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Wheelchair Spin Art

Posted on 15th September 2021

Love the outcomes from our Jackson Pollock inspired spin art sessions which we ran with a SEN school last term. Our team constructed the spin system so the pupils could easily design the funkiest wheelchair wheels around, needless to say the pupils loved their works of art and the school was over the moon with what we helped facilitate 



wheelchair spin art


wheelchair spin art

wheelchair spin art

Graffiti Mural Workshop for Chester Races Family Fun Day

Posted on 18th August 2021

How amazing is this Graffiti mural workshop for Chester Race Course Family Fun Day, nearly 200 young people contributed to this amazing piece of art. Living up to our reputation of exceptional educational creative arts activities providers. 

graffiti workshops for schools



Find out more here 

Learning a New Skill in Our Skateboardng Workshop

Posted on 21st July 2021

Awesome feedback and lots of fun had in our skateboarding workshop for the pupils of Husthwaite CE Primary School 


skateboarding workshop

Dragons Den Workshop

Posted on 21st July 2021

We love teaching our Dragons Den workshop as it gives the participants a real life understanding of the business world and facilitates lots of outside of the box thinking

dragons den workshop

Screen Printing for Wellness

Posted on 13th July 2021

piring creativity at Belmont Primary School working with young people with a variety of SEMH & SEND needs.

Find out more about this workshop here 

screen printing workshop for schools

T-shirt Spray Painting Workshop for LAC's

Posted on 23rd June 2021

We loved delivering this graffiti T-shirt design workshop to a lovely groups of young people last Saturday and in the sun too, perfect weather, perfect session, amazing outcomes!  Keeping is Street Style!!  #fashion #graffiti #fashiondesign #spraypainting #workshopsforyoungpeople


Find out more about this workshop here 


t shirt pray painting workshop for schools  

More 5-Star feedback!

Posted on 23rd June 2021

Feedback like this says it all, we love 5-star feedback, it means 5-star delivery and 5-star levels of fun for the young people! Keeping is Street Style!

5 start feedback for our workshops in schools

Graffiti Workshop in & Around a Beautiful Yurt

Posted on 23rd June 2021

We have loved delivering our graffiti workshops for Aspire this week, the feedback has been amazing!

Find out more about this workshop here Graffiti canvas spray painting workshop for schools

Using Rap & Lyric Writing to enhance the learning within the English curriculum

Posted on 18th June 2021

Another amazing 5 star review for our Rap & Lyric writing workshop, they just keep coming!!

Find out more about this workshop here 

rap and lyric writing workshop

rap and lyric writing workshop

Tackling Racist Issues Within a School Through Graffiti Art

Posted on 17th June 2021

We had a request to run a session that promoted equality and helped the pupils discuss this topic openly as the school had had a name calling issue and wanted to address this (big ups to the school) 

So in we came with our graffiti canvas workshop, through art, all issues can be addressed and in a fun and very engaging way.  The message came across loud and clear as did the learnings!

Find out more about this workshop here 

racial abuse workshop for schools

I just want women to be empowered with who they are

Posted on 9th March 2021

During the Covid-19 crisis, we had a (virtual) chat with inspirational woman, business owner, and EnterprisingYou client Sissy Rooney, to discuss starting a business during a pandemic…

Hi Sissy! Firstly, tell us about how you became an entrepreneur?

After being excluded and told I wouldn't amount to anything, I left school with no qualifications. English, maths, science and French just wasn't for me, but my textile teacher saw I had a talent for fashion design. She sent me tickets to see a college fashion show, which blew me away and inspired me to go back into education and eventually graduate with a first in fashion design. That was the starting point for my first successful business, Street Style Surgery, which delivers educational workshops to young people across the UK and globally.

Tell us more about Street Style Surgery.

Street Style Surgery has been running for 17 years. In that time, it's grown so that I'm now employing around 80 freelancers, who deliver a range of workshops in creative skills such as fashion, music, beatboxing and DJing. The aim is to encourage young people to shout about their skills and to be the best version of themselves, which is why we also deliver emotional and wellbeing workshops.

How has Covid-19 changed the direction of your business plans?

Things were going really well with Street Style Surgery until lockdown hit, closing the schools we work in. At first, I spent this time organising my databases, but then I had the opportunity to slow down and reflect on what I really needed in life, which was to be in my creative flow. That's when I decided to start my new business, I Make People Happy.

Tell us more about your decision to start your new business, I Make People Happy, during a pandemic?

I realised that, although I facilitate lots of people to be creative every week at Street Style Surgery, I don't actually get to physically create myself much anymore. Lockdown has given me the space and opportunity to relaunch a dream that I've had since I was six years old. It's a dream I'd put to bed at 27 and now, at the age of 44, I've reignited that dream again. About two months ago, I started to research t-shirt printers, and I came up with a range of t-shirts that have positive and inspirational messages on them. I've just designed a mini range, and now I'm waiting for the samples so I can put them in the shop. I've actually made sales, so people like my stuff.

