Thursday, December 22, 2005

What a concept

If you google "creativity coaching" you'll bring up more than 24,000 pages.

"Coaching" is a concept that originated in the corporate world of human resources, team building & leadership, and has developed a wider application in the realms of personal growth, job transition or new venture startup, & creativity.

Of course, many artists hum along very well on their own, finding their muse and their audience, never missing a beat. But there are critical phases (new beginnings, transitions, inquiry) where a coach can help things along more effectively than a new class, a gallery, a cohort or counselor.
A coach's only agenda is your progress, your discoveries, your decisions, your goals and your clear sailing towards them. They home in on your most heartfelt ambition and say things like, "Let's take a closer look at this thought that's stopping you," or, "What if we did some laser surgery on these obstacles in your way?" or "What would it look like if you were to think really, really big?" and "How can we manage the anxiety this will cause?" They challenge you, provide tech support & feedback, and leave you completely in charge.

I think coaching is well-suited to artists and other creative people because there's never an "off the shelf" solution. Each session is tailor-made to your own circumstances.

Comadre Coaching is the website of Nancy Marmolejo, who's fun, breezy & well-educated at the same time. She coaches women.
Eric Maisel is a well-known coach and author of books on creativity coaching.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friendly Chaos

This notion is a direct affront to the German & Swiss DNA that I have, but it's true that chaos is always there, lurking just beneath the surface, so we might as well make friends with it.

When you think about it, isn't chaos the wellspring for all our bold, mysteriously beautiful creations?

Granted, a finished painting is usually considered to be the antithesis of chaos. Composition, color scheme, perspective, proportion, you know the drill. Trouble is, after you've worked hard to get all of those things right, you might still have a spiritless painting. Very pat. The kind of painting where you look at it once and say, "Wow, that's really good," and walk away, dismissing it from your mind & memory.

Watercolor has a special affinity for chaos. It tempts you to improvise.

Pick up a wild card, give a nod to the personal, unverifiable and unpredictable. Designate a "Chaos Appreciation Day" (or two, or more).