My name is Andy Dunn
I care about creativity, creative people and being a creator.
Doing all of the things I do, with a background in Product and Furniture Design, a lot of people ask how I got here and why I do what I do.
The short answer is; I love creativity. I discovered a talent and passion for hosting and leading creative workshops and I believe there is a lot of unrealised potential in all of us. Helping to ignite those ideas and make them a reality is what excites me the most.
So officially, I’m a creator and a facilitator; I run workshops, I speak at events, I work with organisations and in schools with young people. However and wherever I feel I can make a difference, I do.
I believe in the magic of collaboration and I’ve seen how honesty and authenticity has changed my own life as well as people I’ve worked with. My first book will tell you a lot, as will this website, however, it’s all the past and the present, creating the future is what I get most excited about.
Read my story below to see how I got here.
Andy has taught me that we all have the potential to change lives when we lead authentically and with total belief in those we are leading. He is empowering, uplifting, he opens your heart. The way he believes in the intrinsic value of all human beings and total dedication to serve those he leads. He’s authentic, passionate and wholly connected. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough. He is a truly incredible person!
I admire how dynamic you are and always working towards the greater good for everyone.
You have a beautiful enthusiasm for everything you do and so talented with it!
Growing up in Newcastle I loved playing sports, drawing and being creative. I was fortunate to have a loving family and planned to be an architect or work for Disney if my dreams could came true.
A trip to India at Sixth Form College planted a seed of deeper exploration, within myself and the world around me. The charity impact project nurtured my leadership skills and helped to broaden my horizon of life at an early age. This desire to do meaningful work made an impression on me even if I know how or when I’d apply it.
After Art College, I studied Furniture & Product Design at University, a wonderful mix of creative experimentation and practical problem solving. My love for learning helped me get a first class degree and started my interest in psychology and studying creativity.
A trip to Summer Camp in America was a pivotal time for me. A contrast to life designing and manufacturing things was so welcome. This gave me ideas about a career working with people of all ages, doing something active and exciting.
This was a really hard time for me. Finishing University without a clear next step left me feeling lost and isolated. I had a nervous breakdown and a downfall of depression. Luckily, I was promoted to seek help and I started my own deep personal development work. Thanks to Mum and others, I got through.
A time of inner and outer exploration taught me a lot about myself. Learning to cope with anxiety and addressing my mental health challenges was coupled with finding a new purpose for my creative work. Accepting my deeper insecurities was a core part of my healing. This meant helping myself before helping others.
A conference in San Francisco opened my eyes to combining my interests in creativity, business and people development. It led me to organising an innovation event called Global Service Jam and gave me my first taste of facilitating events. I was hooked. From here I took classes in improvisation theatre and communication training to develop my skills and confidence.
I became self-employed partly out of necessity because I couldn’t articulate what I could do, nor could I find a company to hire me. After failed job applications, I took freelance opportunities with Future Foundations and MyBnk to work on youth training programmes alongside getting my business off the ground.
Being self-employed was an exciting challenge, the art of self-promotion, managing finances and organise my time were steep learning curves. Over the next few years, I continued to hone my skills as a workshop and event facilitator. I also managed a few design projects to support myself financially. Joining MyBnk gave me
Amongst other great projects, for 5 years and I had the privilege of working alongside expert facilitators to coach young change makers from around the world. This lead to leading and directing large scale programmes and gave me an appetite to lead my own initiatives too.
Working with thousands of people in schools, Universities and on business courses, I felt an opportunity to make a difference for others. Committing to writing a book about my experiences with mental health took me deeper into inner healing and forced my skill to focus. I decided to write and publish a book that would become ‘Feeling Lost & Finding Your Way’.
Through the process of writing and stepping back from my journey to date, I realised the many guises I wore; from writer, designer, facilitator, speaker and many more. Being in an out of work, I also felt lonely on my journey. I craved a community with like-minded collaborators that would support each other. I recognised the challenges that most creative and self-employed faced, I had an idea to put my skills to good use. The idea for Creators Club was born.
I shared a video advertising my book and opened up the conversation about mental health. This attracted a lot of people to join Creators Club as well as opportunities to speak in schools, businesses and Universities about my story. Talking about my battle with anxiety and depression led me to work for a mental health charity and opened the door to work with more big brands in the process.
Facilitating creative events are what I do best and being part of a collaborative creative community is what I really craved. In Jan 2017 I committed to running 12 monthly events throughout the year. I did this alongside my leadership coaching and promoting my first book with talks in schools, University and Businesses that cared about opening the conversation around Mental Health Awareness.
In 2017, we committed to running 12 Creators Club events in London, I continued my freelance training business working with more incredible brands and did Mental Health talks wherever I could. At this point I felt inspired to expand the reach of Creators Club but equally nervous about leading a business. As people asked to setup Creators Clubs in other cities, the time to expand had begun.
In 2018, Creators Club expanded to Birmingham and Bristol, the success and hard work continued, but so did my recurring mental hearth challenges. Better equipped to recognise my needs for inner healing, I continued to work and balance my emotional growth. The meta journey of being a creative business owner and supporting a creator community was continues to be a beautiful challenge. I work with the best people.
From here I have many ideas about how and where my time and energy will go. My passion for supporting other creative people in schools, in business and in life, is close to my heart. I trust over the coming years, my story our story will evolve as it’s supposed to. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s to trust the journey and love the process.