Before & After
Client — Ann Seago
Challenge — Revitalizing her art
Ann Seago, grand prize winner of our survey contest, spent a month being coached by Cheryl. Here’s what happened….
Ann Seago is a bright and creative woman. She works at the University of Texas and says: “I’ve been drawing for almost as long as I have drawn breath.” Ann’s goal was to start drawing again. Like so many women, once she got married and had a son, she spent less time doing her art and more time being a mom. Ann said: “I let life get in the way of my art and it’s been eating at me for years. There’s a huge hole in my life without it and yet, I seem incapable of doing something about it.”
Ann and I set out to change that. Here’s what we did during our 4 weeks of coaching:
Week #1 — Ann and I briefly discuss her desire to draw and pinpoint the following obstacles that seem to be standing in her way:
- The lack of a pleasing, physical space
- No set schedule
- A need to understand why she’s not drawing
We tackled the first obstacle by identifying a storage room in her home that could be converted into an artist’s studio. She needs to clear out the room and make it a comfortable place. To make this task easier, Ann also needs support. Here’s her homework:
- Check in with her husband about using the storage room
- Ask for his support in reminding her to make her art a priority
- Ask friends and/or family for help in clearing out her new studio
- Focus on taking action now instead of exploring why past attempts haven’t worked
This last item is especially important because we often spend too much energy on why we can’t do something rather than focus on the steps we need to take NOW to make it happen. Act first. If you can’t follow through after two or three attempts, then explore why.
Week #2 — Ann has begun clearing out the storage room and has rallied her son and a friend to help transform it into her studio. Her enthusiasm is increasing and she’s excited to get going. Next, we focus on creating the space in her schedule to draw and when we do, a new obstacle appears — fear.
As Ann gets closer to drawing, her fear says:
I wonder if I still have the talent
I wonder if anyone would be willing to pay for my art
What if I can’t choose just one idea?
Her concerns are a normal part of the creative process. We all question ourselves when we get scared. We often feel the need to attach a monetary value to our creative ideas in order to give them validity. And, most creative people are flooded with wonderful ideas — they just need to collect them in one place. Rather than resist her fear, I invite Ann to embrace it and keep going. Here’s her homework for week two:
- Finish the studio
- Purchase art supplies
- Start an idea journal to capture all her great ideas
- Set up scheduled times to draw in her calendar
Week #3 — Ann gets her studio completed and she loves the new space. She’s purchased her supplies and she’s ready to go. She even draws on her lunch breaks at work. She’s nervous and afraid she won’t follow through. No problem. To make sure Ann stays on track, she needs to do the following:
- Join a Life Makeover Group™ for ongoing support
- Pick one idea and start drawing
- Create 3 to 4 “imperfect” drawings
- Be sure to take breaks and have fun!
Week #4 — Ann decides to start a Life Makeover Group™ for artists/writers/creative types. She lists herself on our website and already has 5 interested inquiries! Their first meeting is in two weeks.
Ann’s also started her imperfect drawings and the first one is simple and beautiful. She’s well on her way and, as Ann and I finish our work together, I remind her to:
- Keep her art dates sacred
- Lean on her husband, son, co-workers, friends and her new Life Makeover Group™ members for support
- Write one page about how good it feels to be drawing again and hang it in her studio so she can reinspire herself when she feels stuck
Two months later Ann is still drawing. She’s done a terrific job of honoring her art (and herself!). Here’s what she has to say about our coaching adventure:
“This has been a wonderful experience. No guilt trips regarding the past were allowed; we immediately started working on the present and immediate future. We did not waste time focusing on why I was not doing my art but instead focused on getting me in a place where I could do it. This has really made a difference in my life. The emptiness I’ve felt by not drawing is going away now that I am setting goals for myself a week at a time!”
Way to go, Ann!