As a creative myself and as someone who coaches artists and creatives, I appreciate that you make LOTS of very intentional decisions as you create whatever it is that you create. For example, you choose the form(s) of creative expression you pursue, whether two or three dimensional, musical, theatrical, written or movement based. You select ideas and genres you wish to explore. You put thought into choosing materials and specific techniques. You choose to create independently or collaboratively. These few examples don't begin to scratch the surface. So much intentionality goes into making what you create as an artist or creative entrepreneur.
And yet, lots of creatives seek my coaching services because, in their words, they want to become MORE intentional. What my clients usually mean by this is that they want to become more intentional in how they make other types of decisions related to their practice, business or career. For example, they may recognize that they have a habit of saying yes to too many things or to opportunities that come along, but that aren’t necessarily aligned with their goals. They want to be choosier about what they say yes to. Together we work on creating a framework of criteria to help them become more selective. Others want to be more intentional about what they focus on and put energy into day-to-day. We work on clarifying priorities, time management and other strategies to help them work more intentionally.
Being intentional is a skill and capability you can grow. Think about how you learned to draw, paint, dance, write or whatever skills you have acquired as a creative professional. Like other skills you’ve developed as an artist or creative, it requires making a choice to learn and practice.
I’ve been working on becoming more intentional myself as I’ve built my coaching practice over the past years. Working with intention means I get to consciously choose when I work, my priorities, how I position my practice, who I work with, and how I bring creativity to my work. After decades of working within parameters of employers’ policies, schedules and requirements, I now have the opportunity to design and create the way I want to work. I choose to see it as a creative endeavour!
Learning to be intentional means choosing to take action on the things that are important to you as a creative professional. Being more intentional can help artists and creatives:
make strategic decisions about professional opportunities, projects and action steps that support our development and to reach our goals;
be more present in our work;
increase our focus and commitment to reach our goals;
bring more purpose and meaning to our work and lives as creative professionals.
This has been my experience and I have witnessed this transformation in clients who have chosen to work on building their capacity to be intentional. I would advocate that building the capacity to be intentional in all aspects of our work is critical to our fulfillment and success as creative professionals.
In what aspects of your work (or how you work) as a creative would you like to become more intentional?