Beginnings and ending

I have come away form the course with new friends, valuable resources, hand-outs and new inspirations

Beginnings and ending; How I feel now the course is coming to an end.

I’m very much for collaborations, so was happy to see discover the programme ‘Creative Pathways, a joint venture put together by NBA and Cirencester College.

Now we are at the end of a shared time and process together I feel thankful that I got to experience this with the other women, sharing our individual work and bouncing ideas of each other with the full support of the tutors.

I have come away form the course with new friends, valuable resources, hand-outs and new inspirations for taking my Art forwards and what this entails with the various avenues, and new possibilities.

Throughout the course, I realise I am more rooted in an idea to bring together my love for Art and spiritual practices, combining a fusion of the two, within a workshop setting perhaps.

As part of the course, I have very much enjoyed some community Art experience with shadowing an art class with Claire, who is a very talented artist and teacher. With great humour!

I have arranged for some more community Artwith Becky at  gloscre8, who is passionate in what she offers throughout the community.

And because of this felt inspired to begin some volunteering with Imagine Arts in Stroud who offer Art Therapy, in an open studio group on a Monday afternoon.

I’ve enjoyed learning form a diverse group of tutors and from my peers too.  The highlight for me, is the exhibition.  Bringing us to the end of the Programme with a group show, learning how to put on an exhibition with group shared responsibility. This, and the content of the course has been a huge learning experience.

Written by Julia Godden 

Work Experience - Why Bother? Fears And Excitement ...

Doing work experience as an adult rather than a school student might seem a little daunting at first

Work experience is any experience that a person gains while working in a specific field or occupation, but the expression is widely used to mean a type of volunteer work that is commonly intended for young people — often students — to get a feel for professional working environments.

As part of the Creative Pathways course we all get the chance to have some work experience with NBAartists/creators.  I thought that working with some of the artists and teachers on education workshops would be particularly valuable.  (I also hope to work with a community artist at a later date).

The prospect of doing work experience as an adult rather than a school student might seem a little daunting at first:

-                 what are the expectations?

-                 how is this experience going to be different? 

However, I see it as an exciting prospect – it’s great to be given the opportunity to work with other artists and ideally it will be a two way experience, where we are able to share and exchange ideas.

Getting organised -


Today I joined Hannah Ellis on her lovely half term workshops for children, one which was mosaic making and the other printing.  I had a great day with her and the children and enjoyed joining in with the teaching.  Hannah was lively and enthusiastic and the children produced some really beautiful work.  We were able to have some valuable discussions about art education and our own practice which was all very useful.


I joined Tracey Elphick in her studio this afternoon, observing her working and talking with her about her art practice.  She had a few visitors while I was there and it was good to see her interacting with the public too.

Following this I joined a life class with Mark Kelland in the evening which was focusing on expressive drawing.  He was very encouraging with all the students enabling them to create some lively drawings.

So far any initial worries (mostly practical things, such as sorting out times and dates) were minor and I have found the artists I have worked with very welcoming and accommodating, as well as being generous with their time.

I have been able to see what goes on in workshops run by NBA both for adults and children and it has given me an insight into what a great place it is for the whole community.  I have had a really interesting and rewarding time, thank you to NBA and everyone who has facilitated this experience, it has been very positive!

Written by Julia Craig



I love lists!

I’m off to be creative! Please do not disturb.

How am I managing an evening course and being creative, alongside my other commitments?

We all have dreams about focusing all of our efforts on our creativity, but rarely is this truly achievable.  Day jobs, family commitments and making money, alongside a whole host of other time consumers  like cleaning, shopping and the normal rush of busy lives, means that we have to try and make them all work together.   It takes a special kind of artistic person, one who is probably quite selfish, to commit all of their daily time to art and forget everyone else and everything that is in their lives.  I am not one of these people, so how can I make this work?

I love lists!  I couldn’t exist without them, although I’ve tried.  Quite often my lists end up like this:

                Buy milk - tick

                Clean house – sort of tick

                Procrastinate – my biggest enemy

                Lose my creative impulse

                Try to be creative - hard after you’ve lost your impulse

So you can see, being creative quite often ends up at the bottom of my list, when I’m tired and my mind is drained from other things, so I need to learn how I can move being creative nearer to the top, not just of my to-do list, but of my life too and make this work alongside my other commitments.  As Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” and so I will follow his lead and try this to manage not just my evening course, but my creative pathway too, by a few, hopefully achievable, steps.