That's great! How did you hear about EnterprisingYou?

I heard about EnterprisingYou from a friend. I told her about my new business idea, and she said, “you should tap into this programme called EnterprisingYou. They've been amazing for me.” So, I googled it, applied, and, someone called me within about a day. Next thing I knew, I was then speaking to my Business Coach, Kirsty. During that first phone call, she told me “you have lots of energy and zest, and I think you can go places.” That was four weeks ago, and within a month I'm now selling my products and designs, and I've got the business support coming in. It's quite phenomenal really, how fast it's happened. 

How has having an EnterprisingYou Business Coach made all the difference?

Even though I've been in business for 17 years, I don't know it all. By taking my new idea seriously, Kirsty has helped me to realise my passion. I love her; she's really nice and personable. Recently, I was actually selected to be in Mo2vate Magazine for International Women's Day, so I emailed Kirsty to tell her, and it was nice to have someone say “that's amazing Sissy!” - To have someone invested in your business journey is priceless.

Congratulations on being selected as an inspiring woman! How else have EnterprisingYou helped?

I've also had a meeting with a finance coach and a wellbeing coach; they gave me some pointers about managing my time better, which I've implemented straightaway, and now I've been told I can see a mentor within the fashion industry, who can help me with branding. I've also been able to access EnterprisingYou's job portal, which has allowed me to tap into a wide range of training opportunities, including a diploma in digital online marketing, which is exactly what I need to push the business forward. I don't even think the full scope of what is available has become known to me yet.

That's fantastic! Would you recommend EnterprisingYou, then?

I have and would recommend it! EnterprisingYou's support has been invaluable to me, and it comes from people who genuinely want to help make a difference. My experience has been so positive; within a month, the support and wealth of information I've received has already exceeded all expectations. I can't believe it!

What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?

I love having the flexibility and freedom to carve my own day out. I'm a solo mummy, so it works for me… even if it sometimes works against me! I love being able to inspire people to reach for their dreams and to see the creative industries as a viable career choice.

What does the future hold for you?

Now I want to take I Make People Happy further; I want it to be a lifestyle brand that encompasses positivity and making people feel good. I've just created t-shirts that say ‘strong women lift each other up' and ‘empowered women empower women'. I just want women to be empowered with who they are. I can definitely see this growing into something bigger than t-shirts. Street Style Surgery is also starting to take off again now, so EnterprisingYou are going to be advising me on taking on an intern and maybe franchising the business. My future plans are to grow my fashion brand into a well-known label and for Street Style Surgery to keep on reaching out and inspiring young people.

To find out more about Sissy, Street Style Surgery and I Make People Happy, visit the links below:


We provide fully-funded support to the self-employed and gig economy workers across Greater Manchester. If you would like to find out more about EnterprisingYou, register online or email info@enterprising-you.co.uk.

Helping our little people have beautiful & educational outside experiences during lockdown

Posted on 7th January 2021

Helping our little people have beautiful & educational outside experiences during lockdow

So another lockdown means more time cooped up and less time doing the things we are used to doing day to day. It is also a great opportunity to really use our time outside to our advantage and hopefully make lots of beautiful memories for both our children and us.

My little one use to love forest school in nursery, why? Because it was outside, lots of fun and she could have a hot chocolate at the end which was made on a stove by the forest school leader, plus a good run around helps to release all that extra energy they have.

When we go camping the most memorable bit for my daughter, is the toasting of the marshmellows.  It got me thinking about how I could recreate this so I started looking for an outside cooking stove, as small and as compact as possible and one that preferably ran off natural fuel, eg twigs, wood, leaves etc

After lots of research I decided that I would go for this one. It comes with cute little bowls and some cutlery and a little sponge to clean it all AND it all fits together nice and compactly and will even hang off your rucksack from the clip it comes with. #bestbuyever

So off to the woods we went with a pull ring tin of soup, some bread, hot chocolates you get in those plastic cups, marshmellows/sticks, some dry wood and a firelighter/lighter, oh and some little camping stools.

It all went like a dream, the fire lit fast and kept well lit from just a few pieces of wood (you can buy a whole bag from places like wilko etc) or if it's a dry day use what is laying around you, twings, leaves, pine cones

Plus, once the fire went out I separated it with a branch and it cooled down in a flash!

We had a lovely experience and now call this activity day camping, all the fun but no tents to put up and take down lol

You have lots of options of stuff to make as you have 2 pans for drinks and food, hotdogs, pasta, soups, pot noodles etc etc 


wood burning camping stove in lockdown

Our camping stove 


Same as my one above but runs off a gas canister 


Another cute style of ECO woodbuning stove which is like mine but just no bowls, you can take your own though


Similar camping stove with a kettle that runs off gas if you dont want to fuel it with wood and want quick lighting


Camping stove that runs off gas but with a beaker instead


Great price for this one that runs off gas, just the basics but you can bring your own bowls and cutlery


Now for some camping stool ideas to chill on whilst your having your camping day 

This is the cheapest one I have seen so could easily fit in your backpack



This is similar to above but comes in a little bag for storage 


Oh and I also bought these bought camping cups, super lightweight


some extra bits I loved 

Explorer camping and adventures kits


Hope you enjoyed reading through this blog, if you try day camping please do tag me on any of the following


-   imake_peoplehappy - a lovely insta feed to help shine and inspire happiness in others

-  StreetStyleSurgery

Twitter posts

-   @streetstylesurgery


-   Street Style Surgery

Happy Day Camping Everyone

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I've personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can't afford or that you're not yet ready to implement.

