Creative Thinking comes to East London…

My favourite type of thinking… so I’m super excited to launch a new longer Creative Thinking course. Over the 5 week 2.5 hour session I’ll be guiding you through the steps to bring your idea to life.

Introduction to Creative Thinking 2016

Enrol for this course:

Telephone 020 7364 5665 between 10 – 4pm, Monday – Friday, with the course details and have your credit or debit card ready.

Course code C2404

Drop into your local Idea Store, with the course details, and ask at the desk.

Course code C2404



ELCBWN 30.09.13 guest speaker… Jessica Rose – founder of the London Jewellery School

Guest speaker for September 2013 meet up of East London Creative Business Women Network

Guest speaker for September 2013 meet up of East London Creative Business Women Network

The East London Creative Business Women Network is ever evolving and with Petra, co-founder deciding to give it 100% to her own and deep:black projects I was a little stumped about how to harness such collaborative energy for the post Summer East London Creative Business Women Network meet up…

As luck would have it on that day I received an email from JESSICA ROSE, Award-Winning Entrepreneur and Founder of the London Jewellery School… asking if ELCBWN invited guest speakers…

And thus I had my answer and excitingly Jessica is now the guest speaker for our next gathering… phew! Creative Collaboration back into full swing again…

What you can expect from Jessica on Monday 30th September 2013…

Jessica will give an informal talk about her experience and journey in setting up a multi-award winning creative business from scratch, sharing the good, bad and everything in-between for plenty of inspiration, ideas and advice. Following this there will be a Q&A session and some creative brainstorming.
Everyone is welcome to come along no matter what stage they are at with their business bring your ideas and questions and we look forward to seeing you there. 

Book your place via we ask you pay what you can on the night to keep the events as open & inclusive as possible.

A bit more about Jessica and her background: 

Multi-award winning entrepreneur and business expert Jessica Rose is the owner and Director of the London Jewellery School, the world’s largest jewellery training centre. She set up the business aged just 21 in 2009 with only one class a month from a community hall in South London and now the school is a huge success having trained over 7,000 students with the running of over 50 classes per month. Her achievements in building a thriving business from scratch have been recognised by the local and national press including features in Marie Claire, The Times, Vogue, Daily Mail and Daily Experss to name a few and she has stared in interviews/ documentaries on the BBC, ITV and Sky News. She is also a regular blogger for huffinton post and ambassador of a number of organisations supporting young people and women in to business. For more on her story see – and for more about the London Jewellery School visit

Will you ignite your creativity with me?

photo by Suke Driver

Creatively escape with Penny Stanford & Anna B. Sexton 21.09.13

East London Creative Business Women Network @ The Create Place 30.09.13

The Create Place is co-hosting #elcbwn 30.09.13 meeting

The Create Place is co-hosting #elcbwn 30.09.13 meeti

East London Creative Business Women Network

Next meeting post Summer break

Date: Monday 30th September 2013

Time: A prompt 6.30pm start

Ends: 9pm

Venue: The Create Place, 29 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PJ

Cost:  Donations – pay what you can



  • To give yourself  the time and space for you need to move your creative projects and business on.
  • For an evening of connecting with new creative contacts, hearing more about what is out there to help you grow your own ideas, confidence and  new ways of looking at your current challenges.
  • Bring along any promotional materials for your upcoming events or services you want to share.
Previous success stories are one networker taking the leap to set up their own business, new creative commissions for work on collaborative paid projects and deep connections and support networks growing across and beyond East London!!

 You can book your place for the evening networking session via

Creative collaboration grows reciprocal networks…

How? Which way? and quite frankly Why?

Creative Choices article by Meena Toor

Creative Choices article by Meena Toor
Effective Networking

Indeed… these days with social media and it’s proliferating ways of reaching out via text, photos and now video via Instagram… where will it end?

Do you often feel overwhelmed and not really sure what the point maybe of getting involved? And whatever happened to face to face meet ups?

Don’t give up is the message from me, someone who like you can’t always see the benefits of doing the ‘social’  media thing as well as the face to face networking…

Well hopefully this story of how one connection leads to another and the mutual benefits these have lead to will re-inspire you to keep the faith and keep on keeping on with reaching out and expanding your ever growing networks.

Naomi Woodis introduced me to Alison Seddon via Facebook back in January 2012. To be fair I don’t think I really knew where it would lead – I did know Naomi was very well networked with inspirational creatives across all art forms. So I was definitely curious…

Alison & I met for coffee/mint tea a couple of weeks later – we realised we both could benefit from sharing skills and experience. Alison is an expert forum theatre specialist, coach and facilitator across a range of clients especially corporate companies who engage her to help them act out their challenges in creative and fun ways.

Over the coming months we co-crafted ‘Authentic Creative Networking’ workshop

We then successfully ran our workshop together back in July 2012… read the results here

Skip forward to June 2013 and in the process of setting up and running the workshop again Meena Toor from Creative Cultural Skills came across the information about the workshop on Twitter (I was also using Eventbrite, Facebook, Instagram and blogging to share about the workshop, reach out to new groups to seek out new participants).

She was unable to come to the workshop but thankfully offered to interview me and now there is a very nuts & bolts article about ‘Effective Networking’ published on Creative Choices website…

Read her article NOW!

So now through putting in the work, without really knowing whether or not initial face to face and social media connections would lead to anything – boom new creative collaborations and reciprocal networks have grown and taken me and Open To Create… in directions I would never have dreamt of when starting off getting into more on and offline networking.

Its also fabulous as both Murry Collins and Gerry Sexton – both participants in the workshop hoping to grow their professional photography practices have their images from workshops included and credited in the article! Yeah!

