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.
“As a child I loved to draw, paint and be messy, and not much has changed. I followed a traditional art education journey achieving a diploma, and then I pursued a love for creating characters as a Professional Make up artist for TV and film. After qualifying I worked on low budget projects around the country, developing my understanding for 3D design, mask making and sculpture.
What has always interested me as an artist is expression and process, interpreting ideas and emotions visually. I have always been drawn towards mixed media merging traditional techniques to create something with depth and texture. I love to be tactile and repurpose tools like painting a portrait using glue sticks or old credit cards.
Recently my inspiration has shifted after having my son. He made me realise how accessible art is – there are no rules or restrictions. Watching how much fun he has discovering new skills is hugely rewarding.
The training Creative Minds has given me has been so beneficial. I’m so happy to be a part of such a welcoming community of Artists, who share the same values. The shadowing session was fantastic. It really gave me a great insight into what being a part if Creative Minds is all about. I felt in my element and excited to get more involved.”
“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.”
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.