How Does Art Career Coaching Work?



Clarify and Reach Career Goals Faster.

Move your artistic or creative project from inspiration to completion.

Sharpen your artist statement, bio, proposals, resume and more

Elevate your artist or design portfolio in a flat-rate, 3-session block


Gateways coaching helps artists and creative professionals to clarify new career goals, master the creative process, and take consistent actions to advance their careers. Clients are guided to discover or build upon their true creative core while maximizing career growth:

First, a career (or advisory) consultation will allow me to understand the main challenges of your particular transition, and to explain more about how Gateways artist coaching works.

Some clients want support on the outer level of presentation, marketing, and/or branding. Others want support on the inner level of creative process. Gateways Coaching is designed to work with artists and creative professionals on one or both of these levels.

Gateways is a two-step process. It has a simple framework that allows for organic movement.

Here is the best way to describe the steps:



Moving your existing career to the next level?
We will spend time as needed to fully clarify your new creative career goals. Moving forward might relate to your creative process, artist presentation, marketing efforts or a combination of these. Summarizing your current achievements will help to clarify your next steps. Our review may include:

Visual and written elements of presentation
Marketing and branding approach
Online infrastructure
Current working habits
Time management
Creative flow and resistance

The review will empower us to tailor a structure, guiding you to take new and sensible actions that will increase your momentum on the outer or inner level, or both. Universal themes are referenced, as needed, to provide deeper insight into your unique creative cycle, habits, needs, gifts and obstacles.

Struggling to choose a brand new career?
From a wide view of options, we will sift and clarify your authentic needs, values, and practical lifestyle requirements. What creative skills have you so far mastered through career, avocation, or hobbies? What activities compel you into action? In which environments, –and under what time schedules, do you thrive? How much independence does your creative spirit need? What feedback do you receive from others repeatedly?

The answers are indicators: they form the “strands” of your creative experience and expertise. I like the metaphor of a “braid.” Once the strands are clear, we begin to move them around. Intuition plays a role –it’s that touch of personal dynamism, outside the realm of formal testing. These strands begin to weave together, forming one or more solid creative career options.

The testing period is next. Clients “try on” the option(s) in a step-by-step manner, taking sensible risks for further clarification and reality testing. Momentum will build toward solid commitment, most often in one direction.




Clarification has given way to early momentum in this stage, on the outer or inner level, or both. Action has replaced stagnation. Some clients are revising presentations, employing new marketing strategies, or meeting new partners online and offline. Some are strengthening their vision, seeking further knowledge, or mastering new skills. Some are overcoming obstacles, or developing new work habits. Some are gaining a more positive relationship with discipline, or freeing themselves from inertia. Clients are moving closer to their long-range goals through incremental actions taken consistently each week, in accordance with their vision and structure.

Tools are often used, such as: listing, researching, networking, outlining, journaling, meditation, drawing, thought and attention shifting. Clients will be encouraged to use repetition and effective discipline in order to keep stretching and accelerating toward the career goals defined.

Each client works through the Gateways Coaching program in a unique way. I have worked with clients for as short a period as three months, and as long as three-plus years. Duration depends upon the client’s level of clarification at the first meeting, and upon their unique style, rhythm, and resistances.


Not to be confused with therapy, coaching is a goal-oriented process. As described above, Gateways Coaching for creative professionals guides clients to clarify goals (or options) and to implement practical strategies that will enhance their existing career, or form a bridge to the new one.




In this interview, Barbara is a guest expert on Jane Pauley’s internet show. They discuss with Jan Erickson how her creative passion to help an older friend led her into a successful design career: “Ask Jane”



“Gateways Career Lab elevated my entire presentation to communicate my artistic purpose in a cohesive tone. Better yet, in testing new venues, I sold four pieces in two weeks.”

–Frank, Artist

“Barbara helped me gain a sharp perspective on hundreds of images and I’m producing a strong portfolio targeted to potential new clients.”

–Justin, Photographer

“Barbara’s seasoned visual eye has had a major impact on my portfolio; now decidedly stronger and more cohesive. ”

–Teri, Artist

“Gateways Career Lab sent me on a path I didn’t know was possible. My goals are now clear, and my presentation and target marketing are resulting in wonderful new clients and sales.”

–Karen, Glass Artist

“Pure and Simple, Gateways Coaching works, and my photo documentary is back on track.”

–Jennifer, Photographer.

“My art career was fraught with resistance and anxiety. Gateways tools are solid. I’m now able to internalize what others see as my brilliance, and I’m happier in my work.”

–Sheryl, Senior Editor for Feature Film Trailers

“Gateways artist coaching tools made a huge contribution to my novel writing. The fear once paralyzing me as an artist is now only a twitch that I cope with easily.”

–Heather, Journalist.

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