Category: Coaching & Mentoring

The Hidden Dangers of Perfectionism

Let’s chat about The Artist Success Recipe. In the recipe for success, there is one ingredient which I see artists adding in repeatedly, day after day. And that ingredient is perfectionism. 

It can show up in many ways: Perhaps you find yourself resistant and hesitant to call an art piece finished, hesitant to share it with the world, because it doesn’t seem ‘good enough’.

Perhaps you have a tendency to keep tweaking, editing, redoing certain sections etc. But between you and I, we both know that the easiest way to become unhappy with your artwork is to overwork it and overthink it… 

And the thing is, we all struggle with this to varying degrees.

Perfectionism is a terrible habit and I’m popping in to remind you that it will ruin your art career! Instead of it being a form of encouragement it will become a source of discouragement. It will steal your motivation, stop you from even trying, leave you feeling disheartened, exhausted and inadequate!

As you probably already know, it is difficult to move forward with a mind full of self-doubt. When your mind is busy circling with negative thoughts, your creativity enters a state of paralysis… so you have a tendency to create nothing.

But perfectionism doesn’t haven’t to be a roadblock in your artist’s journey. 

Here are 3 strategies to help you regain control and experience the growth your passion deserves.

3 Strategies to Stop Perfectionism from Ruining Your Art Career

Strategy No. 1 – Stop Waiting for Ideal Conditions

Are you always wanting ‘better’ before you start—better space, better lighting, better supplies, better ideas, better opportunities?

Are you hesitant to get started because you are scared you might fail. Honey, believe me, I get it! 

But by waiting until everything is just right, you feel like you have a better chance at succeeding. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Because the thing that makes you better is ‘practice’. So by not starting, you’re actually denying yourself the opportunity to become better.

When you catch yourself feeling hesitant to get started, push yourself to begin anyways. – Try the 15 minute rule! 

Start something! Keep at it for 15min. If after 15min you still wish to stop then that’s fine you may do so. You attempted, and that’s what matters. But more often than not, that 15min will stretch into a longer period of time with ease because the fear of starting has eased. As one of my clients often said “Once I start, the pressure is off”.

Strategy No. 2 – Call it Finished & Move On

Yes, there will always be “one more thing” you want to change. The more you add and tweak, the closer to perfection you think you’ll be. But, be careful! You may make so many changes that you overwork the art piece.

It can happen quickly, before you realize it! All is going well and then suddenly you’ve taken your artwork to a place of non-recovery and it’s no longer what you envisioned.

Practice accepting where you are currently with your work. Call it finished! Take the lessons learned and move on to the next piece. You are that much closer to mastery.

Call it finished and move on!

Strategy No. 3 – Accept the Gap

How often do you create something that you don’t like? And how often do you compare your work to that of others – and then subsequently come to the conclusion that your work isn’t good enough?

Naturally, as artists we focus heavily on what we want our art to look like. But there is a gap between where we are now and where we want to be. Our current skill level isn’t yet in line with our ambition (Totally normal! That’s what causes us to strive for better).

But!! We focus on this gap so much that we unravel our artistic confidence and lose sight of the bigger picture.

Yes, you will fail at times to meet your expectations — Perfectionism won’t serve you here. 

As I always tell artists, your failures, the art pieces which you deemed to be unsuccessful actually have the greatest  value. They teach you lessons, and it is those lessons that enable you to create the successes, they are what enable you to create your masterpieces and close the gap.

So don’t let perfectionism lead you to cease creating, embrace the gap and keep moving forward.

Regain Your Power

Print out these 3 reminders and post them in your studio space.

Perfectionism doesn’t have to be a cloud over your art and business.
You have the ability to regain your power, by being intentional and patient.
Your beautiful imperfections are all part of the journey!

The Tremendous Mistake Artists Make When Trying To Sell Online

The Marketing Mistake that’s Costing You Sales

In your attempts to sell online, over months or maybe years, you may become frustrated because it feels like no one is interested in or purchasing your artwork online. 

And I know that frustration, I’ve been there too, we all have. You might post images on social media, or on your artist website only for it to feel void of visitors and buyers. So, you begin to feel quite disheartened and discouraged. Eventually, you start to question the interest in your work, your artistic style, your prices… and you may even begin to feel that it’s just not worth the effort.

