November, where a group of artists met at the Royal West of England Academy to view the latest exhibitions and enjoy a bite to eat together.

regional meeting

Caroline said; “‘It was great to meet up with other artists from our region and discover how much joy we all get from bringing art to residents in care homes and other settings, and seeing how much they enjoy it!”

If you would love to be part of our wonderful artist community, please feel free to request a Franchise Booklet and complete a Franchise Application on our ‘Franchise’ page – www.creativeminds.art/franchise/ . We look forward to hearing from you!

Creative Wellbeing Retreats at Devon Sculpture Park

February 4, 2020

There is growing evidence that spending time in nature is essential to our wellbeing. From the pureness of the oxygen we breathe, to the sounds of wildlife, the visual beauty of a flower coming into bloom, each sense is uniquely awakened when we spend time re-connecting with our natural surroundings, bringing with it an innate sense of peace and connection with ourselves and the earth.

Alongside this, further research suggests that ‘the act of creating’ is equally important to our sense of wellbeing, spending just 45 minutes engaged in a creative activity lowers the bodies stress hormone significantly.

At Creative Minds we wholeheartedly believe in the power of both art and nature to transform our sense of wellbeing. We wanted to encompass this in our offering for 2020, and so we have partnered with the stunning Devon Sculpture Park, the UK’s leading smaller scale rewilding project and environmental art centre, to offer a monthly Creative Wellbeing Retreat, the first of which is planned for March 11th.

creative wellbeing retreats
‘Art will never be able to exist without nature.’ – Pierre Bonnard

Our Creative Wellbeing Retreats will provide the perfect combination of nature, art and creative expression for maximum impact on our wellbeing – come and try for yourself…

Refresh, re-imagine and create surrounded by contemporary environmental art, re-wilded Capability Brown gardens, ancient waterways, wildlife and endless sea views.

creative wellbeing retreats
creative wellbeing retreats
‘Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty’ – John Ruskin

Attendees will spend time sketching en plein air, soaking in the beauty of the park, being inspired by the stunning environmental art on display, and gathering natural materials to incorporate into our own art. They can then return to the school house studio for some experimenting – with both natural and traditional art materials – to create their own unique mixed media responses to the uniquely beautiful surroundings, guided by Exeter based Creative Minds Artist Liz Swan.

creative wellbeing retreats
‘I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?’ – Vincent van Gogh 

A healthy laid-back lunch at the Robert Adam gallery is included, as well as a guided wellbeing walk through the park and access to all of the art exhibitions.

These retreats are suitable for all levels of art experience, we attendees will encourage each other and share skills along the way.

Book your place now for a day to restore and reenergise your creative soul! To find out more click/tap here: Creative Wellbeing Retreats -Devon

Check out the Devon Sculpture Park on social media:

www.facebook.com/devonsculpturepark
www.instagram.com/devonsculpturepark
www.twitter.com/devonsculpture

Mini Makers – encouraging tiny tots to explore their creativity

February 4, 2020

Messy play is so important for a young child’s development, inspiring curiosity and providing a sensory experience enabling them to explore the world around them. It helps with the development of fine motor skills, gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness.

Many Creative Minds Artists are now running Mini Makers art sessions in their local community, providing a space to nurture children’s imagination and encouraging parents to enjoy a creative experience with their children. These sessions are aimed at pre-schoolers who are encouraged to explore a wide range of materials in a playful and experimental way.

CM Artist Grace based in Wiltshire, ran a weekly session throughout 2019 at West Wilts Vineyard Church. These proved to be a huge hit, and some weeks saw over 40 attendees!

Grace ran a different theme each week, some of which included; the colours of the rainbow, under-the-sea, on the farm and outer space. She set the room up with different areas for little ones to explore, incorporating a variety of sensory objects and creative materials.

mini makers
mini makers

After attending one of Grace’s sessions, one mum messaged the following day with; “Oh my word. The creative group yesterday blew my mind with how amazing it was! Thank you Grace – such a rich and sensory experience for our little ones.”

