| Society

Sarah Cressall (The Creation Station) [Interview]

The process of taking risks, trying new ideas, exploring new avenues and just asking the ‘what if ?’ and ‘I wonder how’ questions, is what makes us human

A picture of Creation Station

Nurturing creativity and supporting efforts to inspire children’s imaginations.

That’s hands-on stuff, not the compulsory social services guff that developers pay bored copywriters to slather over their app-funding proposals.

Fingerpainting, mudpies, glue and glitter. The stuff that kids remember for the rest of their lives, but that always seems just too much hassle to do today (but maybe at the weekend, yeah?). And it’s zeitgeist too, witness the pre-Christmas nu-pastoral rush for Gyles Brandreth’s compendium of no-tech games and activities for families.

It appears that in terms of entertaining our kids (and ourselves), we need help. Can it be taught, facilitated, outsourced? In other words, if we chuck some money at it, will it stop being a problem? Because, after all (in today’s fast-paced, go-getting world…blah), we’re kinda busy.

The Creation Station has over 70 franchise overs across the UK, has inspired over 105,000 children and families and ran the Kidszone for the Olympics in Hyde park. Trebuchet’s Luc Floreani talks to it’s founder, Sarah Cressall.


Why is creativity important in today’s society?

The challenges that society faces today are more complex than ever before, which means that the need for a more creative society is essential. The skills and attributes that can be fostered through creative development will allow all of society to engage, think about and, more importantly, do something that makes a change.

the process of taking

risks, trying new ideas,

exploring new avenues

and just asking the

‘what if ?’ and ‘I wonder

how’ questions, is what

makes us human

Creativity is about trying new ideas, seeking possibilities and exploring different ways of doing things, but the most important part of being creative is the doing. Without doing, society will stay stagnant.

How does Creation Station promote creativity?

Creation Station promotes creativity by underpinning its ethos with the value of a shared experience and the creative journey. For children to learn through experimenting in a safe, non-judgmental environment, where the outcome is not the primary concern but the learning is through doing, thinking, experimenting and sharing.

These experiences will help children and their carers to approach tasks with more confidence, ownership and a willingness to have a go.

As a society, do you think we lack creativity?

As a western society, there are many sectors, groups and industries that are very creative. The creative industries are the front-runner and the fastest growing, they impact on everything we do, use or interact with.A picture of Creation Station

However the everyday lives that we lead are influenced by other people’s creativity, and quite often we are not allowed the space or time to develop our own personal creative attributes.

As a society there is increased demand for  instant access to answers and entertainment without necessarily having put any effort in. The speed at which we want answers and outcomes, as well as the pressures to meet targets or goals (whether personal or imposed) get ever tighter, and in so doing the opportunities to explore our personal creativity is limited or not valued.

With access  to so much, it is increasingly difficult for children to be ‘bored’ or to have free time; and yet creativity often comes from having time to day dream, problem-solve,  think and do.

Why is getting involved in The Creative Sparks foundation important for you?

As a company that has creativity as its core value, it is very important to have a platform to communicate the benefits of creativity. The desire and passion that we have to not only start the creative journey for young children and their families through our Creation Station and Create Club sessions but the opportunity to share, learn and impart understanding and knowledge from all avenues of the creative world is a fantastic opportunity.

This goes back to

the true notion of

what creative practice

needs: the need to

do something

Creative Sparks will be able to voice the values and benefits of creative experiences within the field of visual arts and creative play and to start the ripple effect of spreading the word,  encouraging a creative change in how people may think and creating a positive impact on inspiring our future generations imagination.

Why is getting involved in Creative Sparks foundation important for anyone?

Helping to spark creativity in children will have a positive effect on us all. So it is particularly helpful and important for anyone who is involved with children, either as a parent, through  childcare or education, or  for organisations who work, engage or entertain  with families.

It would mean that they can become part of a group of like minded people, who value nurturing our children’s potential and supporting parental engagement. It is a place where we can all learn, share resources and debate key issues. It provides a chance to become part of something that could have a much larger impact on local communities and social change and child development.A picture of Creation Station

This goes back to the true notion of what creative practice needs: the need to do something. For anyone who is interested in sparking creativity in children and nurturing children’s potential, being part of Creative Sparks foundation will give them the opportunity to be part of making a difference to help inspire our future generation’s imagination.

Why is creativity important?

The concept of creativity is vast and complex, and covers so many aspects of human endeavour. It is the ability to use our imagination and then apply this in a creative task, that may or may not have a final outcome. However, the process of taking risks, trying new ideas, exploring new avenues and just asking the ‘what if ?’ and ‘I wonder how’ questions, is what makes us human.

Not having the opportunities to explore and develop our own creative capacities, in whatever form that takes, would deny us the unique chance to find our own voice and nurture the wonder within each of us.

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