But I guarantee you that more often than not – the tremendous mistake you’re making when trying to sell online is that you’re marketing to EVERYONE.

Often, when I ask artists who they create their work for, they say “Oh I create art for everyone”…

And therein lies the problem! It’s a mistake that’s costing you sales.

Hobbyist to Professional - Top 6 Creativity Coaching Myths

The World Isn’t Your Audience

Marketing to any and ‘everyone’ isn’t a strategy. When you try to market to everyone, you’re using a scattershot method – You’re essentially throwing darts while wearing a blindfold, and hoping something lands in the right place. – That is certainly not effective. 

It is important to know exactly who your audience is (your buying audience) & invest your time and resources there specifically.

Because when you spend your time and resources trying to appeal to EVERYONE, you’ll appeal to NO ONE!

So we have to set one thing straight: “The world is NOT your audience!”. 

Now you may not like how that sounds, but it’s the truth.  And it’s a lesson that I wish I had learned as an artist much much sooner. 

As much as we may love the idea that we create our work for every human that walks this earth – it is simply UNREALISTIC and not reflective of how businesses function and thrive. By being unrealistic (in that sense) you leave a gap in your marketing. Remember, like any other business/service provider – YOU HAVE A MARKET

The clearer you can become on who that market is, the more impactful your marketing and sales strategies will be.

To Sell Online – Find Your People!

Your art sales will only increase when you begin promoting it to the right people!

Based on what you make, there’s always going to be a market that is looking to buy your work. It’s critical that you take out time to understand who your audience is, so you can tailor your marketing and sales strategies accordingly.

Why make selling your artwork a guessing game? It makes the process of selling easier from start to finish

Your target art collectors are out there! So it’s time you find your people and turn viewers into buyers!

Connect with me on instagram where I share frequent tips on how you can level up your art business.

Lady packaging artwork - The Tremendous Mistake Artists Make When Trying To Sell Online

The Gap We Just Can’t Get Around

Fear & Failure – Our Two Companions

Quite some time ago while reading through a forum, I came across a post entitled “Afraid of Failure”. Curiosity made me click on it immediately – because fear and failure are pretty much prerequisites for success (I call them our two companions)

Because if your dreams don’t scare you somewhat then they aren’t big enough and if you never fail, then when will you learn?

But! I understand why we wish to avoid them – fear and failure simply don’t feel good.

When I clicked on the post it read as follows:

“Hello, I haven’t been on for ages as I haven’t painted anything for nearly 6 months now. I’ve given myself various reasons… But underlying it all the truth is that every single painting I’ve ever done has been a struggle. A struggle of not knowing if it’s going to work.

I spend hours and hours trying to get my paintings to turn out as I envisioned and there are only a couple that I’m really happy with once finished. Also, I’ve just started a commission and I already want to give up. Since I’ve taken such a long break from painting, I wonder if I’ve lost what ability I had before.

Do other artists feel like this and if so what do you do about it? I wonder if I should just give up for good if it makes me feel like this?”

Upon reading this, my heart really went out to the artist because I know that feeling all too well; what artist hasn’t felt that! 

I felt compelled to address this because something important has been missing from discussions in the fine art industry – something that successful artists don’t talk about enough.

And that is – WHAT GROWTH LOOKS LIKE

Image of a Gap/Passage

The Gap We Just Can’t Get Around

I’ve been thinking this week about our journey as artists…

There are certain truths about our journey, which shall remain a fact despite how difficult they may be for us to take in. One of those truths is that you’re not going to become a master overnight.

You’re not going to master your art form in one day, one year, and probably not even in five years… yes, those are those truths we don’t quite like to hear.

Whilst we would love to think otherwise, preparing yourself for these truths, and what it requires to be a successful artist gives you sufficient inner strength to deal with the journey ahead.

For a large part of your career, there will always be a gap…
A gap between your ambitions and the reality of your skills.
The gap we just can’t get around!

Even once you’re established, you’ll encounter this whenever trying something new. Like anything else, progress and mastery take TIME.

We All Have to Go Through It!

It’s moments like this that I believe it’s important to share with you what growth REALLY looks like behind the scenes. For the most part, the artwork you see published on my website are what I consider to be my successful pieces. But what you don’t see are

  • the pieces that I sincerely struggled with
  • the pieces that challenged me beyond my capabilities
  • the pieces that I couldn’t understand and wasn’t ready for
  • the pieces that frustrated me
  • the pieces that remain unfinished
  • the pieces that made me feel as though I wasted time and materials
  • the pieces that went straight from the easel into the trash

… the many… many… many pieces.

