Mentoring and coaching services

Ceri Hand Mentoring and Coaching Experience

Ceri Hand is a highly creative, dynamic and influential creative coach, leader and change-maker, with over 25 years’ experience at a senior level in non-profit and commercial arts organisations. She ran her own commercial art gallery (Ceri Hand Gallery Liverpool / London 2008 - 2014) and is an experienced arts consultant.

She has a proven track-record of nurturing creativity and talent, supporting individuals and teams to develop their own talents and deliver impactful, press generating, engaging public programmes for diverse audiences. She has conducted thousands of hours of creative coaching with individuals and groups for private clients and a range of creative charities, galleries, businesses, and institutions.

Mentoring and coaching services for arts and business professionals

Mentoring and creative coaching for individuals can include interrogating your career to date, your work, ideas, systems and processes, providing insights and reflections on how to change your career path, direction, or gain access to new audiences.

Ceri can also help support arts professionals and arts organisations with programming support, writing funding applications, business strategies, pitch documents or public realm strategies.

Ceri can also provide unique support to individuals working in other industries, providing creative insight and helping to refine mission statements, business plans, values, HR and personnel (recruitment, training, coaching, reporting to funders, boards and trustees) non-arts organisations and diversifying (income streams, products, personnel, partnerships).

Mentoring and creative coaching for individuals can include interrogating your approaches, ideas, relationships and communication style, systems and processes, supporting you to improve your impact and influencing skills.

Ceri Hand can also help support arts organisations programming, write funding applications, business strategies, pitch documents or public realm strategies.

Mentoring and coaching services for artists and creatives

Some examples of areas you could get support with include:

Artist Statements

An Artist Statement is a useful text that enables you to communicate your key drivers and line of enquiry.

A good short summary should be fresh, dynamic, unusual and clearly paint a visual picture of the ideas, media, methods and things you draw on and any key recurring obsessions that feature in your work. It should pinpoint what it is that makes your work uniquely yours.

The text will help researchers, writers, curators, collectors, gallerists and peers to connect with you and your work.

It is useful for your website and supports applications to residencies, competitions and open exhibitions.

Having great work is, of course, the priority, but the more interest you attract the more people want to find out about you, and it’s useful to have something simple that articulates some of the key factors that motivate you. If your statement is too lengthy, sounds vague, boring or like everybody else, it will affect how people read your work.

Many artists and creatives find writing about their work difficult and drawing together the complex range of ideas that are inherent in your body of work is inevitably a challenge.

Sometimes it helps to have an objective, critical eye look over your statement to see if there is a way to improve how you are communicating about your work.

During an Artist Mentoring session you can receive:

  • Objective critical feedback on your existing artist statement
  • Suggestions on how to improve the statement

If you identify that you would like help in writing the statement, that can be achieved post-session and will be charged at a day-rate, depending on how much work needs to be done.

For example, if it means writing the text from scratch, it may require further discussion, looking at more images of work or watching videos to ensure the text best represents you.

The result could be a more dynamic and intriguing overview of your work, that will also help focus your existing and developing body of work.

Portfolio Reviews

Sometimes it’s lonely being a freelancer or working in your studio. Regular discussions with artists, creative professionals and friends are useful and important, but occasionally you may want to speak in an unguarded way about your ideas, a recent body of work or your key concerns, frustrations or blocks in your work.

Portfolio Reviews are designed to support you developing your work, address key challenges and help you realise your full potential.

You may want to reconsider your style, methodologies, medium or presentation, but don’t have clarity or the initial budget to take that first step in changing course, so talking it through will help.

You may be keen to explore how best to pitch an exhibition, prepare your work for a studio visit or select the best work to submit for residencies or open exhibitions.

An Artist Mentor Portfolio Review session offers a timely opportunity to reflect on where you are in your practice or career at a particular moment, with an expert in the creative industries.