Recycle notebook workshop for Adidas

Posted on 5th October 2020

Adidas approached us to run a weekend of Eco & Recycling workshops at their London flagship store for the launch of their new vegan & eco range, all the participants made some really funky and creative notebooks, the feedback on these sessions was amazing! 

adidas london flagship store workshop

Graffiti workshop for Puma Football

Posted on 16th January 2020

Finally, we can go public about our graffiti workshop with PUMA just after Christmas. SSS was contacted by the manager of the German youth football team ‘Young Guns/YG' who were heading to Manchester with 4 of their best players and wanted to experience a SSS workshop and publicise the launch of Pumas new football shoe the PUMA FUTURE 5.1 from the SPARK PACK and within 5 days and even whilst away from the office we made this workshop happen with the help of our amazing graffiti artist Jamie, the results have blown us away, well done to all the lads and Jamie. 


 puma german football team graffiti spray painting workshop


puma german football team graffiti spray painting workshop


puma german football team graffiti spray painting workshop

Graffiti with a powerful message - POW!

Posted on 28th March 2019

An amazing and poignant piece of graffiti produced by young people in one of our workshops



Amazing flower wreath made out of plastic bottles

Posted on 5th March 2019

This wonderful Plastic flower wreath was made with 3 classes of year 3 children from Hursthead Primary school  Each child made a plastic flower from fruit shoot bottles which were attached to a hula hoop to make this beautiful colourful piece of wall art which will look fabulous on display in the school!
recycled plastic bottles flower wreath

What does being a man mean in today's society?

Posted on 4th August 2016

We are over the moon to be supporting this fantastic organisation and hope that this book makes its way in to all schools and youth organisations


Being ManKind volume 1 hopes to address the unique issues that men and boys face in the 21st Century. This book is a collection of inspiring, real-life stories told by men from all walks of life.


For each book sold we will donate another to a school or youth organisation for use in workshops and classes. We want to get the conversation started from a young age to show that once you get past the gender stereotypes, the only unbreakable code in humanity is kindness.


If you want to buy a book, or simply wish to find out more about our project, please visit us at www.beingmankind.org and get in touch. 


The Street Style Surgery Foundation launches this year with the guidance of the School for Social Entrepreneurs

Posted on 21st January 2016

Our founder Sissy has just embarked on the Lloyds Bank School for Social Entrepreneurs course which will take her through the next year helping her put all the building blocks in place so we can launch the Street Style Surgery Foundation SSF which will be our very own charity. Through this we will launch a series of bespoke workshop and programmes that tackle issues or stumbling blocks in people's lives, such as Social Isolation & Exclusion, Anti-Social behaviour, Low self-esteem, Mental Health issues and more we want to help promote and create a more inclusive society, so watch this space!


Amazing feedback from Education Links

Posted on 7th May 2015

May I take this opportunity to say thank you so much for the great work you did with our students last week. I had many students thanking me for organising the 2 days of activities and many staff were inspired by your creative work. We have had many workshops in the past and not all have managed to engage the studnets as well as you did. I was very impressed that most of the young people managed to stay focused for the whole day, which we find a struggle of a daily basis. Thank you again for a great project.

Shona Phimister

Vocational Curriculum Manager, Education Links

More great feedback from a confidence building workshop

Posted on 16th April 2014

The workshop was very well organised and delivered by Steph. She had excellent control with the group and kept them well engaged throughout the session. She made the session fun and enjoyable and applicable to the group.

I observed a noticeable growth in the participants confidence throughout the session. The session enabled the young people to think about how they communicate and to understand how their actions impact on their communication.

The young people were taken out of their comfort zone but exceeded my expectations and mixed well with their peers.

Thank you to Steph for a well planned, organised and delivered session and to Street Style Surgery for providing us with it, we will certainly be booking again .

Fantastic Circus Skills Workshop Feedback!

Posted on 14th April 2014

some great feedback from a circus skills workshop we provided for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church school in London..... 

Edward was a fantastic workshop leader and willing to adapt both to the needs of the children and the organisation. The workshops were thoroughly enjoyed by all children and they were enthusiastic about the new skills they had learnt, It was definitely a positive experience and provided the children with new skills, opportunities to try something and share it with their friends. At the end of the day, nearly all the children said the circus skills workshop was their favourite part of the day. I thought the whole process from initial enquiry and booking to the day itself was handled very professionally and was great value for money. I would be delighted to work with SSS again in the future.