This is what growth looks like. It is THE GAP between our reality and our ambition. THE GAP shall very well exist and we all have to journey through it, ain’t no gettin round this one!

Woman Looking off Into the Distance

But in that gap, doesn’t have to be a source of frustration or disappointment! – In fact, it’s your greatest asset. – It is what fosters growth and it’s where we find our most valuable lessons. I’m going to show you what I mean.

Here is a glimpse into what the GAP has looked like for me over the years. Do not doubt for one moment that even the most successful artists haven’t navigated through the GAP.

Navigating The Gap

For a large part of your career, there will always be some form of a gap between your taste/ambitions and the reality of your skills. Even once you’re established, you’ll encounter this whenever trying something new.

Years ago, I remember expressing how frustrated I was with my work to my mentor whose work I absolutely admired, and she said to me: “Vanessa, I’ve been painting for almost 50 years, what you see before you took 50 years of continuous practice and learning… if it was easy I would have been painting like this from day 1″.

Of course she wasn’t saying that I had to wait 50 years, but she was putting into perspective the amount of TIME she had put in compared to what I had. It is THE GAP that no one tells us about – no one tells us what growth really looks and feels like. Growth will involve frustration, disappointment, confusion… growth will be a PROCESS.

We can often become very discouraged when our ability doesn’t match our vision that we lose sight of the bigger picture.

There’s great wisdom in accepting the difference between expectations and reality. You will fail at times to meet your expectations —but as I always tell artists, those failures, those art pieces which you deemed to be unsuccessful actually have the greatest  value. They taught us lessons, and it is those lessons that enable us to create the successes, they are what enable us to create our masterpieces

As artists, the most important thing we can do is to do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work. It is only by going through a volume of work that we’re going to catch up and close THE GAP. And eventually, the work you make will be as good as your ambitions.

Do the work, be patient and enjoy the journey!
The gap is closing, whether you see it or not!

The #1 Thing Collectors Want More Of

The Challenge of Selling Fine Art

For many artists the challenge comes not in creating art, but selling art. Many artists will note that sales remain the most challenging aspect of their business. You work hard to create beautiful portfolios and bodies of work, but securing the sale feels like throwing darts at the wind… and hoping something sticks.

When you spend your precious time and materials creating, it can feel absolutely disheartening when sales feel non-existent. Your work has immense value to you, yet it can feel as though it is not valued by others. 

As a result, you may resort to discounting your prices, holding numerous sales and truly undervaluing your work just to see some results. 

But you know in your core, these are not the kind of results you’re seeking.

Doing business as an artist comes with challenges. Essentially, it can feel as though you’re selling a product that people ‘want’ and for the most part don’t ‘need’. But in reality your audience does need it, and it’s up to us, as artists, to help our audience understand why. And once you connect your art to your audience’s needs, you’ll see a different response.

The #1 Thing Collectors Want More Of

This may come as a shock, but I promise you that your art collectors don’t want more sales or discounts (they can find that at Walmart & Target). The surprising #1 thing that art collectors in fact want more of, is YOU!

Art collectors want to know more about you, your story, your purpose, your journey, your vision. 

Who are you as an artist? What value and impact does your work bring to this world?  Those are questions that we as artists should get excited about and answer with EASE! Because that’s where your value is. There is no other artist on this earth with your story. 

Even if we pick up the same materials, even if we have the same experience. – No one else can do what you do with the same vision. Therein lies your superpower.

Art Collectors Don’t Want Just Another Pretty Picture

Over the years, what I learned from exploring this deeply is how important it is for artists to be able to understand and communicate their value. 

Because if YOU don’t know what it is… How is anyone else going to know?

And when you don’t know, you miss out on this huge opportunity to say HERE I AM – Here is what makes me different from every other artist out there.

Otherwise, at the end of the day, your work is just another pretty picture (like the millions of others out there). 

Do you really want to just be another pretty picture? You work too hard for that!

Art collectors don’t want just another pretty picture, they want to know more about your value, purpose and impact! The #1 thing collectors want more of is YOU!

