The Art Academy – London

Approach

If you want to have fun and a chance to be creative, where better to come then a real artist’s studio? But creative practice can also address more challenging objectives, actually effecting change, or developing and examining a particular issue.

For change or development to take place, people first need to wake up and be aware – aware not only of the situation in front of them, but also of people around them and most definitely of themselves.

From an individual perspective, it is as if we live in a house with many rooms. We all feel comfortable living in some of them, depending on the type of person we are and the experiences we have had, but we only go into some of our rooms occasionally, and some we do not even know exist. To be fulfilled, productive and work well as a team, we need to live in the whole house and make use of all the rooms.

This is where we come in.

Tuning in through creativity, in any of its aspects, is one of the best ways to reach the intuitive, perceptive, emotive part of our being – which is at least half of our ‘house’.

Through creative practice, participants become aware that there is an alternative approach, a different door to walk through. We can help them explore these options, through a particular issue relevant to the company or through general creative practice.

We use art in our Team Development programmes because it is a whole system approach; that is, it combines mental, emotional and sensory perceptions, allowing a comprehensive response and change to take place.

We believe that the most powerful way to teach something is through direct experience of doing it. So we have designed our creative exercises to help teams directly explore the issues while having fun and being spontaneous.

Where we began

The Art Academy formed in 2000 as an organisation to promote creativity and inspiration for practitioners and for society. We have built a reputation for possessing and transmitting real professional skills, for taking care of all who come through our courses and for original thinking.

Our core areas over the years have been training artists (both professional and part time), working with disadvantaged people and children, and creating artwork to inspire communities. From early on, people appreciated our workshops and we were continually asked to run programmes for the teams where people worked. Clients loved these workshops and very quickly it became apparent that our approach offered something unique that really worked.

To say that we were delighted with the response is a massive understatement. Within a few short months, Team Building became an essential part of our business.

What we can offer

We are in a unique position, where our community of artists offers a rare depth of genuine creative thinking and excellence of delivery. Alongside this we have a number of trained and highly experienced facilitators who have combined their experience of corporate challenges with that of visual artists, thus developing exercises and approaches that really work.

Flexibility is another key feature of our exercises – we can work with people in their own workplace, in another venue (such as a conference venue) or in our studios. Our sessions can last from 1½ hours to a day, or can take the form of an ongoing programme over an extended period of time.

We do team building – not simply team bonding. On the other hand, there will always be a place for spending money on your people just for fun, and we offer this through our Fun Days.

If you want to increase workforce effectiveness long term, you need the session(s) to have genuine parallels with what they do in the workplace, as well as being fun. This allows people to uncover better ways of working.

Our exercises mix enjoyment and challenge in equal measure. Tackling our creative challenges requires the same kind of skill sets and team approaches that your people need at work. In this way, both individual and team learning are relevant and effective.

Our client list is impressive, ranging from small organisations to corporate household names, national and international. We have also worked in the public, private and charity sectors.