"Because of Shaqe's help and TOOLS I feel a real sense of clarity and direction. I feel my process of exploration has undergone acceleration because of the coaching experience."
Name: Kate Blair
City, State: Dearborn, Michigan
Profession: K12 Art Teacher
Art Form: Visual Art
1. Where were you at when coaching began?
I felt like I was having a hard time with getting inspiration for my artworks and finding time to work.
2. What did you want from coaching?
I wasn’t sure quite what I was looking for with the coaching, but I knew that I needed something to keep the spark alive and help me work.
3. How did you benefit?
In emails and phone calls Shaqe asked some very penetrating questions and made a number of suggestions to help me work and bring on inspiration.... she suggested setting up a preparatory “ritual” to go through whenever I begin work. Now I light a candle and maybe put on some “working” music, like classical or jazz.
She had me email her the poem I was intending to use in an altered book and [showed] how the symbolism in the words could be used as an inspiration. This was very exciting to me because symbols and writing can really get me going.... I don’t think she would suggest the same path for anyone else, unless it was appropriate. I believe she saw that this would be the most effective technique for me to use. I have always enjoyed writing, but never actually used it this way before and now I wonder why not!
We also investigated my early life as a child artist and what caused me to choose this path, and its integration in my eventually becoming an art teacher. Part of the exploration involved looking at how to give back to Art....
During our second phone conversation, I had a real breakthrough that lead to clarity. The process had gotten me thinking about what I was doing making art, and why? I had a flashback to my high-school art-history teacher showing us slides of Käthe Kollwitz’s work and Picasso’s Guernica. Artworks like this still affect me because of their deep relevance to our human condition.... This idea was so wrenching, yet familiar to my heart that I knew we had really come up with something important for me.
4. What were the results?
Because of Shaqe’s help and the tools I feel a real sense of clarity and knowing the direction it can take. I know that I need to consider what symbolism I want to develop so that I can make more art that considers the Big and Deep Questions. I know that I am in the process of developing symbolism to suit my method of communication. I am hopeful and confident that I can make use of the scaffolding tools suggested by Shaqe, and knowledge that I actually revealed to myself through Shaqe’s methods of questioning and inquiry.
5. What was your experience working with Shaqe?
I feel my process of exploration has undergone acceleration because of the coaching experience. She had an intuitive and perceptive sense of how and where to explore in order to get me to see with clarity. I was not sure of what I was doing when we began, and felt some trepidation at that time. Now I know the coaching that Shaqe helped me was valuable and well worth the time and effort. It has proven to me that my own art is also well worth the time and effort and that there is a good possibility that I can have an impact on my world in some way through its creation. I am planning to return for more coaching!