Art Collectors Don't Want Sales & Discounts

Yes They Care!
And They Are Hungry For It!

Many artists tell me that they feel no one will truly want to hear the “WHY” behind their artwork. No one will want to really hear about their vision. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!

When you allow collectors to connect with your art beyond the artwork itself, you create the type of value that is priceless. And very quickly you find that the focus of the collector shifts from your price point to the value of what you’re contributing to the world. – And that my dear is where artists begin to strike gold!

So it’s time to show up! – share your value and impact. We each have a place. Even if we pick up the same materials, even if we have the same experience. – No one else can do what you do with the same vision – and therein lies your superpower.

So let’s do it! – The #1 thing collectors want more of is YOU! 

It’s time to increase your sales by Leveraging your Artistic Identity! If you feel as though your audience doesn’t understand your value and you;re not seeing the results you’ve hoped for then join me in the LEVEL UP Artists Coaching Program. 

Let’s build greater creative and financial fulfillment into your art business by leveraging your artistic identity authentically. 

Your heart will feel a sense of revival!

Yes They Care! And They Are Hungry For It!

You may feel that no one will truly want to hear the “WHY” behind your artwork. No one will want to embrace your vision. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!

When you allow collectors to connect with your art beyond the artwork itself, you create the type of value that is priceless. And very quickly you find that the focus of the collector shifts from your price point to the value of what you’re contributing to the world.  

And THAT my dear is where artists begin to strike gold!

So it’s time to show up! – share your value and impact.
It’s time you harness it, and leverage it!
We each have a place and purpose. 

So let’s do it! – The #1 thing collectors want more of is YOU! 

5 Steps to Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

Right now working as a professional artist alongside another career may seem impossible. But I can indeed confirm it is feasible, not just for others, but for YOU as well!  We often hear of artists making dramatic shifts, suddenly quitting their jobs to become full time artists. Whilst that may be the goal for some, it is not always feasible nor desired by all. 

And that’s ok! Success has multiple paths!

Some artists simply take a job to pay the bills. Others wish to pursue full-time meaningful careers alongside their art. Many famous creatives took pride in their 9 to 5 work and kept at it even as they wrote and painted the masterpieces we know today. Artists have happily and successfully established art careers all while working full-time. 

If that is your chosen path too, then I’m here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this and I’m going to share with you the strategies that make it work.

5 Steps to Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

5 Steps to Building an Art Career While Working Full-Time

1. Get into the Right Mindset!

Before we go any further this is numero uno folks! You need to get into the right mindset. Talk the talk that supports you, not that which hinders you. Declare today “I am an artist!” Say it aloud and post it somewhere in your home as a reminder. If you don’t consider your art as a ‘career’ as opposed to a ‘hobby’, then it will never grow beyond that. Consider the ways in which you can foster positive thinking.

2. Develop A Creative Practice

If you found your way to this post, then you’re likely familiar with the challenge of building an art career while working full-time. After a full day of work and then tending to your other responsibilities such as family, you may feel as though there is no time no space in your life to truly build an art career. 

You don’t need eight hours a day everyday to be an artist. Many artists simply create ‘in between’. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s an approach I too have used enabling me to create beautiful collections. 

Your creative outlet is key to your happiness and fulfillment. And we know that in order to be an artist, you MUST create art.

How can you do that in a busy life? – You must build a creative practice that is tailored for YOU and your lifestyle. Developing a creative practice is the secret that helps successful artists to remain creative and productive!

3. Trust in Your Microsteps

Be intentional with your efforts and start super small, micro small… SO SMALL that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to not do it! For example, you may say, “I’m going to sit at my easel for 15 minutes every other day this week and work on this specific section of my painting”

It’s so much easier to get started when the goal is reasonable and achievable. Breaking down your big creative goals into small bite sized tasks will make things feel less! Everyday those small.

4. Let Go of Perfectionism – Do What You Can with What You Have

A huge inhibitor of creativity on an already busy brain is perfectionism. You may be thinking,

  • I’ll wait until I figure it out…
  • I’ll wait until I have more space…
  • I’ll wait until I have time…
  • I’ll wait until my kids are older…

But at the core of perfectionism, is fear. By waiting until everything is just right, you feel like you have a better chance at success. This sounds harmless until you accept that deep down it’s really an excuse. 

