Creativity is one of the things that defines all human beings. It's what got us out of the trees and it's helped us change our world (for better or worse) ever since. So why is it often absent from, or pushed to the peripheries of, our lives? Mark Cass, founder of art shop chain Cass Art, has a plan to unleash the creative in all of us.
“Everyone has an innate creativity, it's what the right side of the brain is for," Mark told us effusively. That belief has inspired him to open six London stores with the aim of giving everyone the means, motivation and opportunity to be an artist. “Creativity and art are about connections in our head, whether it is linked to hope, sorrow, remembrance, joy, exploration or appreciation."
“Art is for everyone. It's why Cass Art's mission is 'Let's Fill this Nation with Artists'," Mark explains, “I wouldn't consider myself an artist but I still try to be creative every day and this gives me the most joy." This isn't surprising, as images taken of the brains of people creating art show that they use rarely-accessed areas of the brain, including parts strongly associated with emotion.
As well as inspiring creativity, Cass Art celebrates it. Their inaugural art show brought together a huge community of fledgling artists and, for Cass, bringing people together is an integral part of who they are.
All Cass Art's staff are artists, experts in the products and the ideal people to inspire anyone who comes into the shop. “We know the freedom and pleasure being creative brings to everyone. We have a clear mission to encourage the use and activity of creative tools and we understand it can be easy to give up, so the aim is to empower someone who visits our shop or our website to try art, in any form."
For Mark, the most important thing is to not let anything hold your creativity back. “Pick up a pencil, draw something, get a brush and put ink on paper or just pick up a digital camera and see your world differently."