Creativity Thirst Magee
Creativity Thirst New

A partnership between the Workers' Educational Association and the University of Ulster, Magee Campus, this project is made possible by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

This short, intensive and 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 on issues relating to their business.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 other highly successful schemes which have taken place over the last couple of years.


Who's it for? CT_Magee_Image
Anyone who holds qualifications in their related skills area in Level 2 or above and wants to explore income generation or self-employment in the Creative Industries.Applicants must attend a short interview in April 2010 before beginning the programme.

Where will the training take place?
University of Ulster,Magee Campus, Northland Road, Londonderry, BT48 7JL

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 OCNNI Open College Network Northern Ireland.

Irresistible Business Level 2:
Tuesday, 4th May 6.30pm to 10.00pm for 11 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 self-employment and starting/running your own business.

Professional Practice in The Creative Industries Level 1:
Following dates: Thursday, 13th May, 6.30-9.30pm, Saturday, 22nd May, 10.00am-5.00pm,Thursday, 27th May, 6.30-9.30pm, Saturday, 5th June, 10.00am-5.00pm

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
Two Taster Sessions will take place in University of Ulster, Magee Campus in support of these courses.

Please watch the WEA and University 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.

Elaine Hill, a Photographer who participated on a previous run of this 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."

Deborah Fraser,Associate Head of School Art and Design, University of Ulster,

"The University of Ulster fully supports this project, it offers the perfect helping hand for those who want to make a start with their proposed business within 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. The University of Ulster is the major provider within higher education in subjects relating to the creative industries and welcomes the opportunity to work with WEA on this initiative. This project offers a fantastic opportunity for individuals to broaden their knowledge of the business world, develop business ideas and make their own contribution to the development of this exciting sector."

For further details please contact Carole Kane on or email:

Latest Project News

Celebrating Creativity PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 17:13


Some of the participants on the Creative Industries programme photographed here with Deborah Fraser, Ulster’s Associate Head
of School of Art and Design and Diarmuid Moore, WEA Assistant Director.

Local entrepreneurs had an opportunity to showcase their skills at a special event to celebrate the creative industries hosted by the University of Ulster at the Magee campus this week. Ceramics, decorative glass, sculptures, jewellery, papers crafts and landscape prints - all handcrafted - were on display.
The event marked the completion of the Magee based Creativity Thirst programme, a programme developed by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) and delivered in association with the University of Ulster.

The Creativity Thirst programme was designed specifically to encourage people to look at employment opportunities in the creative industries, it is for people thinking of setting up their own business or hoping to gain extra income in the creative industries, explains Deborah Fraser, Associate Head of School of Art and Design.

"The idea is to provide information to those wishing to get involved in business start up and to assist them to explore the implications of self-employment and starting/running their own business. "With the help of specialist mentors relevant to their business idea, participants were able to identify potential employment opportunities, shown how to develop a business plan and to produce their own promotional material.

The University of Ulster is the major provider within higher education in subjects relating to the creative industries and through partnerships such as this programme we can make connections with a different sector and widening access and opportunities for participation. Creativity Thirst gives participants a fantastic opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the business world, to develop business ideas and to network with likeminded people, making a contribution to the development of creative industries in Northern Ireland"

Creatively Thirst was funded by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, (DCAL).

What happened in the Taster Sessions? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Thursday, 25 November 2010 00:00
Here’s how they all got on…

Taster Session No. 1


Noelle McAlinden started the session by explaining the background of the City of Culture bid which was presented by Derry City Council and Ilec earlier this year. As we know, the bid was successful and a plethora of exciting plans are coming together well for 2013.

This venture is expected to not only impact Derry/Londonderry as a city but also the rest of Northern Ireland and the closest southern counties. Noelle described the success of winning as being a “vote of confidence about what creatives can do and put themselves on a world stage”. There are other bids due to be announced in the coming days which would also impact 2013, so we will wait to hear their outcomes.

After showing the nomination video, Noelle offered those attending an invitation to visit the City of Culture office in the Guildhall Square (where coincidently, the WEA is presently showing a photography exhibition produced by our one of our Older People’s projects). The office is happy to meet people, hear about potential projects and keen to connect with others from outside of the city and local area. So those attending can not only gain but also contribute to the successes during 2013 but also be part of the continued legacy afterwards.

She also said that she is delighted to work with the WEA and commended the project and especially the name “Creativity Thirst”.

Garvan showed us right form the start, how creativity is an integral part of who he is. Even from a very young age, making things and working with his hands has always been something that he has enjoyed. This interest developed further as he studied and graduated at the University of Ulster. He became more proficient, picked up new influences and practical skills and combined that with the discipline of a strong work ethic when he went to CCol Kilkenny. This was followed by an apprenticeship in Holland where he saw how jewellery could be worn in different ways and he recognised its unlimited boundaries. Referring to his time away, Garvan said,

“Once you have developed your own style and gained experience, one thing leaps to another and drives opportunities forward”.

Following time away, Garvan came back home and worked for local designers whilst his own work continued in the background. This has progressed into his full time business where he now works on private commissions for the likes of the film industry, corporate commissions, galleries, etc. His business skills are also essential and his time in Kilkenny emphasised the need for time management, keeping his finances in order, consultation skills, etc.

Garvan also enjoys working with people to create precious jewellery pieces which reflect their personalities and become items of significance for their owners. These skills can’t be taught but his intuition recognises the worth and meaning behind the motives for purchasing one off pieces of jewellery.