Yes, I said that and I mean it – it’s a hard truth. You are scared to get started because you are scared of the possibility of failing. But remember, start small! Start sooooo small that failing is not a factor. You will most likely find that once you start something, the process isn’t so scary after all! You can grow your practice as you determine what does and doesn’t work for you.

5. Prioritize & Protect Your Time

I bet your employer expects you to show up on time, refrain from excuses, and fulfill your tasks to the best of your ability. Sounds correct, yes? We’ll let’s reverse that now. Are you ready to hold yourself accountable to your art, in the same fashion for the sake of your passion?

Try your best to block out distractions during your creative time. Turn off your day job email and notifications off. Let your family know that you’re about to start creating and would appreciate some quiet time to focus. By prioritizing and protecting our time, we can build amazing art careers while working full-time.

We already know, that if you don’t develop your own agenda, then you’ll end up working under someone else’s agenda!

6. Find a Coach to Support You & Keep You Accountable

Finding a mentor or a coach is one of the greatest career boosters. It’s rewarding when you have someone whom you trust to guide you along your journey. Coaches who have been through the process before can offer you weekly accountability check-ins, provide constructive feedback, share knowledge and so much more.

Much of my achievements would not be possible without the fabulous women who supported me and nurtured my passion along the way. They truly urged me to grow and learn without fear. This is one of the reasons I now love doing this for other artists.

Building an art career while working full-time is not impossible!

Want support from someone who has first-hand experience?

Want support from someone who will be just as passionate about your goals as you are?

Join Me – Let’s Build Your Dream

In retrospect, these were CRITICAL to my development, and looking back, had either one been missing, my journey would have been far less fulfilling.

If you’d like to make 2022 the year you stepped into your superpower, consider joining me in the Level Up Program!

  • Let’s get you into the right mindset 
  • Let’s develop a creative practice tailored just for you
  • Let’s start making microsteps so that you can begin taking huge steps
  • Let’s let go of perfectionism
  • Let’s prioritize and protect your time

You deserve to find greater success in your passion, and I’m here to support you!

The Work Life Integration Quiz – When Time Feels Like Your Enemy

A Different Perspective

No matter your age, career type or household responsibility, you’ve probably asked yourself the age-old question: is it ever possible to juggle work and home life effectively and to achieve work life balance?

Well my dear, unfortunately everything they told you about work-life balance is a LIE!

Your work affects your life and your life affects your work. When we pour all of our time and energy on one side of the scale, it’s unlikely that we will have any time or energy remaining for the other side of the scale. It never really seems to level out… it doesn’t work that way!

Right now you may be separating your work and passions completely. Perhaps you reserve your life/passion for evenings and weekends only. But it’s easy for those evenings and weekends to go amiss and we don’t experience the level of creative fulfillment we desire. As much as we’d like to draw a distinct line between the two, it’s just not practical in today’s world. As a result, we end up feeling stressed and frustrated.

But hang on, there is hope! I’m going to share with you an awesome concept called “Work Life Integration”. Work-life integration aims to unify your personal and work life in a way that complements both streams.

What’s Your Score? Take The Quiz & Find Out!

Take my Work-Life Integration Quiz, to determine whether you’re about to BURNOUT or LEVEL UP!
Once you know your score, you’ll also receive my complementary Work-Life Integration Roadmap for Busy Artists!

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn’t Selling

Is Your Artwork Collecting Dust?

Today I’m sharing the Top 6 reasons your artwork isn’t selling so that you can stop going in circles and finally see results!

You’ve spent hours putting your blood, sweat and tears into a new body of work and sharing it with the world, only for it to sit and collect dust in your studio or home. The traction and response hasn’t been what you wanted or expected.

Our work as artists is an extension of ourselves. So naturally it can feel very disheartening.  You may be feeling as though there’s no point in trying. Through discontent you have even resigned yourself to saying you’re happy to remain a hobbyist and don’t want to reap the rewards of your effort. 

But why sell yourself short and deny yourself of your dreams?

Let’s figure out where things may be going wrong so that you can find success in what you love most!

No matter how great your work is, there are a number of factors, both inside and outside of your creativity practice that will impact sales. The reason your art may not be selling is likely a series or combination of these factors. So, if you aren’t seeing the return you’re hoping for, you could be making one of these 6 common mistakes:

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn’t Selling

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn't Selling - Woman Sitting Thinking

1. You’re Disorganized & Have No Plan

I see it time and time again! You want to sell your art, you want to create either a primary or supplemental stream of income from art sales. You know EXACTLY what you want. – However, you have no plan! You haven’t defined the HOW.

