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.
I have always had a creative mind, and a love of art since childhood, when I dreamt of becoming a fashion designer – I remember being incredibly proud of my painting of Princess Diana in her wedding dress being picked to be the cover of a book that our primary school sent to her back in the 80’s!
I carried on creating, getting an A’Level in Art & Design, then taking a more academic route with my university degree in Communication Studies and Law. My career then took me into magazine publishing in London where I worked for several years before getting married, moving back to Devon and having my son. Since then I have worked in various part-time roles focusing mainly on children and young people, including volunteering for a children’s mental health support group. I have also volunteered with a local homeless charity and have a passion for seeing vulnerable members of society being empowered and given back their self-esteem – I whole heartedly believe that creating art can achieve this, which is why I am so excited to be a part of the Creative Minds community of artists.
My own art practice has come alive again recently and I am now regularly exhibiting and selling my work in the South West. I am delighted that I get to share my passion for art with so many different people as a Creative Minds Artist.
My art journey began 17 years ago…when I started taking various weekly classes with some amazing teachers.
After having home-schooled my two teenagers to GCSE level, I returned back to work a year ago. Being in the corporate world has made me increasingly aware that I wanted to be in a more caring role incorporating my love of art. I have enjoyed teaching and creating over the years, so when I found the Creative Minds website, I was so excited about the possibility of becoming part of this wonderful community.
Over the years I have given many art lessons and craft sessions and it has always amazed me seeing people’s faces light up when they realise they can create something beautiful…
Art is for everyone and Creative Minds reaches people in a wonderfully encouraging, engaging, caring way.
James has developed comprehensive training to equip the artist to go into homes, schools and communities with confidence. He has also thought of everything that we would need to consider about the business right through from the set up to the execution of the art sessions.
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.