Creativity Thirst Flowerfield


Are you are considering setting up your own business in the Creative Industries? Or looking to make a little extra income with your creative skills? Well this FREE project is for you.
This short, accessible programme will enable learners to develop a full business plan and a portfolio, including IT presentations and promotional material of their craft/ skills. Participants will also receive guidance from a mentor who will prompt and guide them through this experience.And all within a creative learning environment. This project has been developed by the WEA in response to specific needs identified in the Creative Industries and follows on from the highly successful pilot scheme which took place last year.

Who’s it for?

Anyone living who holds qualifications in their particular skills area at Level 2 or above and wants to explore income generationor self-employment in the Creative Industries. Applicants must attend a short interview towards the end of January 2010 before beginning the programme.

Where will the training take place?
FlowerfieldArts Centre,Coleraine Road, Portstewart

What will I be doing?
Learners must complete both courses – one course is a qualification from CCEA Council for the Curriculum Examinations and the other is accredited with the Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCNNI).

Irresistible Business CCEA Level 2:
Thursday 18th February 2010, 6.45pm to 9.45pm for 13 weeks.
An opportunity to look at what exactly is required in being self-employed and gain support in initial steps in setting up in business. This is the ideal entry point for those wishing to get involved in business start-up and will allow you to explore the implications of selfemployment and starting/running your own business.

Professional Practice inThe Creative Industries OCN Level 1:
February 27th, 13th and 27th March, 10am to 4.30pm each Saturday.
The course is suitable for those who wish to develop their professional profile (including the use of presentation skills if necessary), consider employment opportunities or self employment which would result in gaining work in the Creative Industries.

Taster Sessions:

TwoTaster Sessions will take place in FlowerfieldArts Centre in support of these courses. Please watch the
WEA and Flowerfield websites for further details of these sessions as anyone with an interest in this area will be welcome to come along.These will be led by NI based role models already working in the industry at a local or international level. For further information please return the tear-off slip or contact Carole Kane on 02890329718 or . Please register interest before the 21st January 2010.

Here is what other people said of the last Creativity Thirst:
Elaine Hill, a Photographer who participated on last year’s pilot project, comments:

"Prior to starting the course my work revolved around PR shots,weekly gigs and the occasional wedding. I was lacking focus. Creativity Thirst has given me this focus and has helped me think outside the box and now my weddings have doubled. My understanding of self promotion and finance has increased; as has my confidence. I would recommend this programme to anyone who wants to make the most of their career."

Arts Officer and Flowerfield Arts Centre Manager Malcolm Murchison (pictured above) comments:
"This course offers the perfect helping hand for those who want to make a start with their business in the creative industries – the programme will help participants to develop a full business plan, a portfolio, and promotional material through the use of specialised mentors relevant to their business idea. Coleraine Council recognises that the creative industries is a major growth sector and contributor to wealth in the economy and initiatives such as this offer the perfect opportunity for individual talents to develop business ideas and make their own contribution to the development of this exciting sector."

This project is supported by the Creative Industries Innovation fund.The funding bodies are the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL).Thanks to this support, this project is FREE to participants.





Latest Project News

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Written by Michael Glover   
Friday, 03 September 2010 08:06
Creativity Thirst New

From creativity into business - via Flowerfield

Last week, Flowerfield Arts Centre played host to a celebration for a number of talented artists who have now been given the skills to make a move forward with their talent.

Participants gathered at the centre to celebrate their achievement, displayed their work and networked with other creative practitioners in the area.

Photo By Paul Chapman
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Written by Michael Glover   
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 09:17

Creativity Thirst New

Venue: Flowerfield arts Centre, 185 Coleraine Road, Portstewart, BT55 7HU
When: Wednesday the 18th August 2010 at 6.00pm
Who will be there: this invitation is for everyone who has been involved in the “Creativity Thirst” project: participants, tutors, mentors, professionals who delivered the Taster Sessions, WEA, funders, potential students for further projects,supporting organisations, etc. It is also a networking opportunity for those who work creatively and live in the vicinity.
What’s on offer: Light refreshments will be provided.

Not only is this a chance for the participants to display their work but this event is also a networking opportunity for all who have been involved. They are also keen to meet with other “creatives” who live and work in the North-East area and they would like to develop an opportunity for further networking and possibly even opportunities for collaboration in the future. So, please plan to join in the celebration and be part of what’s happening in the Creative Industries in the Portstewart area.

Please click the image to download the invite. 

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance before Monday, 16th August by contacting Carole Kane  or 028 9032 9718.


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Written by Michael Glover   
Thursday, 10 June 2010 13:54

As part of the “Creativity Thirst” project currently running in Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart, two taster sessions have been delivered in the last couple of weeks.