This is what I call ‘the big lie.’ Because what on earth is a goal with no plan?

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to put a comprehensive sales strategy together that is intentionally designed for YOU.  Forget the template approaches many of the online DIY courses have sold you,. It’s important that your strategy be tailor made for your style of work, your audience and your preferred communication styles.

2. You Don’t Leverage Your Uniqueness

 Try to envision your work online like a catalog.

  • Does it seem like a collection of random thoughts?
  • Does it feel as though each piece was done by a different artist?
  • Can we easily understand your value and the impact of your work?

Within each artist, there’s a uniqueness that no one else can replicate. That uniqueness is the power of your artistic identity. If you do not harness it, and leverage it your audience may have difficulty seeing your value and how you distinguish yourself from the sea of artists.

3. You Don’t Value Your Work Correctly

 It’s possible that your art might not be selling because of a lack of exposure, but if you’ve wholeheartedly been putting your artwork out there, and your work still isn’t selling, it could be a reflection of your prices.

Pricing art can be very challenging. The art industry has various markets. These markets range from high end fine art which is known to have very high price points, to lower priced art and everything in between.

What price point will you be selling at? Have a look through your portfolio and the pricing lists of artists creating similar work. Decide where you’d like to position yourself. Have you tested this price point to determine its validity?  Have you selected selling venues/platforms that are representative of your prices? If you have a few sales at your current price point, then you’re on the right track.

 Once you’ve identified the correct pricing strategy for you, you’ll be well on your way to increasing sales!

4. You’re Using the “Build it & They Will Come” Strategy

You’ve heard the term “build it and they will come.” Well, that doesn’t work in art so throw that idea straight into the trash! You can not simply post new art and expect it to fly off the shelves.

Unless buyers are familiar with your work and specifically seek you out, chances are, they won’t find you. Often, we’d love to tuck ourselves behind our easel and focus solely on creating. However, it’s necessary to actively market your work to help people find you. Consider building a marketing strategy that allows you to showcase your work, build your artist brand and reach potential buyers. Your strategy may include your website, social media, guest appearances/talks, events etc.

6 Reasons Your Artwork Isn't Selling - Woman Holding Paint Pallet

5. You Haven’t Truly Identified Your Market

It doesn’t matter how great your artwork is if you’re marketing it to the wrong people in the wrong places. Having a marketing strategy that doesn’t align to your audience is the same as having no marketing strategy at all! This is a critical aspect of your sales strategy. 

  • Who is your ideal buyer? 
  • Where might you typically find them? 
  • What is their buying power? 

Take time out to think about your answers to these questions and then factor it into your plan.

6. You’re More Invested in Reasons than Results

You can have reasons or you can have results, but you can’t have both! I first heard those words recited by motivational speaker Les Brown

When we fill our minds with excuses and limiting beliefs, then we’re simply going to end up with reasons. However, when we make decisions and take actions that supports the life we’re trying to create, we get results.

Even though you may not see the progress happening over days, weeks months, one thing is for sure, the results will come!

Do you want to be more invested in reasons? Or do you wish to be more invested in your results?

It’s Time to Level Up!

These 6 mistakes can render even the most beautiful of portfolios undiscovered and void of sales.

It’s one thing to sell a couple works of art here and there. But it’s another thing to build a long-term, sustainable art business that supports your passion and gives you the financial freedom to live the life you want.

If you’re ready to clear the table of these 6 mistakes and see the results of your effort, I’m here to help! Let’s chat about how you can develop an authentic marketing strategy that brings your greater creative fulfillment and financial reward simultaneously.

Why Artists Are Using Coaches to Get Ahead

I never knew how much a creativity coach could make a difference in my life and work until I had one. I went from never having time to create to making time and developing a body of work. And I went from a confused and discouraged hobbyist to a passionate and determined professional artist!

And there’s absolutely no reason you can’t do the same!

Creativity Coaching is somewhat new to the art industry, but many artists have learned quickly that having the right support is a game changer.

  • So what exactly are artists looking for when they turn to creativity coaches?
  • What makes creativity coaching worth the time and financial investment?