Meanwhile over in Cambridge CM Artist Laura has formed a partnership with a local soft play centre, where pre-schoolers can gain access to the centre, and then join her for a creative session. Each week she brings along different creative materials for the toddlers to enjoy, so they can create a piece of art to take home.

mini makers
mini makers
The toy car wheels and tractors were a huge hit!
mini makers
Paint blowing over stencils was another popular technique that the Mini Makers loved exploring.
mini makers

At Creative Minds we provide full support and training to artists who are keen to bring Mini Makers sessions to their local community.

If you want to find out about our franchise opportunity and how you can earn an income delivering Mini Maker sessions near you click here.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up!”Pablo Picasso

5 Christmas Craft Ideas you can try yourself!

December 4, 2019

Our artists have been running some beautiful Christmas-themed art sessions over the years, which are super-simple for people of all abilities to try with incredibly effective results!

Here are five great examples of sessions that took place, which you could easily try at home!

Bleeding Tissue Paper Christmas Trees

These pretty colourful wintery scenes were created at Ladywell Convent in Godalming with CM Artist Julie. The backgrounds were formed using bleeding tissue paper techniques, where squares of tissue paper are applied, dampened with water, then lifted to reveal vibrant prints. Simple tree silhouettes were then painted over them and white acrylic sponged over the floor for snow. Snowflakes were added in paint for the finishing touch.

christmas craft ideas
christmas craft ideas

Christmas Lanterns

Festive lanterns were created by residents at Belmore Lodge Care Home in Lymington with CM Artist Karen using rolled laminated A4 sheets. Strips of tissue paper in festive shades were layered inside the sheets, with pretty Christmas embellishments included to give that festive feel. They looked great all lit up with LED tea lights!

christmas craft ideas

Christmas Wreaths

These contemporary Christmas wreathes were created by residents at Glenholme Care Home in Sunderland with CM Artist Lily. Recycled toilet roll tubes were cut and folded to form the floral patterns, which were then painted with acrylics and attached to card rings. Gems were added to the centre of each flower for some extra sparkle and Christmas ribbon was tied onto the bottom.

christmas craft ideas

Wooden Christmas Tree Decorations

This jolly Christmas display was created by residents at Aldersgate Retirement Flats in Nuneaton with CM Artist Alison. Residents painted onto pre-cut wooden triangles to form their own little forest of festive creations. We love each unique design, with some painted as Santa, others as Christmas trees, and texture added to some as snow. The variety really adds to the charm, and they look wonderful on display.

christmas craft ideas
christmas craft ideas

Wintery Collages

These wintery collages formed Christmas Card designs for residents at Beechwood Grove Care Home in Eastbourne with CM Artist Sarah. Residents enjoyed working with a variety of different textured wallpaper, which they layered to form the snowy landscapes. They then used drops of paint onto coffee filters to add some colour to the trees. Silhouettes of trunks and branches were cut out and added at the end.

christmas craft ideas
christmas craft ideas

We’d love to see your creations too maybe using some of our Christmas Craft ideas above. Tag us into any pictures you share on Social Media with @creativemindsan we’d love to see them!

Enjoy getting creative this Christmas!

Christmas Card Competition WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!

December 4, 2019

The winning designs have been announced for our Christmas Card Competition #CreateYourChristmasCard that was open to people living with dementia, ran in partnership with MindForYou.

We were overwhelmed by the response, with so many beautiful and creative entries. We were thrilled to welcome celebrity judge, singer and actor Tony Christie to choose the winners, and he picked these two designs.

christmas card
Tony with the winning entries!
christmas card
Sarah (Creative Minds) & Carol (Mindforyou)

The winners were chosen based on the ‘humorous side’ to the Santa and Snowman scene, as well as the ‘cool atmosphere and background’ created in the Polar Bear design. 

christmas card
christmas card

The competition winners will receive a free supported holiday to any of the MindForYou UK destinations as well as in-house Creative Minds art sessions.

Our Etsy shop is up and running so you can now buy our winning Christmas Card designs! £2.50 of every pack of 10 cards sold will go to the MindforYou and Creative Minds fund, helping to offer more arts sessions on our supported holidays for people living with dementia and their carers. 

Follow the link below to buy our Christmas cards! 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DementiaXmasCards?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Alison’s Creative Meet Up!

November 19, 2019

CM Artist Alison, based in Warwickshire has been delivering art sessions to The Ashton Care Home in Hinkley and Aldersgate Retirement Flats in Nuneaton for over two years.

Since delivering sessions there, Alison encouraged The Ashton residents Dot, aged 97 and Cedric who has MS, to get back into their creative practice. Staff and residents have been amazed at the beauty of the work that they are now producing.  

Alison has also been blown away by the work of 96 year old Cecily, a resident at Aldersgate Retirement Flats. Cecily had a creative history and has been painting since the 1930s. She now produces stunning watercolour landscape paintings in Alison’s art sessions.

Alison and Janice, the Activity Coordinator at The Ashton decided it would be a lovely idea to organise a get-together with the residents from both settings. This would give them the opportunity to meet and share their passion for art while admiring each others work. So, on the 17th October, Alison organised a mini exhibition of Dot and Cedric’s work at The Ashton. She brought Cecily over from Nuneaton to enjoy a spot of lunch with fellow artists whilst viewing their work.

creative
Left to right: Cecily, Alison, Dot & Cedric
creative
creative

“It was wonderful to listen to them share stories, and admire each others work. After lunch we visited Dot & Cedric’s bedrooms to enjoy some more of their artworks. It made for a lovely social occasion they shared ideas and techniques whilst we all chatted about our love for art!” – Alison.

Afterwards Dot said “I like meeting new people, especially people who share interests, so it was great to chat about our artwork.”

Cecily commented; “I thoroughly enjoyed the meet up. Dot and Cedric were so enthusiastic. I would be lovely to go and meet them again to discuss our latest paintings.”

creative
Dot and Cecily
creative
Dots Painting
creative
Cecily’s Painting

Janice, the Activity Coordinator from The Ashton said: “After the meet up, the residents said how fabulous it was! It was a real clicking of minds and wonderful that Dot and Cedric got to meet others with the same interests and passions.”

The residents are all keen to meet up again, and have formed a lovely friendship, so Alison is looking to arrange another get together soon so that they can admire each other’s latest masterpieces.

Create your Christmas Card Competition!

November 6, 2019
christmas card

This year we’ve partnered with our lovely friends at MindForYou to host a #createyourchristmascard competition! This competition is specifically for anybody living with dementia to enter and get creative with a festive card design! 

Closing date for entries is Wednesday 27th November with the winning designs announced on SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER. We are very excited to announce we have a celebrity judge to decide the winners of the competition…. none other than THE Tony Christie!

christmas card

The lucky winner will experience a MindforYou holiday at NO COST, in-house art therapy sessions with Creative Minds, along with their Christmas Card design being printed and sent out to them and their family, as well as to all MindforYou guests! The winning designs will also be made available for anyone to purchase online, with all proceeds going to Creative Minds and MindforYou, allowing us both to benefit more people living with dementia!

Go on, get creative, YULE LOVE IT! Remember to tag us in your designs on social media (@creativemindsan) and Mind for You (@MindForYou1) and don’t forget to use the hashtag #createyourchristmascard in your posts.

