Meeting my coach for the first time

I met my coach face to face for the first time this Saturday. And I have to say it went very well. It was a very different experience from just e-mailing with her. I think we talked about some really important things and she made a little list of things for me to work on:

From: xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 5/21/2005 6:26:44 PM
To: cindy
Subject: Creativity Coach

Dear Cindy,
We had a very productive session today. Below are what I came away with from our conversation.

* Self-talk – We talked about how you feel you are perceived by others in the artist community and how much of that is your own projection of what you think others think.

Eric Maisel’s book is called “Write Mind” and though it is aimed at writers, I think the ideas transfer to any artistic field. It is about rephrasing what you say to yourself. How you perceive yourself is how others will perceive you. Being nice and sensitive are both wonderful qualities. You can be both and still speak up for what you want. You are a designer/illustrator and what you have to say and show to the world matter.

Pay attention to older, more established illustrators at the conference and pick those who you feel are honest, open individuals. Watch how they handle themselves, how they speak, and their way of presenting themselves to their peers and the public. People who are established and secure in their fields often are willing to help younger artists.

* Plan your day – list the things that are priorities in your life and plan your day to include time to work on each. (Perdie, design work, resume’, time with family, work, relaxation, exercise, time with your dog.) Not necessarily in that order, but find time each day, or on alternate days, to spend on each of these things. It is important for you to work on your own creative goals so you do not feel you are being stunted in your art career.

* Work on finishing – You say you start projects easily, but find it hard to finish them unless you have a deadline. Set consistent, achievable deadlines.

* resume’ – everything you do that is art related should find its way into your resume’. Your work on the illustration conference board, your design work for friends’ companies, your card illustrations, your finished illustrated manuscript, your work in publishing (production), your awards and prizes, your degrees. You might look at resume’s of other designers to check the format and content.

Things to do:

* use down time for thinking about your projects. i.e., while walking your dog think of possible ways to end “Perdie”, ways to tell the story. And, while eating lunch, go over your to-do lists for looking for a design job such as updating resume’, sending updated resume’s to new sources and/or places you have sent them before (minimum six weeks after last contact), redesigning your website to include design work and creating a design statement that is as good as your illustration statement.

* practice speaking up for what you want – You are relevant and deserving. If you feel you are capable and want the job, ask for it.

* recognize it does not all have to be done today – Do a little on each task each day and over time, you will see the progression. You will lesson anxiety, dissappointment and negative feelings by pacing yourself.

I look forward to hearing from you,


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