Here are the top 5 reasons why artists are using coaches to get ahead:

The Top 5 Reasons Artists Are Using Coaches to Get Ahead

1. Safe Space

Artists love creativity coaching is because it offers a safe space.

Many creativity coaches approach their work with empathy, compassion and patience. As a coach, I focus heavily on allowing artists to ‘come as they are, with what they have.’

Creativity coaching offers a gentle, heartwarming experience that will enable you to make decisions and strategize without judgment.

Many artists are often hurt by prior critiques or rejections in the brutal atmosphere of the art industry. Through coaching, we’ll begin to repair the damage to your self-esteem and bring your focus back to the passion you love.

2. Expertise

The art industry is a challenging one to navigate.  Artists are expected to fill so many roles: creator, inventory manager, marketer, accountant, sales expert, speaker etc. The list goes on and on. So it’s no wonder artists come to the realization that they can’t solve every problem on their own.

Having the help and guidance of a professional, someone who has been in your shoes, can make the journey easier and more rewarding. That’s where a creativity coach comes into the picture. Coaches, like myself, are trained not only to help artists with business challenges but also challenges surrounding the creativity process.

3. Support

  • Do you feel as though you’re traveling solo on your art journey?
  • Have you had difficulty finding the level of support that you need?

Maybe you’re feeling that if you had someone who truly understood, you could make that next big leap with greater confidence. Support is something that all artists crave, and it’s probably the top reason that artists choose to work with me. Time and time again, my clients have told me that I’m more of a partner than a coach. And that’s because, when we work together, I’m sincerely invested in your development and success.

Artists can do amazing things when their creative potential is fostered and nurtured. That extra level of support means more progress, faster results, bigger reward.

4. Strategising

The common theme among coaches is that we help you see things that you can’t see in your own business and practice. In an entrepreneurial field like the visual arts, figuring out how to achieve your goals is hella difficult! Artists often find themselves spinning in circles, putting in long hours and getting nowhere.

Creativity coaches ensure that you’re on the right plan for you! By identifying the obstacles standing in your way, a coach will help you define the strategies to overcome them in an effective and timely manner. You don’t need to waste time and energy with guesswork.

With the right support, you can be intentional with your planning.

5. Organisation

Do you feel as though your artistic life looks like an overused paint palette? Stuff is just everywhere, it feels chaotic, theres no strategy, no plan, and results are far and few in between…. Artists often come to coaches because they feel overwhelmed and need to restructure their processes and practices.

Perhaps you’ve come to the realization that in order to get better results you need to sort a whole lot out!

  • Develop sales skills
  • Build a routine & creativity practice
  • Plan an exhibition

There’s s so much that a creativity coach can help you with.

Are You Ready for A Creativity Coach?

Of course, investing in things like books, residencies, workshops, and educational programs will enhance your career. But sometimes it’s best not to go it alone. Successful people in all fields know that they need to ask for help.

With coaching support, you’ll travel an exciting journey as you close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Your creative work will thrive, and we’ll build the foundations for your successful career while building ambition and fearlessness simultaneously!

Even if you’re not eager to dive into the deep end of the ultra-competitive market, you don’t have to stay on the shoreline!

Interview with Halla Shafey – The Globe Magazine

The Globe Magazine

Spring 2021 Issue

Interview with Halla Shafey

I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Halla Shafey, fellow pastellist and award winning artist for the IAPS Spring 2021 Issue of the Globe Magazine.

Vincent van Gogh once quoted: “One can speak poetry just by arranging colours well”. The work of Halla Shafey shows us just what Van Gogh envisioned as he uttered these words. When you look at Halla’s work, your eyes travel rhythmically across her paintings. Her bold beautiful strokes of colour act as visual poetry, creating a vibrant liveliness.

From a young age, Halla was raised to have an appreciation for the arts. Her father, an economist, encouraged her to pursue art projects and bought her colouring books. She often accompanied her mom to nearby markets, selecting fabrics and textiles which found their way into Halla’s home.

The infusion of colour within every corner of her home contributed to Halla’s innate sense of colour. As a result, it also fueled her creative aspirations beyond her wildest dreams.

Decades later, we still see evidence of the textiles and markets from Halla’s childhood that have lived on in her work.

Being selectd by IAPS to carry out an interview with Halla Shafey was such a joy and honour.  Halla’s genuine support for women artist and positive energy are such a wonderful contribution to this world along with her vibrant artwork.

