A Coaching Model Created by Karen Somers
(Development Coach, UNITED STATES)
A Coaching Practice for Creatives Development Coaching Designing The Map of Your Creative Career
An Integrated Coaching Practice
Creativity is the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration. Elizabeth Gilbert
As a filmmaker/photographer and owner of a thriving media company in Los Angeles, I have learned a lot along the way. I have an extensive background in storytelling on many platforms. My work in documentaries, television specials and broadcast and digital series has been featured on PBS, TLC, Starz, The Disney Channel, Netflix, The CW, Amazon and many more. My photo portfolio serves clients like The Recording Academy (The Grammys), The World Wildlife Fund, ABC, Universal Studios, Netflix, Showtime and more. I am an active member of the Producer’s Guild, The Television Academy, and The International Cinematographer’s Guild.
Creativity is intelligence having fun. Albert Einstein – Theoretical Physicist
I have a long history of mentoring and have come to love the unpredictable process of career development for creatives in the deeply satisfying and often volatile world of Hollywood entertainment. Developing a deeper coaching skill set was motivated by my commitment to mentoring and industry needs. Artists from all around the globe continue to gather in Hollywood to test their mettle. When I looked for a coach as my career built out, I couldn’t find anyone with expertise in the entertainment business and certainly not one with a creative background. Surviving and thriving as a working artist, particularly as a woman, is like threading a needle in a dark room with no windows or electricity. Without some sort of light to guide the way, stitching together a career can take a long time and for many, abandoned before it can be fully realized. I sought out mentors along the way that were critical to my development as a filmmaker, photographer, entrepreneur and female working in what is still a male-driven business. Had I known what I know today, the journey would have been a little less fraught with fear and more submerged in the sublime satisfaction of working my craft and pushing the boundaries of my talent.
The level of courage that it takes to maintain focus, to persevere when times get tough and to have confidence in the final product surprises many of the people drawn to a career in the entertainment business. There isn’t a map, it has to be carved out along the way by every working artist. Each career is uniquely challenging as it builds. Any solid footing is ephemeral and finding a path can be puzzling at best, soul-crushing for most. What I have discovered over the highs and lows of my own experience is a methodology for creative career mapping that I share through my practice as a Development Coach.
In my experience, working in the entertainment business takes a specific kind of courage, curiosity, focus, and productivity. Development coaching helps artists of all sorts to take a step back and look deeply into what motivates them, what trips them up and what might be working so they can accelerate their career and be more productive. My Integrated Practice is threaded through with influences from CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy using tools like visualization, powerful questioning, and effective feedback to help the client develop emotional intelligence, confidence, and courage. My background provides a real-world reference from a consulting standpoint in the very specific world of entertainment and the arts. The goal for each client is to create action by crafting a unique structure and accountability within the coaching partnership. My coaching style is goal-oriented. Identifying and triaging areas of accomplishment for clients is a critical part of this blended coaching style.
D + Discover, Delight, Direction
E + Energetic Engagement
V + Validation, Values, Versatility
E + Education, Experimentation
L + Love to Learn, Learn to Love
O + Optimistic, Openhearted
P + Proactive Perseverance
Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. Pablo Picasso
Many artists find it difficult to embrace their goals fully, often compromising before they have even begun. I encourage clients to think about their behavior and identify alternative ways of seeing the challenges inherent in their journey. Informed and effective feedback is critical to coaching sessions. Open-ended questions are designed to allow clients to form insights and make discoveries. Homework is an important part of the process. Results can range from ephemeral “ah-ha” moments necessary to creative development to physical manifestations of change and creative accomplishments like the completion of a film or a photo portfolio, landing a much-desired job or finding the funding for a new endeavor. In the arts, satisfaction, and joy come in many forms, the client will define the goal and we will work together to create the map.