Here is my list on how I am going to achieve this: 

Be creative – This is now at the top.  Just changing around my daily habits, so I do my creative work first will definitely help.  Even if I just manage to block out 30 minutes a day this is better than nothing at all and I will feel happier.  Just switching my priorities around and being creative first means I will feel happier doing the other chores later.

Turn the TV off – Getting off facebook and the internet too, just for a little while, will give me more time.  It’s so easy to be continually searching for that next great idea when I already have these in my head and my sketchbook. 

Be selfish and learn to say no – Although it’s not in my nature to be like this, just by being a little bit selfish and saying no to some things, even if just once in a while, will give me more time to focus on what I want to achieve.

Delegating – A few daily tasks given to others will make my to-do list just a little bit shorter.

Focussing on where I want my creativity to go - The Creative Pathway course is really helping me with this and it is making me think about my work and how I can concentrate on what I want to achieve.   

Setting clear goals -  It is true that I cannot live without my lists, but I need to learn to stop trying to tick them all off in one day, so setting some clear goals with dates, prioritising these and sticking to them will help me to focus too.

So, whilst others are helping me with my daily mundane tasks, I’m off to be creative!  Please do not disturb.

Written by Susan Sutton


Making the most your creativity

We’re born to create but you do have to pursue it, nurture it and take action.

I’m a professional fine artist, specializing in the universally loved animal, the cow.  I’ve been trading as an artist entrepreneur for 4 years and I joined the Creative Pathway course to share ideas, make quality connections and create new opportunities for my art business. To make the most of this course I have committed to actions that create momentum; here I share my top 3 personal actions and some resource inspiration for you too:

1) Commit to your vision

People get hung up on fear, mistakes, the opinions of others and worry about the "how" to make it happen.  We’re born to create but you do have to pursue it, nurture it and take action.  Make it easier to do by mapping out a game plan, identifying a team that supports you (friends and family) and a mentor that moves you forward with challenges and nudges in the right direction.   Re motivated by session 1 of the creative pathway course I purchased the Daily Greatness Business planner, a logical set of templates to take your dream into actionable steps day by day, bit by bit.

Resource recommendation: The daily greatness business planner - an actionable plan

2) Tell good stories

Inspired by my fellow students on the Creative Pathway course, I committed to learning how to share my stories in lots of different ways.  The social media revolution has given everyone an opportunity to use his or her voice but it can get overwhelming.   I am now starting to craft my language and method of communication for the 3 main social media platforms that are vital to my art and business.

Resource recommendation: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook - How to tell your story in a noisy social world by social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk

3) RRR – reflect, review, regularly

Before I was a full –time artist I thoroughly enjoyed a ten year career with The Princes Trust, working with hundreds of business mentors together we supported thousands of young people to set-up their own business.  I went on to work for The Royal Mencap Society leading a national strategy that introduced 12,000 volunteers to the lives of people with a learning disability and then on to complete a directorship with the children’s literacy charity Beanstalk helping young people to read.  Helping others is very important to me.  It sounds silly, but I didn’t realize this as I enrolled for the creative pathway course, but I’m being reminded that I miss the connection with others and being part of supporting them to realize their own potential.  I’m going to use this experience to further explore the possibilities and weave this into my business planning for 2016.

Resource recommendation: The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle La Porte

Written by Sam Morris


Creative Pathways?

Creative partnerships 1
What I get out will only be multiplied by what I can put in.

A Hot House style course designed to bring sustainable practice – my interpretation from enrollment on the 10th of November.­

Why am I doing this course?
The question posed to me;
I am not sure
I have a definitive answer.
My head is a fog of,
A primary boy
A teenage girl,
Existing business commitments
And home refurbishments
(cold hard shell to cosy – eventually!).
Yet I find myself starting something new.
I do know I need a creative outlet,
I need to earn money to be able to do it and
Need something that is me
I may disappear completely.
So far…8 creatives –
A student,
3 painters, a
Jeweller and
A textile artist,
A sculptor
And me, a ceramicist;

17th November, the first session – there was a lot on offer last night but perhaps I should lower my personal expectations?  What I get out will only be multiplied by what I can put in.

Sarah Dixon began module 1: Being a Practicing Artist - Exhibiting, Finance and Marketing. I am not ready for this stuff. Most of the group are already trading, for a number of years in some cases, but probably best I don’t dwell on that for too long; I will have to suck it up and retain it all for future reference.  Some links given out that might be useful to you too…

Looking forward to next time (8th December) – Approaching Galleries, Pricing Work, Trade Shows and Transporting Work.

Written by Amanda Cornelius