Phelim Donfield - Director, CreativeGym

I am a self taught artist and have been facilitating art and creativity for over thirty years. Consequently I am keenly aware of the benefits that engaging with creativity has brought to my life although I didn't realise at that time that names were applied to all of these from a personal and professional perspective......visualisation, imagining, doodling, daydreaming, exploring, experimenting and playing are tools I have used since I was a child....but I did not recognise them as tools and assumed that everybody did the same.

I subsequently discovered that this was not so and ever since have been helping, teaching and facilitating others to develop and utilise their creative potential. Apart from art I have always had an interest in business, discovering the joy of being paid for a painting at the age of seven...50p for a cartoon set me on the road to self employment marketing and selling my paintings throughout my school years, organising my first exhibition when I was 16 and in between winning awards in many different art competitions.

After secondary school I decided not to follow the conventional route of art college but rather to rely on my own iniatiative and pursue my own path. I continued to paint and dabbled with photographic and commercial art endeavours. In 1992 I set up my own art school Brushstrokes and since then we've taught thousands of people from all walks of life, different backgrounds from 5yrs to 95yrs how to paint, to unlock and utilise their innate creativity.

I have talked about and taught art on both RTE and TV3 and have given workshops around the country and abroad in Italy, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Madeira and Croatia. As a businessman as well as an artist I have been fortunate to have both my left and right brain facilities available to me to think through the challenges of running a business for over twenty years.

With this experience I developed the CreativeGym course to help and facilitate others to develop, utilise and feel confident in their creative potential, to see it as an opportunity for personal and professional growth, fun and enjoyment.

“As a teacher and facilitator I believe that everybody can draw and paint and I never tire of seeing those I teach surprise themselves with their creations and this sense of achievement is wonderful and inspiring to witness."