We helped make the decorations for Manchester Uniteds Football teams tree for the festival of trees

Posted on 31st October 2013

Tree officially decorated for Manchester United Football club and now on display till Christmas at the festival of trees shop in the Lowry till its auctioned for The Francis House charity, go and take a peek, I'm super proud of the young people's creative efforts! 

manchester united football team festival of trees

More great feedback from our amazing garffiti birthday parties

Posted on 18th July 2013

Once again a million thanks for James party.  All the children agreed it was the best ever,maven the parents were amazed at the standard of work created.  I am sure you will be called upon many times. I wil keep you in mind if I ever have spare amount in budget as you are inspirational and my kids at school would adore you.  Hope to be in touch soon Cathy x

graffiti birthday party

Thank you very much for the workshop and for your fresh approach to learning!

Posted on 21st May 2013

Our Ladys R.C. High School – Fashion Illustration workshop


The workshop far exceeded my expectations, the content was targeted at just the right level for my year 10 Textiles GCSE students. The students really enjoyed the session and got a lot of new ideas about Mood Boards and how to give them more impact. The fashion illustrations the students produced on the day were extremely impressive. The workshop not only equipped the students with valuable skills but also the confidence they lacked for when they need to illustrate their design ideas.

Thank you very much for the workshop and for your fresh approach to learning!

Position – Teacher of Technology

 fashion illustration workshop in schools

Why Sissy became a Social Entrepreneur and how any young person can do the same!

Posted on 21st May 2013

Sissy Rooney started Street Style Surgery to help young people make a start in the creative industry. In this video she shares the story of why she became a Social Entrepreneur and how any young person can do the same! This video is screened as part of The U's Youth Enterprise learning session.


More amazing feedback!!!

Posted on 16th May 2013

The Barlow RC High School – Right track workshop - Inspirational & motivation workshop, targeted at boys and girls separately

The students thoroughly enjoyed both the workshops and have expressed a desire to have more. The boys were completely engrossed in the first half of the workshop and were very complimentary of the style in which it was delivered in. The girls warmed to Sissy instantly and really enjoyed the fact that they were made to feel valued. One of the students told me that it was really helpful to speak to someone who gets where they are at now and can show them that there is a way forward. The feedback sheet gives further evidence of the positive impact the sessions had on the students.

As a school we would certainly look toward working with the company in the future.

Thank you for a very positive and professional experience. ‘Mrs L Hanson - Deputy Head

Interview with Young Artist Eleanor Leonne Bennett

Posted on 3rd May 2013

Eleanor Leonne Bennett hails from Manchester and is only sixteen years old. She is already an acclaimed and extremely accomplished young artist. She specialises in photography, for which she has amassed a number of national awards, including being named the CIWEM Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2013. As if this wasn't enough, her work has been exhibited in galleries and published in magazines globally.

1. Who inspired you to be an artist?

It was always there within me, I don't think I can look to any one person and say that is why I am a creative.

As well as a photographer, I am also a published writer, poet and an award winning mixed media artist.

2. Did your family support your decision?

Yes - I think my more distant relatives probably think it is all somewhat impossible to be successful in my field with so much competition left, right and centre. People as close to me as my Mum know that I burn the candle at both ends and that my drive and focus know no limits. I am extremely competitive in everything at I do, whether it extends from physical strength or the psychological need to adapt quickly.

I've been on fast-forward ever since I started photography - I was entering awards within weeks of starting because it filled the void of what to aim my focus on.

3. If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Probably invisibility - I would do a lot of crime-solving and whistle-blowing.

4. Did your teachers inspire you at school to be creative?

I was home schooled and only went to school for a few weeks when I was 4.

My Mum was my main educator and almost everything we did for educational purposes had to be creative.

She was great at making everything interesting as she had no formal guidance, only the curriculum.

5. Do you think workshops like Street Style Surgery can play an important role?

Very important. It helps to give developing artists a voice.

It is getting harder to find original content in the mainstream media, so the encouragement of young fresh and unique artists is important for all and stretches to include all the forms of entertainment we view and cherish today.

6. If you could give one piece of advice to young people what would it be?

Find your voice and as niche as it may be, pursue it with a vengeance.

As an artist outside of your project and your genre, work with people globally and hold no negativity - be open to others and you will thrive.

7. How did it feel to win the UK National Geographic Kids' Photography contest?

Blessed - National Geographic are such a wonderful society constantly giving youngsters once in a lifetime opportunities that help spark inspired careers adoring art, people and the delicate environment.

8. What projects have you currently got lined up?

Cover art projects for books around the world – at least 70 projects in the next few months, including one book that was purchased by W.H.Smith Travel called ‘Lethal Profit' by Alex Blackmore, due to be released soon.

As well as that, I am being included with multiple works in a touring exhibition starting at the Royal Geographical Society on the 10 April – 3 May 2013.

In the future I will be writing more articles and doing book reviews as well as a few full length books.