You can read my article and interview with Halla in the IAPS Spring 2021 Issue of the Globe Magazine! The Globe magazine is a wonderful resource for pastellists and artists worldwide.

Negative Self Talk

You’ve Got to Navigate The Storm

Despite our best efforts there are times that we are our greatest hinderance. This hinderance comes from a habit that destroys sooooo many art careers before they even talk.  It’s the habit of negative self-talk.

When I first begin working with an artist, it often saddens me to hear how seldom they see the brilliance of their ideas or the importance of their work in this world. And all of this because we are often controlled by our relentless inner critic. Self-doubt and negative self talk are often protective mechanisms that we developed to keep us safe from rejection and abandonment.

Because we don’t want to risk rejection, we use negative self-talk to talk ourselves out of participating, experiencing, and trying.

You see our minds put up a red flag the minute we see that there is a risk, a risk of a bruised ego, a risk of feeling down. And you can’t blame it right? If you were steering a ship, wouldn’t you want the captain to steer around the storm as oppose to through it?

But growth and opportunity don’t work that way!

Recognizing Negative Self Talk

As an artist that has exhibited internationally and been juried into a number of shows, there were a lot of risks that I had to take. Those risks came with so much negative self-talk:

  • I’m wasting my time
  • The judges won’t appreciate my type of work
  • I still have so much to learn
  • The art industry is too hard
  • I’m just not good enough

Where would I be if I let those thoughts govern my decisions… I wouldn’t be far at all, and that feels just as scary as not taking the risk at all!

If these statements sound familiar, negative self talk may be holding you back and making life a lot harder than it needs to be. But knowing that this might be the case is immensely important.

Because once you see it, you have a greater chance of changing it.

It’s Not Easy! But It Gets Easier!

Perhaps in life you learned that it was safe to follow a specific narrative. Maybe you were heavily influenced by the thoughts of family and friends. You may have experienced events in your life that influenced and, in some cases, scarred you. While you can’t change those experiences and influences, what you can do is learn to manage negative-self talk for the sake of your passion.

Because negative self-talk is where dreams die, it’s where art careers are destroyed before they even begin. And that’s not the road we want to travel

With awareness, practice, self-care, and compassion, you can change your thoughts and beliefs. Your thoughts and beliefs shape your behavior, and that shapes your experiences in life.

It’s not easy, but it gets easier!

Reducing Negative Self Talk

Can you reduce negative self-talk? Yes, absolutely! Will everything change overnight? Usually, no. But with time and practice, things will absolutely change. It did for me. Now that’s not to say that I don’t have days when I’d rather stay in bed and go ostrich style, but they are a lot fewer and far between.

Setting yourself free from the confines of your own limitations feels like a heavy weight is removed. Once you start learning to take control of your thoughts you take control your life.

Here’s How You Can Start That Process

Recognize: On average, we have up to 80,000 thoughts a day, and most of those, we aren’t even aware of. Listen to what you are telling yourself and the labels you impose upon yourself. Becoming aware of what you say is one of the most important steps.

Examine: Once you get more familiar, with some of the stories you’re telling yourself, try to examine it a little further. What is really behind this voice, where did it originate? Is it trying to protect you from something? What are you actually afraid of? Perhaps there is a way to address that.

Rephrase: Try to rephrase negative beliefs and thoughts into empowering thoughts.

  • Turn “I can’t do it” into “I can do whatever I set my mind to with practice & effort”.
  • Turn “I’m wasting my time” into “With time and dedication I will see the results”
  • Turn “I still have so much to learn” into “The beauty of the journey is in the growth”
  • Turn “I’m afraid of what they’ll say” into “I’m proud of myself for taking the risk to share my work with the world”

I guarantee you that if you continue to recognize, examine and rephrase – negative self talk will eventually lose its power over you!

When You’re Called To The Table

When you are called to the table, and you’re called to grow in some form, starting a business,
giving an artist talk, presenting our creative work to the world, self-doubt and negative self-talk inevitably will show up.

But it doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your goals and living the creative life that you desire.
There are tools and strategies to manage this, and I look forward to sharing more of these along the way.

If you’d value greater support, you in managing negative self talk and
bringing your creative pursuits to the forefront, I’m here to help you!