Herding Fish

coaching for artists and makers

Working with a coach can give artists space to step back and see how well your current work aligns with where you want to be.

We all exist in the overlap between our various priorities. You might have multiple projects at different stages: new ideas brewing; some that need focused production time and others that are ready to be out in the world.

Ideally these three stages are well balanced and you have the resources you need to take care of yourself and your needs as a human being at the same time.

But often our available time and attention gets used up by whatever’s urgent and we don’t often take time and space to reflect on the overall direction of our practice and how well it fits with our needs as an artist and as a person.

work with me

Coaching is a partnership, a specific type of conversation in which I listen carefully to my client’s description of what’s happening and help them get really clear about what that is, and what they would like to happen next. The process helps identify and clarify goals and develop realistic plans to achieve them.

As a coach, I’m not there to give advice. Instead I create a focused productive space for each client to explore and pursue their own thinking. This can be especially helpful at times of change, and coaching is a great framework to build into bigger projects to create focus and accountability.

Coaching starts from the present and looks to the future. It takes the position that you have the knowledge and ability to direct your own life, and offers guidance to help identify places where you’re unwittingly holding yourself back.

Working with a coach can therefore help get past feelings of being stuck, and while it can be an emotional process, it’s usually not appropriate when mental health is in crisis.

Regular 1 hour Sessions

Regular sessions are the backbone of coaching. They could be every month, 6 weeks, quarter – you decide. Explore your current position, make plans for the weeks ahead, commit to checking in to reflect on progress.

90 minute Mapping Session

Take a deep dive into plotting out where you are now and how that relates to what you what next. What needs more attention, what needs less? Set your intentions for the months ahead, and take that clarity with you.

Accountability Groups

Meet regularly in a small group to set goals and keep your promises to yourself. I’m currently (Spring 2022) running a group for Craft NI and planning to offer another later in 2022. Details to follow.

rates

My hourly rates follow a sliding scale of £35 to £8o depending on your resources and how many sessions you decide to undertake.

Most of my sessions are delivered on-line via Zoom, but we can work by telephone or in person if you prefer. In person work such as studio visits may incur additional costs for travel time.

Sessions are payable in advance. Cancellations within 48hrs are payable in full.

The rate is discussed and agreed during a preliminary 30 min call where we can discuss what works for you.

For each block of sessions at the funded rate I offer a free 1 hour session to an artist who could not otherwise access this support.

FAQs

How many sessions do I have to commit to?

Coaching is a process that works best over a series of sessions. I generally suggest 3-5 sessions is a good place to start.

Some people find a check-in every month or 6 weeks keeps them on track.

Alternatively you might prefer a one-off 90 minute mapping session to refresh your thinking.

What rate will I pay for my sessions?

I offer a sliding scale that takes account of your circumstances and how many sessions you’re having.

You are free to decide what rate suits you.

You may find the info on Sliding Scale Tickets at Craft Scotland useful, although they are a funded body.

What if coaching doesn't work for me?

Like most things, there are no guarantees, but if you are commited to the process you are likely to see some positive changes.

You can discontinue your coaching at any time if you feel it’s not right for you.

Can I have coaching in a group?

Coaching is a great way to support a group project or collaboration. It can create an accountability framework and take pressure off individual artists so they can focus on their creative work rather than project management.

Please email sharon@herdingfish.co.uk if you’d like to discuss how this would work for you.

I am planning group options for 2023.  Follow me on Instagram for updates, or send me an email if you’d like to know more about that.

How do I book one of the free sessions?

If you’d like to access a free session (supported by others with funding) please email sharon@herdingfish.co.uk using the subject line Pay It Forward to check current availability.

about me

I love seeing people connect with their own fire and take hold of what they want to create for themselves.

I used to be MD at the Mind Body Spirit Festivals in London and Manchester until I realised I had dreams of my own to fulfil and ran away to the seaside where I spent 3 glorious years at art school in Brighton.

Moving back to Northern Ireland in 2012, I have since supported my art practice with freelance arts admin for various organisations. My past experience as director of an SME brings a leaning towards marketing and project management.

In January 2020 I took on an interim role at Craft NI, which placed me in maker support as the pandemic hit. As everything changed, I created their weekly Plan C Newsletter to keep the local maker community informed and supported.

While delivering training courses to artists and makers, I had realised how much I enjoy helping people connect with the sweet spot at the centre of why they love what they do – because then the work of getting it done (and knowing how to talk about it) is so much easier. I planned to train in coaching and during lockdown in 2020 was delighted to complete the  programme with RD1st online.  I am a member of the Association for Coaching and have regular Supervision.

My visual art practice sits alongside and around coaching and includes hosting occasional events at my studio. This is my journey too.

 

Organisations I’ve worked with