9. What are your future ambitions?

To be a very prominent young British artist and to produce a lot more emotive, critically-acclaimed work, speaking for less well known matters of people's lives and especially I would like to explore work on how mental illness affects young people and creatives.

10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?

Being the curator of sell-out shows in America and having a long waiting list of companies wanting my work to represent them.


Connect with Eleanor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eleanor-Leonne-Bennett-Art/182236515143617

 OR https://www.facebook.com/EleanorLBPhotography

Interview with Young Artist Maeve O'Briant

Posted on 2nd May 2013

Maeve O'Briant is an American painter, sketcher and photographer with only fourteen years to her name. Largely self-taught, she is yet to finish high school and has already established herself as an accomplished all-round visual artist.

1. At what age did you first start making art, and what kind of materials did you use?

I cannot remember a time where I wasn't creating. I started with what every kid aspiring to be an artist begins with – crayons, markers and coloured pencils – but by third grade I had acquired an oil and acrylic collection, learned the HB scale and hoarded different pencils and charcoal stumps. Then I discovered photography which I just fell in love with and did almost solely for about a year. Within the past year or two, I've tried to expand my media outside the traditional sense though, and have been playing with some unconventional methods.

2. Who and/or what inspired you to start your artwork?

In terms of starting a path in art initially, I believe that everyone has an "eye" for art and beauty, but only the people who chose to and are dedicated utilise it. One just needs that little inspiring push to open that eye. For me, I had always done art, but I had never understood its full potential until 1) I took an actual art course, learned the basic concepts, and was inspired by one of the most brilliant and creative people I've ever met, my teacher Kathy Shaner, and 2) My dad moved from the suburbs to the city, which just opened my mind to artistic possibilities. The urban environment is very stimulating with its variety and diversity and invokes an open mind to new concepts. The suburbs, or at least the ones I grew up in, were very secluded from the rest of the world, a "box." The worst thing you can do to an artist is put them in a box. It blocks ideas and new innovative things the artist has never explored before. When I got out of the "box" to the city and looked around, my eye for art truly opened, and I was inspired.

3. Have your blog and its readers had any effect on the kind of work you are doing? Do you feel that having an online presence gives you direction?

I don't believe it has an effect on the kind of work I'm doing (that seems to come from my mood, my environment, and the my current situation), but it does keep me going. Knowing I have an audience keeps me up-to-speed with creating and posting, keeping me on track.

4. How would you encourage young people to start and continue being artistic, even (and especially) if they do not feel that they are talented?

Art requires a driving force behind it, an emotion, a feeling, and experience. So I would encourage people get out of the house, explore, and find those experiences. While that may seem totally unrelated to being artistic, it is essential to continue being inspired. In the end, this will improve your product significantly, because there is depth to your work. If one feels they are not talented, they should not give up. It will come, it just takes more exploration – one may have not discovered the medium or technique that connects to them. But if the driving force I referred to earlier is there and the artist has passion, talent will come with exploration.

5. Is there a famous artist or a single work that inspires you greatly? If so, what is it?

I always struggle with this question. There are so many! I have a great admiration for Picasso – I have four prints of his in my room. I specifically love his cubist portraits, because while the rendering isn't near traditional – no scale or proportions or realism for that matter – he conveys the personality of his model so vividly in the amplified colors and shapes.

6. In your ‘About Me' section, you mention that you have great ambition within the art world – where do you see yourself in five years?

It's been my dream to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, so hopefully I'll be there earning a degree in perhaps Studio Art and/or Photography. But my goal before I leave high school is to develop a signature aesthetic, since I am really all across the board right now. Then in art school, I can fine-tune that signature look into my own style.

7. How do you balance spending time making art with other commitments such as school and friends?

This has been a challenge, especially in high school when I study from the moment I get home till usually around 11 at night. In this area, high school has not been treating me well, and it doesn't help that my school is extremely math and sports oriented. But I have developed a pattern: weekdays are for studying, weekends and breaks are set aside for art. I jot down ideas that pop into my mind throughout the week or limn them quickly in a sketch pad, and save them for my reserved art time on Saturday. As for friends, I always make time for them, and sometimes I work them into my study and art time, with study sessions and having them model for pictures or help me with a project.

8. What is your favourite medium and why? Do you experiment with new mediums at all?

My favourite medium would have to be charcoal. There is something really personal about working with it, when you get all sooty and find the black smudges on your face, and I love how you almost mould and sculpt the shadows the more you go over it. It's extremely willing with manipulation. My favourite part is with charcoal portraits, getting the perfect contours of a face with the shadows and highlights – you grow so attached to what you are drawing. But I have been trying to work with more unconventional mediums; last weekend for example I worked with packing tape!

9. What advice would you give to a young artist looking for an audience?

Keep going, never stop. If art is what you really love, the audience will come to you. It just takes time and patience. Take every opportunity to put yourself out there: enter contests, self-publicise, meet people and make connections. Building an audience is a gradual thing, so if you don't see an immediate response, it's important not to lose hope.

