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About Me

"I am an Artist, a playful creative, presenter, workshop facilitator, arts organiser and award-winning festival director with many years’ experience developing and leading community arts engagement projects and co-directing festivals. I specialise in arts engagement and provide participatory, inclusive arts events and workshops for all ages, creating community through arts by encouraging the spirit of creative playfulness in my community.

"I aim to inspire & share through creative communication & my motto is Love Life, Life loves you"

My workshops and events are vibrant, colourful, fun and my ‘inspire & share’ ethos ensures a space where people feel free to communicate their thoughts, exchange ideas and share stories while learning a transferable creative skill or being part of a creative event. When we tune in to that spirit of playfulness we can feel joy, we can feel connected and we can smile.

 

The Beginnings...

While home-educating both my kids, and working part-time, I felt a creative calling to share my playfully creative vibes & began facilitating multi-disciplinary inclusive arts workshops for community groups in the London Borough of Sutton in 2008. I instantly realised the value of creating a welcoming space for imagination to flow 'without judgement' and of bringing a joyful smile to people's faces through creative play.

This early experience shaped the inspire and share ethos which permeates my creative practice, from design to delivery of multi-disciplinary art projects, from project management to networking and collaboration. Enthusing, empowering and enabling participants to use their, in some cases, dormant creative abilities for self-expression, never ceases to lighten my heart.

 

I went on to develop a touring community art project, SamiArt & The Silk Road and used silk painting as the playful, colourful, medium to inspire imagination, creativity, conversation. The Silk Road project strengthened my belief that the arts have the power to transform lives and communities, to create unity through diversity, to open the door to dialogue.

For this reason, I spent two years coordinating a Community Art Space in an empty shop unit in a local shopping centre, initially exhibiting my Silk Road projects and offering free workshops, then coordinating a programme of month-long exhibitions hosted by individual artists, local arts collaborations, schools, and community groups to bring arts for all to the heart of the High St. 

 

The Middles...

Forming stronger, positive connections with the wider arts community led to several collaborative multi-disciplinary projects with local artists and I received a Cultural Award for outstanding contribution to the community as part of the Team Imagineers collaboration which I coordinated, and in that same year, I co-directed Sutton's Imagine Festival of Participatory Arts.

 

In 2013 I took a voluntary role on the working party of the local arts council, shaping & overseeing its transition to Arts Network Sutton, becoming its Chair, acting as a voice for the local arts community, diversifying and increasing its membership, networking effectively and forming stronger relationships from grassroots to corporate level. I was subsequently nominated for Trustee of The Year Award in recognition of my invaluable contribution to the voluntary sector.

 

The Nows...
To balance the energy needed to 'give' I make time to focus on my own need for self-expression and work on my slowly evolving range of #SamiArtStyle finger knitted apparel and doodle art designs, check out my shop here

 

During the lockdowns of 2020 I relished an out-of-the-blue opportunity to host my own radio show, The Go With The Flow Show, on Juice Radio, which started on 18 April 2020. I said "yes!" on the Wednesday, and went live on the Saturday and the podcasts of my shows are available to listen to here

Yarn bombing became a feature of 2021, as did various installations of my motto #LoveLifeLifeLovesYou and you can read more about all that on my news & blog page

Samia Tossio
Artist & Playful Creative
 
 
 

I've been playfully creative for...

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To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

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