Professional development and creative mentoring for artists, writers and creative professionals.
- Have an idea, but not sure how to realize it?
- Want to make a change, but find it difficult to get started?
- Keen to develop your creative work or an aspect of your self and need support in creating time and space to make it happen?
- Feeling stuck and need help finding your creative flow?
Coaching can help you grow your self-confidence and creativity, improve your work and develop better communication skills. In coaching you decide on the outcomes you want, and through our coaching conversations, you work towards achieving your goals in ways that are sustainable and meaningful to you.
As a coach I believe you are best placed to develop the solutions that will work for you. I help guide you through the process of identifying and achieving your goals by listening, reflecting back what you say, and asking you questions designed to help you access your own existing resources. Sessions are typically 50 minutes long, and anything said in a coaching session is treated as confidential.
With mentoring I draw on my experience as a writer and culture sector professional with experience working in commercial galleries, as a curator in public museums and a lecturer in art colleges to advise and guide you in your own work. Mentoring can involved a mix of conversations, studio visits and crits, networking, and professional development around studio practice, work-life balance, as well as the pricing, marketing and selling your work.
I have more than 20 years of experience supporting artists and creative professionals as a writer, curator, lecturer, mentor and coach. I am a trained Relational Dynamics 1st coach, skilled in listening and providing a safe and supported space for artists and creative professionals to explore and achieve their goals. I support people to grow by helping them access their existing personal resources and develop solutions that work for them. I also draw on my expertise as a yoga and meditation teacher to help you stay present and connected to your bodily experience during sessions and as you achieve your goals.
Coaching and mentoring are often undertaken as part of publicly funded programmes including Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP); Creative Wales Awards; a-n The Artists Information Company Artists Bursaries; Danish Arts Foundation. I offer a sliding scale of fees to ensure that you are able to access coaching and mentoring, whether you are funded by a grant or an organisation, or are paying your own way.
Ellen’s gentle non-intrusive approach has been a huge help for me in steering my thinking around work and the choices I make. As a freelancer, I often feel out of control and unable to turn down work as it comes. Ellen’s approach, using the gentlest of nudges, allowed me to pinpoint my strengths and areas of interest on my own, without interference or suggestion. I came away with much clearer objectives and a new confidence in what I would like to aim for. I particularly liked her linking physical sensation with decision-making, understanding that stressful patterns of thinking have physical effects too. —Anonymous, Curator and Producer
Ellen helped me to push my practice into a direction which I am really proud of. She helped me to explore each area of my practice and to identify and define which areas I wanted to pursue the most. I felt Ellen was truly invested in our mentoring and that she had my best interests at the centre of all of her advice. I felt challenged and inspired and that I greatly benefited from her experience and expertise. I would recommend Ellen to anyone looking for mentoring. —Louise Beer, Artist
I worked with Ellen as a mentor as part of my DYCP project funded by Arts Council England in 2019. Working with Ellen specifically was genuinely transformational. I have learned a great deal and grown as an artist through working with her. The process was challenging and exciting, and has given me much to consider in terms of the ways in which I view my own practice in the future. Ellen’s influence on my work through our time together still sticks with me now. —Jez Dolan, Artist
Ellen mentored me over a period of six months, both in person and over email and phone conversations. As an emerging arts writer I found her focused engagement with my work so valuable, striking a balance between challenging me and encouraging me. Ellen’s guidance was consistently thoughtful, clear and practical, and there are core pieces of advice that I come back to time and again several years on. She encouraged me to push myself further, both in terms of my writing itself and how to get it out there; with the latter she was generous in sharing her professional experience and contacts. Importantly the process was really enjoyable too. I am delighted I had the opportunity to develop my writing under Ellen’s mentorship.
—Denise Courcoux, writer, The Double Negative Fellow 2018-19
I spent a period of 8 months being mentored by Ellen, through a mix of in-person studio visits, gallery trips, zoom chats, and emails. I remember after our first meeting feeling like she really understood me as an artist, what I was trying to do, and where I wanted to go. That understanding developed throughout her highly thoughtful mentoring, and I gained new knowledge and insight into how my practice connected to and exists in contexts of contemporary art. Importantly, she helped me develop a more holistic view of my practice. In my case, this included balancing high levels of production with periods of reflection, and understanding that in my paintings sometimes less is more. Since I have developed a much more rewarding creative process. —Joe O’Rourke, Artist
Mentoring for targeted short-term projects, such as proposals and applications:
Ellen’s expert perspective was invaluable. It saved huge amounts of time and made what is usually a painful process a real pleasure to work on.
For more information and to set up a 15 minute call to discuss your interest in coaching or mentoring contact ellendw (at) gmail (dot) com