10. How important is it to keep going even if you feel uninspired? Or should you wait and let inspiration come to you?

In my case, inspiration comes in spurts; some days I'm inspired, some days I'm not. When you feel uninspired for a long period of time, there are ways to instigate the creative flow. While you can't force inspiration, you can go out and look for it, and many times it will find you. I have certain places I visit, certain songs I listen to. You just have to find those triggers, and the rest falls into place. But an artist cannot stay uninspired for long if they take the time to appreciate the beauty around them, so don't give up. Everyone has their off days.


Connect with Maeve

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maeveobriant?fref=ts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/maeveob/

Interview with Young Artist Theo Kennedy-Cordner

Posted on 1st May 2013

Theo Kennedy-Cordner is a third-year Graphic Design student at Havering College, London and Illustrator who has worked in a variety of graphic arts, not to mention visual merchandising. At only twenty years old, he has been featured in a variety of physical and online zines for his passion and innovation in the world of design.

Theo Kennedy-Cordner

1. What motivates you to be creative?

Other bits of creation or general artistry I tend to see in and around my life inspires me greatly. I spend hours looking at artwork online from time to time, and when it's not specifically artwork, I'm always trying to find interesting pieces of imagery. As a main motivation, however, I keep in mind that I just want to be successful, and I've been working since I was around 15 experimenting with artwork. I just can't wait until I have that established style I can call my own.

2. How did you discover Graphic Design?

Through the popular publication Computer Arts. I've always wanted to be a 'professional creative'. However, I just never knew the correct term. When I started learning about further areas of design, such as illustration, editorial design, etc., I just knew that this was the career I wanted!

3. Why do you think it is important for young people to engage in creative activities?

It's just brilliant seeing us working with maintaining our creativity and imaginations. In my honest opinion, you should never lose that sense of curiosity and imagination with whatever you do.

4. What advice would you have for any young aspiring Graphic Designers/Illustrators?

If you think you're not good enough, yet everyone else tends to appreciate your work, that's only self-doubt working, but that's sometimes a positive thing. Always strive to work on what you want, when you want and how you want. Just keep at it too, but remember to take a break every hour from the computer screen! I may need glasses soon from how long I spend staring at my screen!

5. How has social media helped you to promote your work?

A friend of mine put me onto Twitter when I wasn't much of a fan of it. That social network has single-handedly allowed me to meet more creative individuals than I ever thought possible. If you can, maintain an active online presence and promote your work, compliment other people's work you admire and just network. To be honest in this industry, it's more who you know than purely how good you are. If you're both great at what you do, and great at showing people, you're set.

6. Which social media platform do you think is the best for promoting creative work?

Behance seems to be my favourite right about now. There's always a sense of professionalism on that creative network. Otherwise, like I said, Twitter is brilliant for one-to-one or group discussions etc. Tumblr is also brilliant, mainly because of its viral properties... if someone likes a piece you create and it spreads, it will spread soon after that like wildfire.

7. How successful do you feel creative education at schools is?

Very successful! It's more about your own individual drive in my opinion but there's only so much tutors can tell you, and then when you are working in the industry, all the rest will come with that first job or just learning from experience.

8. And do you think there needs to be more emphasis on digital art forms as opposed to traditional ones?

Not at all, I just believe artforms are artforms, whatever you're comfortable with, use! I tend to plan my work traditionally and then finish a piece digitally. But there is so much versatility out there as long as you find the ways or learn yourself through experimentation.

9. Who is your greatest artistic inspiration?

Kate Morross as a creative is possibly my greatest inspiration just for her work ethic... she came out of university with several big commissions under her belt and now she's the head of her own studio, has worked on creating a record label, worked with a brilliant set of clients and all by being herself and doing everything she could. From photography, to music videos and illustrated typography - I'd love to see the day I could be as versatile as her.

10. What has been your greatest setback creatively, and how did you overcome it?

Most likely this current illustration hiatus I'm on by my own accord. I'm still yet to overcome it, but the only way I can think of overcoming it is to work as hard as I can on planning a great selection of pieces, drawing MUCH more often and just getting stuck in. Even if something doesn't get finished straight away, you can work towards it! A single step beats standing at the bottom of the staircase...


Connect with Theo

Twitter: @mind5state

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/theo-cordner/37/770/a

Tumblr: http://themindstate.tumblr.com/

Even canoes can get the Graffiti treatment in SSS sessions

Posted on 19th April 2013

The young people of waterside arts adventure centre in Chorlton, Manchester had a blast designing and spray painting these two boring grey canoes in to works of art!

Feedback we received from Julie Heathcote

Hi Sissy, the project went fantastically (not sure if that's a word) All the young people really got involved and the artist was great.

open canoe graffiti workshop


open canoe graffiti workshop

Great feedback from the Going Freelance talk Sissy gave to MMU students

Posted on 22nd March 2013

Im one of the students who listened to your talk at MMU yesterday, and just to say I really enjoyed hearing about your journey so far, you are an inspiration, and a great role model, not allowing circumstances to take over your life and becoming a victim, but being able to stand up and fight for what you want to achieve in life was amazing.
You have probably helped more people than you realise, much of this because you have insight and care.

