Coaching is a practice of active listening and dynamic thinking. The process enables someone to hear their thoughts out loud and find new insights and actions.
Artists make work alongside the demands of admin, showing, and often other jobs. Coaching provides a supportive space in which to work out what matters – now, next, and in the long term; to open up possibility and hold uncertainty; to overcome doubt and stuck-ness, to develop new strategies for organising time and getting things done; and to better understand how, where, when to make work visible.
Coaching was immensely useful and invigorating.
I left skipping away after the last session, feeling more confident of where I am as an artist, and more hopeful and in control of the future. That is quite a big thing, and it was your attentive mirroring of what I said, in a non-judgemental way, that worked so well for me.
Coaching feels like a precious time and space to question, explore, consider and think. Sometimes this space is big and broad, sometimes small and detailed. But in both instances, it would be characterised by attention, energy, focus, care.
I like the way you are drawn to resonant phrases or words, which you then reflect back to me. We seem to use these as ‘hooks’ from which I can explore an idea. I have noticed my behaviours changing subtly by using these hooks in my day to day. What is so powerful is that they use my own language.
Coaching has given me an increased sense of clarity and agency. The sessions are consistently valuable and illuminating. Not only has my thinking around my work become more incisive, I have also become much more comfortable in the way that I talk and write about it.
I remember the feeling of a moment of clarity experienced within the sessions. That feeling is useful as a touch point when finding myself spinning – it reminds me there are ways of asking questions that produce a clearer feeling and restructure the problem. Something liberating and bell-like.
You never saw my work and that really emphasises that there is no value judgement. I think this is very enticing for an artist as it removes potential self-consciousness.
I threw you some very curved balls in this process that might have been awkward to manage but you held yourself with really elegant balance. Empathetic and professional you have been very important on my route forward through a very complicated time. Thank you very much, I think you really are very good at this.
Your astute and sensitive questions have encouraged me to question myself in a similar way.
I just want to say thank you. After every session, I feel I can fly.
I have worked with artists for twenty-five years, since 2007 as founder and director of AiR (www.airstudio.org), alongside teaching in universities and community settings. I trained as a coach with Relational Dynamics 1st in 2017 and have worked as an artist coach for a-n The Artists Information Company since 2018.
Coaching is a one-to-one confidential process. I work face-to-face at my home in Hackney and remotely through phone or video calls, usually on Fridays with some flexibility. Many artists choose to work with me at monthly intervals for 6-8 months, others more frequently and some over a longer period.
I also support group thinking using a coaching approach during project development, realisation and evaluation – recently with European Academy of Participation, Croydon Art Store, Place Prospectors.
Please email me, Anna Hart, or call 07977 094 330 to arrange a free introductory conversation.
© Claudia Janke