Being an artist is hard work. We face crippling self-doubt as naysayers tell us we “should have gotten a real job.” We struggle to command enough money for our art, with even aerialists being offered a mere $25-50 — or worse, exposure — to perform. Worst of all, we face a cruel philosophical question: Do we monetize our work and focus on what people want to buy? Or is that selling out?
Plus, we have to navigate the complicated world of choosing beggars, plagiarists, predatory producers, and unruly clients. Most of us don’t know how to draft a contract, pitch an editor, or write a grant. And many of us are afraid to try.
You need a creative coach. While you should lean on experts for legal advice, a coach does something even more valuable: They teach you empowerment techniques that can help you resolve conflict, create better art, and win gigs.
A coach is not the same as a mentor, who leverages their expertise to teach you new skills. Rather, a creative coach helps you unlock the creative potential you already have. Here’s what to expect from a creative coaching relationship:
What does a creative coach do?
Just like a sports or fitness coach, a creative coach keeps you on task while pushing you to win. Usually, they themselves are a creative professional who has experience in producing, curating, or editing; contract negotiations; personal branding; and the other elements that they’ll coach you on.
As with any coaching relationship, the coach will want to get to know you: how you got into your creative field, what motivates you, what presents a challenge for you, and what your goals are. If you aren’t sure of your goals, a creative coach can help you.
After you’ve established the relationship, you can expect regular coaching sessions in which you share your progress and engage in mental training. This might include journaling, brainstorming, unlearning, and other creativity-unlocking activities.
How can a creative coach help you?
Having a creative coach can help you overcome creative block and navigate feelings of self-doubt, stress, and burnout. Even professional artists can benefit from a coach who can point out areas where they’re being overly self-critical or lacking confidence.
A creative coach can also help you refine your personal branding. They do this by helping you refine and tell your story. Expect to practice your elevator pitch and networking speech so that you can effectively network with editors, curators, and other people you need to impress. Your creative coach will also help you build the confidence you need to win more gigs and better promote your portfolio.
If you’re interested in coaching, head on over to the Free Ring Circus Coaching page to get started! We have professional expertise in both performing arts and creative communications, including design and writing. We can also help you navigate logistical and legal issues. (Note: We are not attorneys.) We look forward to helping you out!