Keep going with your fabulous energy - Pip Pittman

Dear Sissy,

I would like to let you know that I really enjoyed your talk at our Going Freelance course yesterday. It was very inspiring and encouraging! I feel more and more that following your heart is really the way forward! - Iiona Kiss

Tackling the issue of bullying graffiti style!

Posted on 1st February 2013

Check out the amazing graffiti works of art that pupils at Newbridge School produced to rasie awareness to bullying

This piece its titled don't be a cyber bully

dont be a cyber bully graffiti workshop for schools

This piece its titled beat bullies together

dont be a cyber bully graffiti workshop for schools

 This piece its titled make feelings happy

dont be a cyber bully graffiti workshop for schools

Bring out the hoops!! @ Barlow Moor Community Centre information and advice day

Posted on 31st January 2013

Our amazing circus skills practitioner Jennifer engaging the young people at Barlow Moor Community Centre information and advice day -  forward to 51 seconds to see her in actionThis workshop is fun and energetic it provides the foundations of circus skills. Discover a brief tour around various circus disciplines, such as juggling, hula hooping, poi and spinning plates. Our expert facilitator will guide the group through a series of basic tricks and play circus games, expanding and exceeding the participants idea of what they thought they were capable of.

Manchester City Councils ‘Have a Go Day’ at the Ethiad stadium

Posted on 24th January 2013

SSS ran a great trash to treasure workshop at Ravensbury primary school

A Careers Fair is a great way to find out about Job Opportunities and the Career Aspiration Event organised by Manchester City Council, did just that.  SSS where there to show budding fashion designers how to sketch like a professional, just take a look at some of the pupils work which was achieved in no more than 20 minutes!

Read more about the event on the Manchester Creative and Media Academys blog 

Or take a peek at the write up about the event on Manchester City Councils website, we get a great mention and even a picture!

fashion illustration workshop for manchester city council


The pupils learned to sketch like a professional in only 20 minutes!

fashion illustration workshop for manchester city council

SSS ran a great trash to treasure workshop at Ravensbury primary school

Posted on 24th January 2013

The pupils made cool recycled juice carton wallets and CD sun catches

here is some feedback from the teacher Miss Lord

The workshops went really well. It really enthused the children to think about other materials they could recycle and what they could make. A child even made a mini juice carton wallet independently at home.  The benefits of the workshop were that the children could see lots of examples of reusing materials. It was a great start to our topic.

We will definitely keep Street Style Surgeries in mind for future topics and there is a buzz throughout key stages in the range of things available.

The practitioners were brilliant, enthusiastic, knowledgable and great with the children.

*Trash to treasure workshop juice carton wallets

SSS delivers a wicked Graffiti workshop

Posted on 5th October 2012

Our expert graffiti artist delivered a super cool workshop with young people from Harropfold School

Our latest graffiti workshop for young people from Trafford

Our latest graffiti workshop for young people from Trafford

Simple Tips for Building Stronger Friendships and Group Relationships

Posted on 27th September 2012

I was recently emailed with a question from a youth worker asking for ideas about how to build strong friendships or to build stronger peer groups.  Later that same day, I happened to meet with a guy who has served as summer camp counselor for over 20 years and I took the opportunity to get his input.  He gave me two answers that seemed simplistic at first, but also seemed to be among the most appropriate.

Be All-Inclusive Over Exclusive

I'm sure that you have heard often that you should be open and accepting of everyone regardless of their differences, but how does one actually put that into practice?  The summer camp counselor that I mentioned before told me that it is about being all-inclusive as opposed to being exclusive.

By this, we mean that when you are together with friends or even a random group of people, you want to try and present activities that everyone has a chance to be in, especially if it something that allows everyone to participate equally.

A great example used by this same counselor was card games.  He pointed out that card games of any type are a fun activity where everyone is on equal footing.  He pointed out how that "the poker Barbie" Lacey Jones told him that some card games can be universal, such as Rummy, and offer a great chance for everyone to win and offers a great chance to socialize.

Card games were just one example.  The point is that when you are with friends, find something that everyone can do together and enjoy.  The summer camp counselor I spoke with said that a lot of times he would end up drawing together a bunch of kids that normally did not "fit in" to another group and they ended up forming their own social group as a result of this type of all-inclusive behavior.

Be Real and Consistent

Something else that the summer camp counselor told me was that a big key to his success over the years has been that he has always been real and consistent with his kids.  He went on to say that he goes out of his way to treat every youth the same regardless.  

My initial reaction was we always try and teach our youth this concept to which he quickly rebutted " some people dont."  He went on to explain that while many of us think that we treat everyone equally, the reality is that we show prejudices we don't even think of.  

He gave a couple of quick examples of what he meant by this.  One was how that many people when dealing with an overweight child will many times address them based on their size thinking that they are being friendly.  Phrases like "hey big man" he pointed out were not friendly and were just pointing out physical characteristics.  He then made his point more clear when he asked if we would say "hey black kid" to an British African child.