Competition rules:

  • All designs must be done on A5 paper or larger
  • You can use ANY medium to create your design
  • Applicants must take a photo of their artwork and either send it to MindforYou, 5 The Willows, Burton on the Wolds, Loughborough, LE12 5AP or via email to creativemindsforyou1@gmail.com
  • Please either scribble on the back of the photo or in your email a short answer to ‘Why you have you chosen to enter the competition?’ along with your name and age
  • If you are announced as one of the 12 short-listed, we will be in touch to ask for a small blurb about yourself to go along with your design for judging

Right click on our flyer consent forms below and ‘Save image as…’ to download them for printing. Or request a PDF from creativemindsforyou1@gmail.com

christmas card
christmas card

Exciting new partnerships for Creative Minds in 2019!

November 4, 2019

Throughout the year we’ve formed some exciting new partnerships with a number of organisations that are passionate about the benefits that creativity brings to people’s wellbeing. These have opened up some great opportunities for our artists to expand their businesses into new fields and reach out and touch the lives of others.

Colostomy UK

Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been working closely with Colostomy UK, delivering therapeutic art sessions to Stoma Support Groups across the country as part of their “active ostomates” programme – designed to empower people with a stoma to participate in activities to increase both physical and mental wellbeing.

These sessions have been hugely popular – some with as many as 35 participants attending! These always make for a wonderful social occasion, and we’ve had some great feedback from attendees on how much they’ve enjoyed it, and how therapeutic the sessions are. Our artists have thoroughly enjoyed delivering sessions at the Stoma Support Groups too.

partnerships
Giovanni, the Fundraising & Development Manager with Karen U, CM Artist

CM Artist David delivered a session in Salisbury and said; “Everyone loved working with watercolours – it was a lovely atmosphere with lots of fun and banter.”

partnerships
Colostomy UK Salisbury group
partnerships

CM Artist Rhiannon delivered a session in Sheppy and she said; “It was a pleasure working with the Stoma Support Group in Sheppy. They astounded me with their positivity and creativity. They really encouraged each other and gave great feedback on each other’s work. Some fabulous art was created!”

partnerships

To find out more about Colostomy UK, visit: http://www.colostomyuk.org/

MindForYou

Back in the summer, we formed a partnership with MindForYou, a wonderful company who organise holidays for folks living with dementia to enjoy with their nearest and dearest. Their holidays span across England, Scotland and Wales.

CM Artist Tracy ran a session in Hathersage, Derbyshire. Holiday goers used soft pastels and inktense pencils to draw views of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.

partnerships

CM Artist Liz ran a lovely session near Honiton in Devon. The sun shone into the room as holiday goers had a great time creating bold sunflower canvases.

partnerships
partnerships

Throughout the summer we delivered sessions at holidays across the country, with groups from anywhere from 15-35 participants, and our artists will be delivering sessions at many future holidays to come!

To find out more about Mindforyou, visit: http://www.mindforyou.co.uk/

Chatty Art Cafe

The Chatty Café Scheme is a brilliant initiative, founded by Alex Hoskyns, in which cafes can join the scheme and allocate a table or two within the establishment to be a ‘chatter and natter’ table to encourage people in the community to talk to one another reducing loneliness and isolation.

The scheme has really off and in just two years, there are now over 1000 cafes across the UK and globally, in the US, Canada, Gibraltar, Malta, Australia and more!

CM Artists Caroline and Judy set up their own Chatty Art Café at Greengages Coffee Shop in Salisbury earlier in the year. Since then, Creative Minds founder James got in touch with the founders of the Chatty Café Scheme and they loved the idea of forming a partnership to run Chatty Art Cafés as part of the initiative. This has opened up another exciting avenue for CM Artists to pursue and we’re looking forward to seeing Chatty Art Cafes popping up across the country in the coming months.

partnerships
partnerships
partnerships
partnerships

In the meantime, CM Artists Caroline and Judy’s Chatty Art Café in Salisbury is continuing to grow from strength to strength. They have a solid group of regular attendees and some wonderful new friendships have formed. It’s lovely to hear that some of the regulars are already making Christmas plans together!

To find out more about the Chatty Cafe Scheme, visit: https://thechattycafescheme.co.uk/