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Gateways Coaching for Arts Professionals
Snapshots : Creativity and Relationships

Snapshots of Creativity and Relationships

By Barbara Bowen

Snapshots

New art career goals can bring change to our relationships, most often positive.

By following the Creative Call our relationships are often affected, especially at first. There is some risk involved. We discover new things about ourselves and our alliances. First and foremost, we must support our own forays into deeper creative expression and satisfaction in our art careers. What follows is an interesting dynamic. We notice who among our family and friends are supportive and who are not. It can be enlightening and a little unsettling to notice and manage this new territory. We are confronted with how to respond. We learn to let go of certain influences and embrace others. We must learn effective strategies for staying true to our direction while communicating our needs to significant others. Once-allies may grow distant, others may draw near. Some allies just need time to absorb our new direction. It's an interesting road that needn't be full of alienation. In fact, as an Art Coach, I have witnessed relationships become closer as a bi-product of following a creative path. Why? I think it's because when we feel free to live closer to our true Creative Core we are more fun to be around.

It's best to be mindful of what's going on.

When we venture into new art career goals, whether a seasoned veteran or a new aspirant, we can expect change. One of my art coaching client's marriage was in trouble during a particularly confusing juncture in his career as a journalist. He were able to sort out his core focus, which was to write a novel. He arranged his life so that the book could become a reality. And guess what? His marriage straightened out as a result. Creative stresses in our art careers (whether exciting or stressful or both) impact our relationships. It's important to understand what is going on. For example, it was key for my art coaching client to delay making big decisions about his personal life until he had solved his career confusion. Once he solved that, he was able to gain more perspective on his marriage. An art coach will help to clarify changes in our relationships with lovers, parents, siblings and other family members, friends, and co-workers. The art coaching process will raise questions such as: How is my Creative situation affecting my behavior? How are significant others perceiving and responding to my art career transition? Is it time to discuss issues openly or would it be wiser to wait until more clarity comes? Who has a supportive and affirming attitude toward my Creativity, goals and art career? Who does not have a supportive and affirming attitude? As an art coach, I often witness that a little awareness and wisdom go a long way toward managing our creative art career transitions.

Know your Creative Voice and who supports it.

Find ways to be in touch with your Creative Voice. Listen. It will speak louder, but only if we listen. We identify the Creative Voice by its thematic features, and we can all benefit by listening more closely. It's the Voice of fulfillment, the one that is inter-subjective, that creates diversity, seeks justice, invites, unites, is wonderful, awesome, fascinates, is connective, is increased by sharing, refreshes, brings flow, joy and creativity. Bring more people into your life who "love" your goals — the kind of souls who ask about your work because they are sincerely interested, not because they are measuring you according to their own standards of success. Identify the souls who nod because they get what you are talking about, who want to know more, who ask lots of questions because they want you to share, who offer thoughtful responses, who are willing to tell you the truth, who can guide you, wittingly or unwittingly. Be the sort of Creative friend to others that you hope they will be. "Love" their goals and see what happens. Find more of these open, non-judgmental others who care about their world and care to expand horizons with you. When you find them, give all you've got and let them give to you. •

© 2008 Barbara Bowen. All rights reserved.

Barbara BowenBarbara Bowen owns Gateways Coaching and helps artists and other professionals to master the creative process, build momentum, and take sensible risks to move careers to the next level. More »

11/01/08