Hello, thanks for visiting my site. Here’s an epic story. After almost 20 years in academia, I’ve opened my wings and took flight into full-time self-employment. The 1st Nov 2019 was my first official day on the “job”!
If you know me already, it will come as little surprise that my love for creativity research and higher education will remain at the core of what I want my business to be about: how to help professionals enhance their creativity.
As a business venture, it’s got various titles associated with it. Am I now a creativity trainer, creativity consultant, creativity coach? These, and other titles, I’ve been trying on for fit; I like each of them. If business planning books’ advice is correct, then what will settle this will be who my intended market is, and how they would understand what I do. Thankfully, I now have the luxury of having the time to try things out and explore exactly who I aim to serve.
A key question I have at present is: outside of higher education, who is it that supports professional creatives to enhance their creativity? I find it useful to make the analogy between sports professionals with those working in the creative industries. The scenario is you don’t just turn up at the Olympics and do your thing; you’ve had coaching to support you, probably professionals to advise on nutrition, and if you get injured a sports physio would be at hand to get you back to health as quickly as possible. The point is this: to enable a sportsperson to achieve a personal best several professionals surround them and are called upon as an when required.
Following that analogy, what and where are the comparable coaches, physios, and dieticians for the creative industries? And, how specialist does this get? Given that I’ve been looking for creativity coaches for creatives, I’ve not easily found them. At times, it feels to me that the popular myth of creativity as an unteachable talent could be at play if such a profession has yet to be developed or is in its infancy. Indeed, why would an industry to support professional creatives exist if folk either have creativity or they don’t?
Clearly, throughout the creative industries, managers may need to take on such supporting roles (perhaps it’s part of the job as a creative director?) or one’s immediate work colleagues may help; those who work on their own likely have formal and informal professional networks to draw upon, and one hopes friends, family and loved ones are available to everyone. When that works, great; what happens when it doesn’t?
Throughout my academic career, I was lucky to have various mentors to support my creativity research. In the public and private sector, I hear of such mentorship too, sometimes this occurs formally, at other times it’s the result of sheer goodwill. I also see creative consultants (i.e. those with specialist expertise, say scriptwriting for example, who are brought in on a specific project) whose knowledge could indirectly involve coaching or mentorship for their co-creatives.
Or, perhaps this is something taken on within more generic training and coaching provision: life coaches, executive trainers, maybe even professional psychologist, counsellors, therapists? Given I dedicated twenty years of my career studying creativity (particularly around the assessment of creativity), helping aspiring design professionals become more creative, and nurturing the next generation of creativity scholarship, I’m aware that there is a specialism to creativity research and how it translates across to creative practice.
So, where do you find a creativity coach for professional creatives? Granted, I’m being deliberately vague on defining a “creative” or the “creative industries”, but if you have any ideas on the above, I’d love to hear them. Either follow one of the links below if you want to share or send an email to email@example.com.
All the best for now, and thanks for reading and following the start of my journey,