Cut Out Collage began as a personal journey of making art. Here's Cut Out founder Catherine's story:
Being creative has always been an essential part of my self-care practice and wellbeing. Running Cut Out Collage has been the culmination of years of dreaming; the illumination of a secret hope that I could live a fully creative life, that I could live in my purpose of creating spaces for people to express themselves and engage with art. However, after years in retail, working my way up the corporate ladder, my sketchbooks were hidden, my confidence low and my dreams were on hold. Six years ago I realised that although personnel roles in retail had revealed my passion for people I needed to move on and experience different types of people focused jobs. So, I took an £11,000 pay cut and started working with men in supported living. I had very little money and was working a lot of unsociable hours, but I had never been happier. I was getting to know amazing people, hearing their stories and helping them live a more creative and fulfilling life. I then decided to train as an art therapist and began to see my own art practice evolve in the process. I felt like sleeping dreams were awakening. Since qualifying as a therapist, I've been able to engage creatively with so many people, and see their lives open up, and it struck me, everyone should have access to support and spaces where they feel valued and able to express themselves. I began to realise that providing creative spaces was something I could do as an artist as well, putting art into peoples homes and art materials in their hands.
At Cut Out Collage, we want to enhance accessibility to the arts across the North West of England and beyond. We provide creative, therapeutic and skills-based workshops to those wanting to grow, explore their creativity, and discover the wellbeing benefits of engaging with the arts. Our services are available to individuals and groups, can be hired privately for events and corporate away-days for team building.
What actually happens at workshops you ask? Well, participants are guided through a series of creative exercises whether that be drawing, collage, decoupage, up-cycling, mindfulness meditations, or a combination depending on which workshop you attend. For example, our collage revolution workshops focus on selecting, cutting out and repurposing of images to make new artworks. Example artworks are provided, with related artists and influencers shared to help get the creative juices flowing. As participants flex their creative muscles, wonderful artworks are made. With guidance, structure, experimentation and a positive atmosphere absolutely anyone can get involved, no experience is required and all your materials are provided.
We believe strongly in the power of reusing, recycling and repurposing so using collage as our primary medium allows us to practice this everyday by reusing discarded books and out of date magazines to create beautiful new images.
We also create and sell original designs at art markets and local events. This ensures that our creative practice is growing alongside those we are providing workshop space for; so we all stay inspired!
We want to be a creative revolution, one that impacts the North West of England and beyond. There can be barriers for many people wanting to engage with creative spaces because of budgets, accessibility, intimidation and lack of knowledge. We are passionate about changing that by providing a range of creative spaces, events and packages to suit all budgets and needs.
Your generous pledges will enable us to fund the following projects.
We are developing new varieties of workshops all the time. For example, we have a series called creative calm, where mindfulness and creativity are explored together. We are also focusing on a creative journaling series in collaboration with local wellness and yoga services. Also, we're super excited about 'paper my table' workshops which will bring up-cycling and collage together to create one off, bespoke side tables. A successful crowdfunding campaign would enable us to realise these sessions and develop our existing ones to gather the momentum needed to venture out into other cities as well.
This podcast will explore creativity and wellbeing in an inspiring and engaging way. We will chat with a variety of artists, charities, collectives and organisations to explore the exciting creative world that already exists and people dreams for the future. We hope it provides another avenue for people to feel engaged with and aware of the amazing creative world around them and perhaps inspire them to go to some amazing events. The podcast compounds our passion for inclusivity as those not able to attend workshops can still access audible content.
We love bringing collage into communities, especially those with little to no budget for making art. We recently began donating our time to a local men's mental health charity and would love to continue providing workshops in this way. Developing our packages and paid workshops will allow us to do more in this area.
We believe bringing creative projects and events into corporate spaces has a great ripple effect on wider society. Offering packages which include creative ways to explore communication and identifying roles in teams can open up a new and exciting narrative, enabling teams to grow and work more effectively together. We also plan to further develop a series of creative retreats which would be enabled by our growth target.
We are planning to grow our studio space to make it the best collage head quarters it can be. There will be a collage browsing library for workshop attendees to gather their materials, a permanent area to record our upcoming podcast and space for meetings with future collaborators! This expansion would undoubtedly take our in-house workshops, collaborations and events to another level.
Our store will sell branded merchandise but we will also collaborate with local artists to create bespoke and unique designs on tote bags, clothing, prints and postcards. Original designs and commissions will also be available for purchase via the store.
Below are some examples of the designs available to have as prints or on tote bags. We will also be creating a founders tote bag and print design which will incorporate the names of those who pledge for founders rewards; to showcase those who enabled us to grow!
At Cut Out Collage we're all about inclusivity so if you're not in a position to give financially but want to be involved we'd be more than happy to take any old magazines or books you don't want anymore. Having additional stock for workshops helps us do more, so these donations would be greatly appreciated.
If you feel moved to pledge one of our larger donation amounts but aren't based locally to receive workshop rewards, please contact us to discuss other reward options we could create for you. Or if you would like to donate without a reward, please leave your contact details so we may acknowledge your generosity personally.