These sessions were presented by practitioners who work both locally and internationally in the Creative Industries (CI). The role models were asked to tell us about their work, how they have reached their current position and how they used business skills to get to this point. The two main skills represented were Craft and Photography which are the dominant skill areas of the main “Creativity Thirst” programme

The project is running as a partnership between the WEA and Flowerfield Arts Centre and is funded by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund by the Arts Council of NI and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.  Speaking on behalf of the project, Malcolm Murchison, Director of Flowerfield Arts Centre said:

“For Flowerfield to host “Creativity Thirst” is a continuation of a long standing relationship with the WEA and this Taster was an opportunity for both organisations to jointly express our interest in the Creative Industries and their potential for impact on the local and international economy.”

From the outset it was clear that passion for creativity was the key driving force between each presenters success in developing their art.  However this was married with a keen sense of the practical skills needed to turn the passion into a business and participants were expertly guided through areas such as: marketing, networking, budgeting, quality and innovation.

Taster Session No. 1


The first session was delivered by Rachel O’Neill, Designer. Although Rachel has only been working for a few years (graduated in 2005) she has succeeded in setting her products on an international showcase. She explained how her skills have developed since college and how she has successfully taken her product to the market place. She started selling her work in NI but felt that there may well be further opportunities for her elsewhere and so started attending trade fairs in England, Europe and New York. These have proven to be extremely successful as she has sold work, gained commissions, enjoyed major publicity and networked on an international scale.  Rachel also got the chance to do some really exciting projects that she wouldn’t have done had she stayed at home. She is still based in Banbridge but acknowledges that her perspective needs to be wide as she works in an international perspective.

Rachel also spoke about recent changes in networking in the last few years and how the likes of Facebook and Twitter are now instant and effective ways for her work to be talked about. She is about to go to New York and is looking forward to seeing the latest form of communication: whatever that is. Not being scared of risk, she encouraged others to “aim high” and “make it happen”.

Taster Session No.2


The second session focused on Photography and was delivered by Arthur Ward and “Parlour Productions”: Elaine Hill and Jan Lowry. Anthony Toner from Flowerfield spoke briefly at the start of the session as someone who has worked with journalist photographers in the past.

Although based in Flowerfield, Anthony works in various formats in “the industry”: arts manager, song-writer, musician and performer, etc. One of the threads in this session was about using all of your strengths and transferable skills when working in the CI’s and Anthony is an example of this.

Having given up a main job to create his work, Arthur Ward spoke about the constant desire to keep improving his skills and create strong images. The rewards for his creativity offer a tremendous sense of job satisfaction, freedom and being able to “own” his work. He spoke about following his passion as he works on exclusive art pieces while other projects are more commercial.

Another important aspect is working in collaboration: not expecting that he has all of the specialist skills but working with others who “connect” with ideas. Arthur was honest and his presentation demonstrated his keenness to develop strong, high quality images.

Elaine Hill and Jan Lowry have recently started to work together. Both come from a Photography and Visual Arts background and their collaborative projects bring out the best in their skills. Constantly networking in the areas of journalist photography and weddings, they also create spaces and artistic locations which form perfect environments for photo shoots. They recently produced images for Remos Uno menswear which have been used across the UK and their pictures are strong enough to form a story board for any film or animation. Again, collaboration with others in the industry allows their work to happen: make-up artists, models, actors, etc. Further potential is huge and the girls have plans to take their skills into new and exciting areas.

In true collaborative and creative fashion the facilitators finished the session by asking those attending to explain their skills and why were they there. The gathering was made up of a commercial photographer, scientific photographer, a community artist, a textile artist, an installation artist who works in set and stage design and a visual communicator. Participants could already see the potential for their work and left the sessions looking forward to further developments and support of this nature.

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Written by Michael Glover   
Thursday, 08 April 2010 13:31

“Creativity Thirst”, Free Taster Sessions

The WEA in partnership with Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart is currently offering free taster sessions to anyone interested in earning a living or adding to their income with skills in the Creative Industries and are aged sixteen and over. 

Taster One

Date: Monday, 26th April 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Location: Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart
Introduced by: Participants on "Making It" programme by CRAFT NI, Flowerfield Arts Centre and WEA.

Rachel O'Neill

Northern Irish artist and designer Rachel O'Neill works at the interface between art and design using a variety of tactile materials to create wonderfully playful one-off installations and limited edition pieces for corporate and private interiors and special events. In keeping with the deep-rooted crafts heritage of a rural society Rachel O'Neill loves working with her hands enjoying the challenge of transforming heavy-duty industrial textiles and fabrics into magically beautiful commissioned works of art or affordable design products.

Taster Two

Date: Monday, 10th May 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Location: Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart
Introduced by: Anthony Toner, Flowerfield Arts Centre and WEA.

Arthur Ward
Photographer/Visual Artist

Arthur has worked for 25 years in community development for a local authority while at the same time pursuing a creative path through photography and the visual arts. He left his "day job" and in 2004, started his own business based on photography, website and graphic design. His work currently consists of commissions, business clients and website design.At the same time Arthur continues to develop his own personal creativity as a visual artist with the ultimate objective of living from his visual art alone.

Bookings for the sessions can be made by contacting Carole Kane

To download the Info Leaflet please click here: