Glyndŵr graduate uses her artistic talent to help mental health charity
A Wrexham Glyndŵr University graduate has used her artistic talent that she rekindled during lockdown to help people with mental health problems.
Clarrie-Anne Cooper, a graphic designer from Whitchurch in Shropshire, rediscovered her love of painting to tackle anxiety and isolation during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Three of her paintings fetched £221 for mental health charity Mind, with her employers the Cartridge People rounding up the total amount of bids received to make a £1,000 donation.
She said: “Combined with my fundraiser on Facebook for my birthday, I’ve been able to raise £1,451 for Mind.
“It’s so amazing to think that people were willing to bid on my work and support a cause which has perhaps never been needed more.
“On social media, messages from friends and family and also the bidders themselves; the feedback has made me incredibly proud.”
Clarrie-Anne studied BA Interactive Multimedia Design at Glyndŵr, works as a creative designer at Cartridge People.
“I decided to start painting in watercolour to move away from the computer screen and at first, I found it quite a challenging medium,” she explained.
“There are traditional methods of working with watercolour but I’ve found my own way to work with it through many hours of experimentation
“I primarily work in watercolour for its subtlety and gentle qualities. Many of my pieces focus on the female form which I love to portray with distinctive colour combinations.”
In addition to her role at the Cheshire-based company, Clarrie-Anne operates thetinkan, where she produces many of her designs and prints.
After receiving lots of positive social media feedback for her designs, Clarrie-Anne approached the Cartridge People with the idea of auctioning her paintings to raise awareness of how art can have a positive effect on mental health.
“Not only was I able to develop my watercolour painting skills, but I also distracted and eased my mind as well, while creating something I was proud of,” Clarrie-Anne said.
“I will look back on a lot of my paintings and wonder if the restrictions of lockdown helped my creative process in a different way to normal.”
John Flanagan, Cartridge People Managing Director, added: “This has been an outstanding fundraising campaign and something everyone in the business is immensely proud of.
“Clarrie-Anne has been with us for over five years now and during that time it’s become obvious how talented she is and so when she suggested auctioning her paintings for Mind, we were only too happy to help in any way we could.
“The feedback from our customers has been fantastic and we’re so grateful that people submitted bids and got behind the campaign. As an employer, it’s of course been a challenge this year making sure that all our staff have the support they need so they cannot be adversely impacted by the lockdowns and restrictions we’ve faced.
“For me, being able to raise such an amount for a worthy cause like Mind is excellent but also what’s been amazing is that other people in the business have now come forward to share creative projects they’ve done in lockdown and having ‘positive mental health’ as a message for these paintings has meant that staff have been prompted to talk about this more, share concerns and look out for one another.
“It truly has helped bring the business closer together and this is just one of the many reasons we’re so delighted to have helped Clarrie-Anne with what she’s achieved.”
Clarrie-Anne told how her studies at Wrexham Glyndŵr University have helped her career.
She said: “Studying Interactive Multimedia Design at Glyndwr University gave me the opportunity to work on real life, client-based projects whilst developing my creative abilities. I got to collaborate with students in other subject areas and improved on my presentation skills.
“Gaining the knowledge and experience from the course at Glyndwr has certainly helped prepare me for my chosen career path and gave me the grounding I needed to do the job I enjoy doing now.”
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