His point was being real and consistent with kids regardless of the child and this is something that could translate well to peer groups.  When you treat each other equally, you show character and instill trust.  This helps to build stronger friendships because you are known to not judge based on trivial matters.

Sometimes the simplest answers are the most appropriate.  My conversation with that summer camp leader provided some important insight on working with youth and building friendships. We take certain aspect of relationship building for granted and keeping the above simple concepts in mind could lead to stronger friendships and better relationships in group settings.

Young people's enterprise stall @ the Blaze festival which was part of Preston Guild and supported by the Cultural Olympiad

Posted on 22nd September 2012

All items were made by the young people at Clayton Le Moor youth club with the help and guidance of Sissy from the Street Style Surgery.  The young people where buzzing that they where making a profit on things they had made!

olympics london 2012.jpg

all the young people's items are all laid out, let the selling begin.

olympics london 2012.jpg

Their label was called PDQ which stands for pretty dam quick! (as all items where made in a 6 week project


olympics london 2012.jpg

Selling taking place (how exciting)

olympics london 2012.jpg

Super stylish necklaces that sold out!

olympics london 2012.jpg

Recycled books in to hedgehog letter and card holders

olympics london 2012.jpg

A very proud Sissy!!

olympics london 2012.jpg

This was all part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012 

olympics london 2012.jpg

SSS attends MADE in Britain entrepreneur festival

Posted on 21st September 2012

I attended MADE in Britain entrepreneur festival yesterday in Sheffield. I had a great day at the event watching Wayne Hemingway, Peter Jones and other successful entrepreneur's talk I even got matched up with a mentor and made lots of new contacts.

When the event had finished I went round to one of the fringe events run by MITIE where you had to pitch your business, I wasn't intending to pitch I just wanted to accompany Eliot but I did decide to stand up and pitch at the very last minute and to my surprise I won the second prize of £500, the judges said they loved my passion and companies ethos and my new ideas for expansion.  So all in all an excellent day for my company! www.streetstylesurgery.co.uk


Peter Jones inspires the room

Me at the pitch where I won 2nd prize of £500

Big thanks to Intuit for supporting me and believing in my company

Getting back on the right track with fashion - Sissys story

Posted on 12th September 2012

Have aread of Sissys insperational story here


Sissy attends a BBC event and gets all crafty

Posted on 10th September 2012

Sissy took part in a BBC learning day for a new concept called meet the crafter, where a room full of people met different crafters and got all creative with some hands on activities.  Our group designed a full costume out of old clothes and scraps of fabrics.


SSS works with CBBC's Trade Your Way to the USA

Posted on 7th September 2012

Screen-grab from CBBC's website

Our latest graffiti workshop...

Posted on 26th July 2012

This logo was created by young people from Trafford who have been on The Challenge project

Sissy Rooney key note speaker at the Franchise show

Posted on 11th May 2012

Take a peek at this article about the Street Style Surgery on the Inspire me website as our founder Sissy Rooney is a key note speaker www.inspireme.co.uk

Sissy meets a real life Dragon...

Posted on 20th April 2012

Sissy meets Doug Richards from the Dragons Den at a business event in Liverpool, he gave her some valuable business advice and even got her up on stage...!


SSS visited the Education show and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool where Richard Branson was speaking!

Posted on 21st March 2012

We visited the Education show at the NEC to see if we should think about exhibiting there next year. it was great to see all the advancements in education provisions.


The Street Style Surgery was also a winner for the Intuit100 up entrepreneur competition and won the opportunity to attend The Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Liverpool where Richard Branson was speaking!  



global congress

Now for the man himself the successful serial entrepreneur Mr Richard Branson

richard branson

Spray Painting Workshop In Manchester checkout our 1 min vid!

Posted on 5th March 2012

A really cool workshop that was run with a group of NEET young people (not in employment education or training) in Manchester

Street Style Surgery 1 min video

Street Style Surgery speaks to trend hunter.com

Posted on 2nd March 2012

Please do have a read of an interview Street Style Surgery had with trendhunter.com http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/sissy-rooney1

Read an article about the SSS on the Trendhunter website

Posted on 13th January 2012

Have a look at the Street Style Surgery's latest press coverage from TrendHunter

The Street Style Surgery meets the Singapore youth Arts Council

Posted on 14th October 2011

The SSS met up with two passionate Youth Arts representatives from the Singapore National Arts Council upon their visit to Manchester this week. The reason for their trip is to gain a greater understanding of how youth arts organisations, programmes and spaces here in the UK are successful at engaging young people in the arts (especially those at-risk)

We met at Nexus cafe and had a great discussion, it was extremely interesting for me too to hear about the way in which Singapore is welcoming this progression and is looking to develop it further by heading up a youth arts council and trialling pilot projects, maybe one day the SSS could branch out overseas and run some highly engaging creative workshops in Singapore!


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