So don’t give up and keep on reaching out and let me/us know how you get on…

We’d love to hear your success stories too!

Naomi Woodis

Alison Seddon

Creative Cultural Skills

Creative Choices

Gerry Sexton

Murray Collins

Open to Create… known for for igniting people’s creativity in unique, quirky and playful ways.

image by Anna B. Sexton

Creative Coaching, creative mentoring, creative play, creative thinking workshops

Open To Create… offer a creative smorgasbord of creative coaching, mentoring and playful workshop sessions.

Creative MOT sessions will re-ignite your creative process and vision.

Bag of Creative Surprises workshops take your creative ideas to a new depths.

And our magical Ignite Your Creativity Retreats will “open doors onto your imagination, heart & mind you wouldn’t know were there.”

Join in the creative action via Open To Create… Facebook page

Please contact Anna B Sexton, Director to find out more about how we can support you to be more open to creating a thriving and super successful creative business.

We work with people with ideas for start up businesses through to those with more established enterprises who want to take it to the next level.

Your interest in Open To Create… matters as do any questions, ideas & feedback you have.

Drop us a line now using the form below or call 07941 655 856 or 020 7515 9451

Creatively teaching what we need to learn…

Even though spring is sprung some thing so come to an end…

Yet I am so excited, a series of workshops I created from scratch and co-facilitated with a group of inspirational women on my local estate has come to an end. Why would I be excited you ask? Surely not sad? Well I have felt a little sad at the process of working together coming to an end and yet I feel so enlivened through the process.

Originally the task was to find creative ways to inspire women, mainly mums with young families, to re-gain their confidence through getting online and seeking out new ways to learn, find out about new career and study pathways. I was asked as I am known for working with and I am committed to empowering women, and especially those locally to me, so I said yes.

The context was how could we be more healthy, connected and confidence through getting online – what we learnt through joining MyFitnessPal, blogging and using video tutorials to learn about CV writing was that more than getting online working together has boosted all of our health, connectedness & confidence.

The women have come away with renewed confidence in themselves, made new friends and committed to new actions to get back into study and eventually work by working together. They are now published on the web through learning how to blog –

And I have learnt so much from this process – they say you teach what you need to learn and so it has been for me i.e. I have got more healthy through the process and when you have a student who says you taught me never to give up, then really it’s one more time to do as I say. So that’s where the excitement is coming from…more learning through teaching!

What have you been teaching to learn? And what has it supported you to change about your habits?

First posted via Teaching what we need to learn… – Ecademy.

Coaching v’ mentoring – especially in the arts, creative & community sectors

Is there a difference between mentoring and coaching? Is it just about techniques and how much a mentor might steer compared to the coach supporting the coachee to find their own solution?

This blog comes directly from lots of ideas that have been sparked from a recent online survey sent out to the arts, creative and community professionals community. The majority (over 55%) of people answered they would more likely consider seeking out and investing in a mentor verses to seeking out a coach (16%).

So this feedback has got me thinking?

Being both a mentor and a coach for artists, creatives and community developers what do I think is the difference?

My experience of mentoring has been that of being with a leader in their field with a clear set of credible training and experience with a successful track record in their sector. I have been gifted to have been mentored by Eddie Piller (Acid Jazz Records), John Cornell (KVAT) , Anna Marsden (Wiltshire & Swindon Community Foundation), David Templer (Kairos Education Foundation), Andrew Mawson (St. Pauls Way Transformational Project, Bow) , Daniel Priestley, Mike Harris & Darren Shirlaw (Key Person Of Influence Programme).

Yet with coaching those who I have received coaching from are leaders in their fields with a clear set of credible training and experience with a successful track record in their sector. I have been blessed to have been coached by Mike Harris (Find Your Lightbulb), Carol Wilson (Performance Coach Training Ltd.), Deb Barnard (Relational Dynamics), Louise Smith (Conscious Change), Audrey Elder.

Firstly the all experiences of mentoring and coaching have given me the chance to shift swiftly & significantly on topics I have been stuck on and have been energising experiences. And more often than not both mentors and coaches have said they learn and are inspire by the gifting of their time and skills.

And what do other people think about this…I decided to speak to my own mentor, the amazing & inspirational Lauren Craig, creator & artistic director of Thinking Flowers and discuss this with with my co-coach.

Lauren made the point, which I agree with, that in the arts, creative and community sectors mentoring is more well known whilst coaching is less of a known quantity. My co-coach felt it was a question of confidence of knowing the difference in the first place and also what was on offer in the area i.e. if the client is seeking support and meet a mentor they will choice mentoring and the same for coaching…

And across the board the question of cost is a big issue particularly within the age old arts ‘I am a poor artist’ consensus consciousness.

Word of mouth comes into play hugely too either via a direct recommendation via a friend or from a testimonial via a blog, website or leaflet.

And I am curious to know what you think? I would love to hear your thoughts and any experiences of coaching and/or mentoring…especially those from within the arts, creative and community sectors.

1st published on 16.12.2012

Open To Create… new business cards!


Excitingly unpacked new Open To Create… business cards fresh off the press from Moo. Thanks to Alex Beeching for all your support and creative input in getting us this far!

Welcome to the blog world of Open To Create…

Open To Create… is an new and evolving company offering creative coaching programmes across London, especially Tower Hamlets & Westminster.

We are currently developing a series of coaching taster sessions with Idea Store & Tower Hamlets Adult Learning Services. These sessions will run during International Coaching week 5th-12th February 2012

And we are developing our Grow Your Own Community © programme  with different community & social enterprise  partners

Read our e-booklet

Seven C’s for Growing Your Own Community

For more information contact Anna Sexton, Director

07941 655 856