Taster Session No.2

Conann Fitzpatrick delivered the second Taster Session for the “Creativity Thirst” project in the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster. This session took place on the 15th November 10 and started with an introduction from Conann outlining projects delivered by the University, where innovation and creativity are the main agenda.


Following this, he continued the session by describing his own creative background. Like Garvan in the first session, Conann remembers drawing from a very young age. He further developed his skills in drawing and painting into photography and his subject matter demonstrated his interest with the contrasts of light and dark, fluid dynamics and atmosphere. His career began in Dublin, followed by a time in London and then he was offered a job in “DreamWorks” in LA where he worked on illustrations and animation for the “Prince of Egypt” film. The early animation was drawn by hand but as the film progressed, so did technology which enabled the film to be completed by digital animation.

Conann had developed a schedule of extensive hours in the studio, where he drew continuously until he was diagnosed with a serious condition (brought on by repetitive strain) which would mean that this pace of work would have to stop. This came as a jolt as drawing was so significant to him. Alternative approaches to drawing were discovered as time went on and although he was forced to go back home to Dublin from LA, Canaan’s interest and “pull” to create continued. His work took a different direction as he began working in a drug rehabilitation centre, where he met many people and adopted different styles of working.

“My life was a mixture of falling in with style and things falling on my lap”.

Further opportunities opened up through delivering training programmes and networking with different kinds of people. Conann developed a series of animated, short, educational films to be used by laser eye consultants and these demonstrated the processes involved in eye surgery procedures. He also works in 3D Design, designing products from computers to furniture. Each opportunity demonstrates how his expertise can help others to explain their services.

Conann also gave an introduction to the potential of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and described how these can be used within their social networking contexts and as marketing tools. He described how peoples’ interests connect and how our similarities can be captured in marketing.

More can be seen on Conann by going to his website address:

Magee Campus Taster Sessions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Friday, 29 October 2010 11:32
Creativity Thirst New

Taster Sessions

A partnership between the Workers' Educational Association and the University of Ulster, Magee Campus, this project is made possible by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure.

Creativity Thirst is a project designed for those considering setting up their own business in the Creative Industries or looking to make some extra income with their creative skills. The programme has been developed by the WEA in response to specific needs identified in the Creative Industries.

As part of this project, two Taster Sessions are being delivered in University of Ulster, Magee Campus. They will be presented by professionals who work both locally and internationally in the Creative Industries. These role models will give some background to their work and explain how they approach commercialising their business ideas. The sessions are FREE to attend.

Who's it for?

Anyone who would like to know more about working in the Creative Industries represented at the sessions but you must be over 16.

For further information contact Carole Kane on or email to register.

Taster One

Date: Monday, 8th November 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Location: University of Ulster, Magee Campus
Introduced by: Noelle McAlinden, Creative Adviser, City of Culture Team, Llex and WEA.

Garvan Traynor
Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer

Garvan specialises in private commissions designing one-off pieces of quality contemporary jewellery, often including input in the design process from his clients.

Garvan's exhibition collections find inspiration from a broad range of contemporary influences,for example, recent exhibitions have been based on contemporary political, architectural and industrial themes. Having a solid technical background in goldsmithing, he ensures that the realisation of his minimal, clean, design aesthetic is rooted in high quality craftsmanship.

Recent highlights include regular commissions for the local film industry: gold rings for Shirley Maclaine in Richard Attenborough's 'Closing the Ring', a futuristic mayoral chain worn by Bill Murray in 'City of Embers', and medieval items for 'Your Highness' starring Natalie Portman. Garvan, in conjunction with his sister Celine (also a Goldsmith), was commissioned by the Mayor of Derry to design and make a St Patrick's Day gift for the new Obama Administration. Private commissions include private collections, wedding and engagement rings and other one off jewellery items. In 2010 Garvan was selected by the Ulster Museum and Craft NI as one of the top 10 designer-makers on the 'C3' collectors programme.

Garvan is a guest tutor at the University of Ulster Art College and also runs private tuition courses for people interested in learning goldsmithing skills and making their own piece of jewellery.

Taster Two

Date: Monday, 15th November 2010
Time: 7.30pm
Location:University of Ulster, Magee Campus

Conann Fitzpatrick
Art, Design, Animation, Photography and Curiosity

"Artist, animator, designer, painter, child, parent, human. These are lenses altering the way we see and interact with the world. They are interchangeable. Pick the one that makes waking up a pleasure and run with it. Each perspective takes time and energy to develop. There is a scene in the film "The Right Stuff", where the astronauts blow into a tube lifting a ping pong ball held in a tube. I can only focus on one perspective at a time and only for so long before the others fall. It's not juggling. It's a pipe organ and whether it is working, or not is abundantly clear to all around. What I hope for, when I work is that sensation of peak experience. That moment of resonance, most attainable in animation, most enjoyable in design, and longest lasting as an artist."

Conann works in a wide range of creaive and digital media: including 3D Design and Animation, Drawing, painting and photography, print and web design. In this session, he will explain how his creative and professional journey has diversified and developed from the perspctive of his business.

Connan will also give a "whistle stop" introduction to the range of new social media options which could be considerd for those who are interested in promoting their create businesses



Linkup with UU PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Glover   
Friday, 02 April 2010 11:16
University of Ulster have wrote an article about the partnership that is going to bring Creativity Thirst to the North West. Please Click here to see the full article.