Collage workshop at East Croydon Cool's Winter Party

If you've followed my brand from the beginning, you'll know it started life as 'Scene in Croydon.' Croydon is where I lived when I started the business, and is still a place close to my heart. It’s a place with challenges, and an unfair negative image. But it's also a place with a strong local community and individuals doing great work to celebrate and promote the potential of Croydon.

One individual doing just that is Maddy who runs East Croydon Cool. At the East Croydon Cool Winter Party,  Maddy brought together local residents to meet, enjoy live music and discuss the hopes and dreams we all have for our neighbourhood. 

Croydon Rainbow Art Print
One of my first London illustrations. 

Maddy invited Scene In London to run a creative drop in workshop session during the event. Recent surveys of Croydon locals by art space Turf highlighted a desire for more green space, allotments, market arches as well as more ambitious ideas like uncovering the River Wandle that flows under part of Croydon. This research unearths local residents' desires for a greener, safer and revitalised Croydon. I used this research to prepare imagery for the workshop, allowing participants to create their own visions of Croydon, from the wildly imaginative to the pleasingly practical. 

Croydon architecture illustrations
Some of my illustrations of Croydon landmarks.

Croydon workshop with Scene in LondonCutting and pasting at the collaging workshop.

I love designing workshops like this, but it can be challenging. When creating a session like this it’s important to keep it simple and easy to understand, while also allowing participants enough opportunity to express themselves. My approach was to combine Scene In London illustrations of Croydon landmarks with more unusual and conceptually driven imagery of things like aqueducts, beaches, canals with boats, and crazy water slides. This then allowed me to invite attendees to have fun and play with the images, reimagining Croydon and creating an exciting vision for the area. And people didn’t disappoint, everyone really embraced their visionary side and produced really inspiring creations!
Croydon creative workshop with Scene in London

Croydon beach creative collage

Scene in London Croydon Collage
The workshop in action.

Croydon art workshop of reimaging CroydonSome of the collages from the workshop.

Croydon collage artworkGallery wall of collages reimagining Croydon.

The event was so positive and productive and it was such a joy to engage with locals about community issues. It was a rare opportunity to explore how we can leverage creativity to explore ways of solving everyday issues in the community.
All of the collaged postcards designed on the night have been handed over to Croydon Urban Room, and will contribute to an ongoing project exploring the future of Croydon's North End Quarter and wider town centre. 
I'm hoping that this creative exercise will prove valuable and continue to grow.

Samantha, Turf and Maddy at the East Croydon Cool Party
L-R B from Turf, Maddy from East Croydon Cool and me.

Thank you to Maddy from East Croydon Cool for organising a brilliant event and B from Turf for advising on previous research work and helping on the night. 

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