Ceri Hand will take time to reflect on and discuss your work to date and:

  • Offer objective critical feedback on your work and creative journey to date
  • Advise on challenges you are facing in your work
  • Make recommendations that will help address creative blocks
  • Provide a concise action plan for you to take away and implement

Initial mentoring sessions are a minimum of two hours, to ensure the best understanding of your work, assess the challenges and make the appropriate recommendations.

Curating and Exhibiting

During a mentoring session you can receive advice on editing and curating your work, particularly useful if you want to produce a coherent exhibition.

It may be that the gallery you are showing with requires information in advance and you need support on communicating effectively with them, such as:

  • Selecting artworks
  • Preparing project plans, schedules & budgets
  • Writing loan or consignment agreements
  • Catalogue texts, editing, design & production
  • Press releases
  • Developing associated public programme
  • Exhibition design
  • Fabrication and working with technicians
  • Coordinating transportation of artworks
  • Hanging systems and installation/de-installation
  • Organising the private view & opening events
  • Invigilation and security
  • Health and safety and risk assessments
  • Insurance

Documentation

Representing your work through images and evocative titles and supporting interpretative text will ensure your work communicates effectively. High quality, stimulating images are crucial to your success and in order to represent your work internationally.

During a mentoring and creative coaching session you can:

  • Receive recommendations for professional photographers to document your work or edit the images you already have
  • Receive support selecting work that is the best coherent representation of your practice
  • Receive support on how to present your images online and in PDF’s
  • Receive support on titling your work
  • Receive support on selecting the right images for the context you want to target or operate within

Marketing

Creatively communicating about your work requires some consideration, planning and investment of time to determine which methods and platforms are suitable for your ideas and work, whether it’s press releases, newsletters, social media or a website.

A mentoring session or online support services provided by Ceri Hand I Artist Mentor can help you find the right marketing platforms for your work and help you with the changes you need to implement to reach wider audiences.

For example, independently written texts on your work can clarify your line of enquiry for the public and are useful for submitting with applications, distributing to curators, collectors, press and showcasing on your website.

Press and marketing campaigns are crucial to the success of any exhibition or event and you can solicit advice on managing all aspects of your campaign, from key press to digital marketing.

Artist Mentor can help with:

  • Artist statements
  • Press Releases
  • Catalogue Texts
  • Exhibition proposals
  • Applications
  • Selection and editing of images that best represent your work
  • Website creation
  • Website content
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Digital marketing

Pricing and Selling

Artist Mentor can provide advice on all aspects of pricing and selling your work, including

  • Preparing your work for sale: using archival materials, framing, packaging, editing etc.
  • Preparing for a studio visit
  • Liaising with collectors
  • Pitching your work at the right price
  • Consignment forms
  • Certificates of authenticity
  • Discounts
  • Editioning

 

Making Applications

It’s important to identify how you can support your work and make time and space to develop. Being a creative means being proactive and researching and finding opportunities, that includes making time to apply for exhibition opens, competitions, residencies and funding to support and develop your practice and career.

Artist Mentor can provide the appropriate expertise to support you in this area, including ensuring you have the most succinct texts and enticing images that reflect your work at its best, enabling you to achieve better outcomes. This might include, for example:

  • Writing artist statements, supporting text or cover letters
  • Selecting and editing images
  • Titling work
  • Writing funding applications
  • Preparing budgets
  • Identifying appropriate opportunities

Reaching new Audiences

Being a successful creative means effectively communicating your ideas with another individual or group of people.

Determining who you want to communicate with is part of the creative journey, but can often get lost in the making process and the solitude of the studio or workplace.

Identifying the right audience for your work not only helps you consider the right content, medium, display and distribution methodologies, but builds your circles of influence and helps ensure a legacy for your work.

During a mentoring and creative coaching session we can:

  • Assess your work history to date
  • Identify potential audiences for your work and areas for development
  • Identify potential individuals, organisations and audiences for your work
  • Sketch a communications plan to outline key messages and methodologies for reaching new audiences
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